Friday, December 31, 2010

Farewell to 2010

This has been a year of mixed blessings. Happiness and sorrow, plans made and changed... things never quite turn out the way we think they might when we begin a new year, do they? There are parts of 2010 that I'd love to be able to go back and change, but I know that's not possible. So onward into 2011 with hope that it'll be a good year.

I do have some things to look forward to in 2011... I have a whole new bunch of family members to get to know; with any luck at all, we'll start building a new house in the spring; and we may even work in a vacation or two this year (I'm planning to attend the Bead and Button show this year in Milwaukee, so that's a major vacation).

Since I spend so much of my time beading, I thought I'd put together a little mosaic that shows a piece of my beadwork done in each month of 2010 (I keep track of my creations in a spreadsheet, of course - doesn't everyone?).

Even though I keep a spreadsheet to track my creations, beads used, prices, etc., I'm not always diligent about recording everything I make. There are a bunch of UFOs (UnFinished Objects) which haven't been recorded. And there are a few pieces that ARE finished that haven't been photographed yet and haven't been recorded. But by my estimation, I've created more than 200 new pieces this year. Not bad, I think.

This year ends with me working on a custom bead crochet rope. At this point it's about halfway finished, which means I have almost 30" of it done. The beads in this one are some gorgeous metallic sage green/gray size 11s and some transparent cola colored 11s. They're all vintage, so they're irregular in size and shape, resulting in a rope that has a really organic look to it. The rope will have a few different patterns in it, and I'm stringing each section separately so I don't wind up with yards and yards of strung beads to keep untangled.

And with that, I say farewell to 2010. And Happy New Year to everyone. I hope you all have a wonderful year.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Don't Take My Kodachrome Away

It's official. Or it will be official tomorrow. No more Kodachrome film. The end of an era. The last lab in the world that processes the film is discontinuing the processing tomorrow. Kind of makes me wonder just how many people scrambled to get a last batch of pictures taken and that last roll of film sent off to the lab.

Years ago, I used rolls and rolls of Kodachrome film to take pictures underwater. The colors of the corals, sponges, and fish were so vibrant when processed on Kodachrome that it was my film of choice, even if it cost more than other films. I have hundreds of slides with that little Kodachrome label on them. Truth be told, since I'm such a packrat, there's probably a stray roll of film or two sitting in a camera bag.

It's kind of a funny coincidence, but I recently created a peyote cuff for the Etsy BeadWeavers' monthly challenge. The challenge was to create something inspired by a Simon and Garfunkel song, and even though it's not really my favorite of their tunes I thought it would be fun to create a Kodachrome design because of my affinity for the film!

So I guess this Kodachrome cuff is my tribute to my favorite Kodak film. Good bye, Kodachrome. I'll miss you.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Can you believe it's Christmas Eve!?!? We were supposed to go visit relatives for Christmas, but we've both managed to come down with colds and have decided not to share them. So we're sitting around the house, drinking lattes and yogurt (not together!), burning scented candles, and watching TV. The excitement is almost more than I can stand. :-)

As my Christmas present to you, to illustrate the reason for the season, I thought I'd give all my beadweaving friends a pattern. I created this design a couple of months ago, but I haven't had a chance to bead one yet. The pattern is for the Ichthus (or Ichthys), the ancient Greek symbol meaning "fish" and the once secret symbol used by Christians. According to tradition, ancient Christians used the fish symbol to mark meeting places and tombs, or to distinguish friends from foes.

The design as shown measures 1.27" (32.4mm) wide and 3.54" (90.12mm) long, so you'll need to add beads to either end to center the design on your bracelet. I'm providing the indexed chart here for you to use.

By printing this pattern, you agree to the following:
- to credit either time2cre8 or MaryLou Holvenstot with this design in any listing, photograph, or posting. Likewise, if you make slight modifications to the design or use this as your inspiration, you must also give credit.
- to sell any work made and sold from the pattern ONLY if you created the piece yourself.
- to NOT resell or distribute this pattern in any way.

The gift of this pattern to you in no way implies purchase or transfer of copyright, which shall remain with time2cre8 / MaryLou Holvenstot. Thank you for supporting your pattern designer's rights!

You may share this with your friends by providing them with a link to this blog post.

Before I go, I also want to mention that I listed a brand new bracelet in my Etsy shop, Jeweltone Stripes -- the perfect accessory for a party!

Visit the Bead Art Originals blog to see how you can receive a 20% discount on anything in my Etsy shop from now through December 30!


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Never Enough Time

I wrote earlier this summer about how excited I was to have reunited with my Dad, after a 37-year separation (a long story).

Now I've spent the past week mourning his passing.

My best estimate is that I spent fewer than 21 days with him during my life. I met him when I was a teenager and spent about a week with him and with my siblings and stepmother. Then I reunited with him this July. It took me a long time to make the decision to meet him again, but I'm so happy that I did. I can never get back those 37 years, but so many people close to my Dad have told me how happy he was that I was back in his life. And I'm happy I was back in his life.

Even in those paltry 21 days he made an impression. I already know I'm going to miss the phone calls, which almost always started with his shouting, "Whaddya know, Kiddo?" It didn't seem to matter what we talked about - he was just happy we were talking.

If only there was a giant rewind button that would allow me to go back in time and change things. I didn't think 19 years was enough time to have with my Mom, and 21 DAYS certainly wasn't enough time to have with my Da
d. My stepmom had 51 years with him, and it wasn't enough. My Dad's sisters and brother had 75+ years with him, and it wasn't enough. It's never enough.

I am thankful, though, that I at least had some time with him. And I'm thankful for all the new family I have. A sister, a brother, a stepmom, aunts and uncles, nieces and a nephew, and a whole bunch of cousins - all of whom welcomed me into the family with open arms.

I'll miss you, Dad.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

All Kinds of New Stuff

New patterns, a new cuff, and new bead crochet lariat! Of course, they weren't all created overnight, but once again I'm trying to focus on getting some patterns ready to publish and getting some pictures taken of the growing pile of finished pieces I have sitting on the table.

Here's a quick look at the new goodies:

Salt and Pepper Bead crochet lariat made with opaque black and white beads, crocheted six around and with four different patterns (five, if you count the little stripey sections I used to separate the other patterns).

I went to Cincinnati over Thanksgiving week to visit with my newfound family, and I took a whole bunch of beads with me so I'd have something to do when we were just sitting around relaxing. (What? Doesn't everyone bead to relax??)

This design wasn't even really planned. I just started stringing beads on the fly, not even keeping very good track of how many I was stringing. Sometimes that's more fun than planning something.


For some reason I just decided I wanted to make another version of this cuff. It's quite an undertaking, since it's more than 2.25" wide and is done in two drop peyote stitch.

When I was a kid, I remember my Mom telling me that blue and green didn't go together. I think she might have been wrong, because I really like the combination of lime green with cobalt blue and white.

She was right about everything else though.


I've also been working on getting some more patterns published and listed, and I managed to finish two so far this week! I received requests to publish both PAINT and SWOOSH, so those are both done. Now I'm working on the next one on the request list, DAHLIAS. Just in case you haven't seen it yet, all my patterns are on sale (already marked down) PLUS if you buy three or more on a single invoice you'll receive an additional $1 off per pattern (refunded through PayPal). Yay!

Of course there are always things to distract me... working on more new pieces, going out to eat, and one of Etsy's new thingies, the Activity Feed and Circles. I wasn't sure how the Circles thing was any different than "hearting" a shop, but it's kind of cool because it lets me see what my favorite shop owners like. And they like some COOL stuff! The Activity Feed is just fun because it lets me know when my stuff has been hearted or included in a treasury.

And now it's time to get ready to go out to eat at a new restaurant (well, new for us) and then watch the Waynesville Christmas parade. :-)

Friday, December 03, 2010

The Perfect Group

It's nice to know I'm not alone. So far, I'm in the company of 39 people who apparently share my affliction -- I'm a messy beader.

I had no hesitation whatsoever in accepting Jennifer VanBenschoten's invitation to join The Messy Beaders' Club. (You may know Jennifer from her beady posts on Especially when I saw the picture Jen posted of her workspace. The ONLY thing that saves me from having a workspace that looks like hers is that I do most of my beadweaving on an old cutting board with one of those mats on top of it. The board is 12" x 18", so that's the size of my "Current Project Beady Mess." That doesn't mean I don't have a mess. It's just in another place, namely the shelves in the living room and dining room (at least that's where it is in this house).

Here's a relatively recent shot (ignore that date in the lower left corner, the result of my not changing the date on the camera)... That's my husband there pretending to be Macaulay Culkin. And that's me in my normal beading attire - cartoon pants and a sweatshirt - with my legs scrunched up underneath me (yes, I sometimes get up and feel like a pretzel). My little Ikea light is a great task light. Laptop is poised and ready for action at any given moment. And there you can see my cutting board piled with projects. And for those with inquiring minds, that IS a witch's broom leaned against the wall next to me, just in case I have to dash out on an errand. haha. :-)

I try to organize. I really do. But beads are cantankerous little critters. They don't want to STAY organized.

My Delicas are all sorted. I think I spent two days making labels and punching holes in the tops of zip-top bags to hold them. I was sick of trying to dig through all the little plastic tubes and plastic bags the beads came in, and I'm much happier with this system. I just have to make myself put the little bags back on their metal rings after I've finished with them.

Not too long ago I sorted the bulk of my other seed beads into some of those plastic shoe box containers. They're divided by color. They just need to STAY divided by color. I always wind up with a pile of tubes, hanks, and bags that need to go back into their assigned containers. And then there are the beads I don't want to sort by color, the special ones that I like to keep together, like the ones with a picasso finish.

That bit of organization is just the little beads, sizes 15/0 through 6/0. There are also containers of art beads. Lots and lots and lots of art beads. And pearls. Crystals. Assorted glass beads. Wood beads. Findings. Needles and tools. A container of wire, even though I don't do much with wire. I want to be ready. And another container of thread for bead crochet.

Some day we'll get our house built, and I intend to come up with some sort of method of organizing all this beady goodness that will allow me to (1) find what I want when I want it, and (2) not require vast amounts of effort to maintain. I'm not sure such a method can be found, though. You see, I also suffer from the "I Must Have More Beads" affliction; and that means the collection is always growing...

If you're a beader, particularly if you're a MESSY beader, check out the blog Jen created: The Messy Beaders' Club. It's sure to be fun. :-)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Best Laid Plans

The Plan: String a bunch of beads onto spools of upholstery thread so I have projects to take with me on road trips. Bead crochet is a great thing to take along on trips because the beads are all captured ahead of time, and I don't have to keep track of any kind of pattern (other than making sure I didn't goof up in the stringing).

The Reality: I just couldn't wait to crochet the beads I strung on Saturday.

Can you blame me? These beads, which I purchased from a lovely Etsy seller named Shannon (aka beadsandbabble), were just too tempting sitting there on my shelf. You may remember prior gushing about Shannon's beads, as I've posted pictures before of some of the picasso finish beads I bought from her. She has a great selection (over 900 listings, I think) and first rate service.

So off I went to the gallery on Saturday, taking with me some projects to keep me occupied. I grabbed the beads, a spool of thread, a needle, and (this is what did me in) my crochet hook. I suppose I shouldn't have taken the crochet hook with me if I really intended for this to be a "future" project. But there it is.

And here it is. Mulberries in Heavy Cream. A luscious, gorgeous (if I do say so myself), wonderful necklace.

And now guess what? I need to string some beads to take on our impending road trip. At least two or three lariats' worth, I think. I just hope I can refrain from crocheting them until we're actually ON the road.


Monday, November 15, 2010

Monday Monday

Do you ever have times when you forget what day of the week it is? I do. It never used to happen. When I was working, I always knew what day it was and even the date. Now? Nope. Sometimes I forget. Today, for some reason, feels like Saturday. As I typed the "when I was working" phrase, I realize that it's now been FIVE years since I had a real job. Do I miss working? NOT FOR A MINUTE!!!

I know today's Monday, but I had to think about it for a minute. I actually spent my Saturday filling in at the Art On Depot in Waynesville. The ceramic artist (Cathey Bolton-Moore) who owns the studio/gallery just had a baby girl, so I volunteered to work there on Saturdays for a few weeks.

For someone like me, who has no discernible schedule (because getting up and having two lattes every morning does NOT constitute a schedule), it was really strange to go somewhere to "work." I didn't want to be bored, so I took some projects with me. Knowing that the studio has pretty good lighting, I grabbed the box of jewelry I'd finished and never photographed so I could take some long-overdue pictures.

And look! I took pictures of this brand new bracelet, which I named Black and Old Brass. This is a simple design, but I love making these bracelets so I can play with my massive collection of old buttons. This one uses a cool looking antiqued brass four-hole button, so I used brassy-colored delicas and shiny black delicas for the bracelet.

I actually managed to take a few pictures at home, too! This bracelet, an olive and silver version of my Fabric design, was created for the Bead Art Originals color mosaic. You can visit the BAO blog to see past color mosaics, and the one that features dark and light olive will be posted later this week.

Time for my second latte of the day. What a schedule, eh? :-)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

I'm Ready for My Closeup, Mr. DeMille

That famous line has been quoted for years as Norma Desmond's line (and, not being old enough to remember Gloria Swanson, I remember it being said by Carol Burnett).

Well, sometimes I think that's what my jewelry would say if it could talk. You see, I'm really good about MAKING things but not so good about PHOTOGRAPHING them. I blame it on two things. Number one -- I don't really have good lighting in this house, or a good place to set up my light box, so it's always a challenge to find a spot for pictures. And number two -- I'd much rather be making things than taking pictures of the things I make.

Some day I'm going to have a dedicated spot for pictures. In the meantime, I'm still happily beading away and waiting for just the right time of day and just the right window to use for photographs.

Here you see a PILE of pieces that have been recently finished... all waiting for their closeups. Where's Mr. DeMille when you need him?

In case you're curious, there are six bracelets and one bead crochet lariat in that pile. Eegads.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Celebrating Every Day

If you're reading this post, there's a good chance that means you spend what could be termed a significant amount of time on the internet. Right? I admit I spend a lot of time with my laptop in my lap, usually with umpteen tabs open to satisfy my gnat-like attention span.

So what does that have to do with celebrating? Well, as I was trying to figure out what I could write that related to celebrations (the current theme of the Art Bead Scene Carnival of Bloggers), I realized that many of the sites I visit have celebrations going on...

For example:

Judith Bertoglio-Giffin just celebrated the completion of a five-year project, a new e-book called Triangular Bead Crochet Ropes.

I'm a big fan of bead crochet, and I already own several of Judith's previous publications (in hard copy form); so I was doing my own bit of celebrating to see that this e-book is now complete.

Anyone who's ever tried to design a bead crochet pattern knows just how tricky that can be -- getting the right number of repeats in the stringing pattern and getting the pattern to repeat properly without being able to actually see it until you start crocheting. Well, Judith has apparently come up with a new method of patterning that solves those problems.


A friend and fellow beadweaver, Triz, celebrates the completion of a gorgeous beaded leather bag on her blog, Beading Mania. The bag was a long time in the making, and Triz gets to celebrate a little every day as she carries this bag with her.

She's another blogger and artisan who regularly celebrates her new creations. And with good reason!

I am in complete awe of her talent, and I've spent the past couple of weeks drooling over her latest venture into leather and beaded cuffs. They are incredible, as you can see by visiting either her blog or her Etsy shop.

Another friend and fellow beadweaver Carol Dean Sharpe writes lots of celebratory posts in her SandFibers blog.

On Saturdays she goes "window shopping" on Etsy to celebrate the artistry she finds there. Her finds are always drool-worthy.

On Thursdays she posts pictures to the treasuries which have featured her work during the past week, something always worth celebrating.

And being a prolific beadweaver, she often writes happy posts about her newest creations, as in this one entitled: A Brand New Cuff for a Brand New Week!

I know there are lots of occasions to be celebrated: Birthdays, holidays, new jobs, graduations... It's a pretty endless list.

But how many of you celebrate something every day? Even celebrating a small thing will give you a momentary mood lift that might carry you into the next moment with a different outlook. I notice lots of celebrations on Facebook (where I spend an inordinate amount of time). New puppies. New projects just finished. A new recipe. From the biggest, best occasions to the mundane, celebrating something just makes it better.

As I began writing this post, I started thinking of random things relating to celebrations.

Kristen Wiig, as the Target Lady on Saturday Night Live, celebrates every time a credit card is approved. It cracks me up every time.

It's November. And that means pomegranates are in season. I did my own little celebration in the grocery aisle the other day, seeing that big bin of delicious fruity goodness.

My husband celebrates every time he goes to the refrigerator and sees a fresh bowl of Jello I've made for him.

Have you ever played on a sports team? Or participated on any kind of team, for that matter? Doesn't it make you feel great when your team gives you a big "WOO HOO!" for something you did?

It may sound silly, but I think you should find SOMETHING to celebrate every day. It'll make your whole life better. And that's worth celebrating.


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Poor Poor Neglected Blog

Being able to type fast doesn't help. My poor blog is feeling neglected. For good reason. The last post I made was to introduce my new series of bracelets... Knot, Ready for Prime Time.

Since that last post, I've actually managed to finish and list quite a few of the series in my Etsy shop. I also finished another version of one of my new designs, Morning Glory Vine. And published a couple of new peyote patterns (Camouflage and Queen Anne's Lace). I have two long bead crochet ropes finished, except for the ends. And I have a brand new peyote cuff design, Paisley.

So what happens? Where does the time go? Why don't I pay attention to my poor little blog?

As much as I hate to say it, I almost feel like I need to force myself to follow a schedule. ACK! The mere thought of a schedule for someone who left the corporate world behind (almost five years ago) makes me cringe. EVERYTHING had to be done by a schedule. Meetings, phone calls, goals, more meetings... everything. I've spent the past five years rebelling against schedules of any kind.

I'm going to blame the recent neglect on the extra activity here... my husband has an injured shoulder, so my workload around the house has increased a bit. We had company last weekend, and that meant rearranging lots and lots of boxes so they'd have a place to sleep (we're still living in a rental house, and the bulk of our stuff remains in boxes). Long overdue doctor appointments. Dentist appointments. A few custom orders (those are always nice). Still. I type more than 100 words a minute. There's just no reason for my not being able to update this blog.

For those of you who DO update your blogs with regularity...
Do you write a bunch of posts and schedule them to publish?
Do you have a daily/weekly schedule for blogging?
I'd love to know how you keep your blog up to date and still keep up with everything else.

Just so I don't finish this post without giving you something to look at, here's a sneak peak of my newest peyote cuff design, Paisley. It'll be in my Etsy shop tomorrow, and I'm working on getting the pattern ready to publish too. :-)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Knot, Ready for Prime Time

You know how sometimes you get a song stuck in your head? Well, that's been happening to me a lot lately. Not sure why, as we don't really listen to much music in the house (Pat and I have different tastes in music). Maybe they're coming from the TV shows we watch, as I know is the case with yesterday's stuck-in-my-head melody:

I hear tell you're doing well.
Good things have come to you.
I wish I had your happiness
and you had a do-wacka-do,
wacka-do wacka-do wacka-do.

Catchy, right? An old song by Roger Miller, who made some of the funniest and happiest songs there were back in the 50s. At least I think it was the 50s. I know my Mom had one of his albums and we used to listen to it a LOT and then sing his songs at the tops of our lungs when we were in the car. What fun.

So how does that song relate to the title of this blog post? Follow me here... I've been having these songs stuck in my head... and I've been beading away making some fun new little bracelets using ndebele ropes and magnetic clasps... and as I was making the bracelets I was trying to think of a name that would describe the series... and I wanted to have the word "knot" in the name... and "Not ready for prime time" was stuck in my head. I couldn't get past it. So there you go. Stuck in my head, and now "Knot, Ready for Prime Time" is the name of my new series of bracelets.

I have three of them listed in my Etsy shop so far (with a couple more waiting in the wings). They're such fun to make that I know there are going to be more of them. Anyone have any color suggestions for me? :-)

Also new in my Etsy shop is this bead crochet lariat called Madison Ave.

Matte black and matte silver beads (the silver ones are from one of my favorite Etsy sellers: Shannon, of beadsandbabble) in a diamond pattern (actually diamonds within diamonds). As I was trying to figure out treatment to give to the ends I had a sudden inspiration to use some of my friend Dee's lathe turned polymer clay beads. They're PERFECT!!! I've had these for months, and I even had them sitting on a shelf for awhile because each one is like a tiny sculpture. (By the way, if you want to see more of Dee's wonderful polymer clay creations, visit her Etsy shop, Malodora).

And now it's time for me to get back to work. Currently in progress (because I can never seem to focus on just ONE thing):
- a new version of my Morning Glory Vine cuff
- a new peyote pattern (just needs a bit more tweaking before I bead it)
- getting patterns ready to publish (Queen Anne's Lace, Royal Flourish, Camouflage, and Swoosh are top on the list because I've had requests for them all)
- figuring out how to finish that Lisa Peters bead and ndebele rope that I posted about a few weeks ago (!)

Sometimes multi-tasking gets the best of me. But then I can just sing a verse or two of Do Wacka-Do and everything seems okay. :-)

Friday, October 08, 2010

Fabulous Friday Finds for October 8

It's about time for another installment of Fabulous Friday Finds, don't you think? Once again, I've been less than diligent about posting my finds, but I've still been finding and keeping track of them so I can share. It's been a hectic couple of weeks - doctor appointments (checkups mostly), physical therapy appointments (husband's torn shoulder ligaments), and some custom orders have been taking up lots of time.

My first Fabulous Friday Find is one for any Etsy sellers who haven't already discovered it: Etsy On Sale. I think the fact that there are currently about 35,000 listings on the site means that it's been pretty well advertised and promoted, but it bears mentioning nonetheless.

If you're an Etsy seller, I'm sure you've been frustrated that there's never been an automated way to put items on sale. Any special deal, whether for a day or a month, required editing each individual listing. What a pain in the neck. My shop has more than 300 items, so the editing process is pretty painful.

Well, Etsy On Sale allows you to put everything in your shop on sale or everything in a particular section (so you could create a Sale section and move items into it). You can apply the sale for a given amount of time, select whether your sale is for a certain dollar amount off the price or a percentage off the price, and select the duration of the sale. It's sooooooo easy! And if you're looking for things to buy, you can even shop there using the same categories you'll find on Etsy.

I'm currently using it to put all my peyote patterns on sale. It works so seamlessly with Etsy that all you have to do is go to the Patterns section of my Etsy shop, and you'll see the sale prices (20% off the regular price).

The next Fabulous Friday Find is the work of an amazingly talented clay artist named Dan Friedlander.

The photo you see to the right is one of his Tower works, this one called Tower Power. He also creates tiles and other sculptures, but I just love the towers.

He uses lots and lots of white clay, and each and every tiny piece you see is created using just his fingers. Can you imagine all that rolling, squishing, squeezing, flattening, and placing?

Make sure you check out his macro photographs so you can see how much detail there is in the pieces.

I'd love to have a whole wall full of his tiles. Of course, the fact that I'm not a big fan of dusting means that's probably not the best idea for me... :-)

Next up is another clay artist. Of a completely different sort. And I'll tell you now that I pretty much want everything she has listed in her Etsy shop, blamethemoon!!!

I really haven't understood the whole cupcake craze that's been going on for the past few months... cupcakes on stationery, cupcake rings, cupcake necklaces, cupcake art.

But now I get it. I am completely in love with this guy. His name is Sprinklez. And he has some major attitude. Just you try to take a bite out of this pink cupcake - I don't think so. :-)

Sprinklez was created by a professional cake decorator named Karly. Talk about bringing your work home with you. If you want to see more of Karly's work, including some "real" cakes, check out her blog. What fun!!!

I don't carry a purse. I think I gave up the whole purse thing when I was still in junior high school, never quite understanding why some people need to carry all kinds of things around with them.

While I don't think I'm going to take up purse carrying again, this Big Fish Handbag just makes me smile. Of course, if I had a purse like this I doubt I'd ever let it leave the house. I think it would become wall art.

The Big Fish Handbag was created by a sculptural artist named Debra Gavant, and her Etsy shop is called RandomIntent. It's filled with all sorts of strange and wonderful creatures and creations.

She claims to be an alien.

I think I believe her.

She may be here to take over our planet.

We could do worse.


Sticking with the weird and wonderful, my next Fabulous Friday Find is a weird and wonderful ring.

Not a practical ring. Not a ring you could wear for everyday. Not a ring you could wear when you're typing. But what a FUN ring!!

This incredible piece, which is made from oxidized silver, was created by a jewelry designer and gemologist named Maria Goti. I came across this ring on Etsy, but you can find more of her work on flickr and in her blog.

At only 24 years old (according to her Etsy profile), it's obvious that Maria is going to be creating art for many years to come. Her work is varied - everything from the elaborate ring you see here to some very simple, modern designs - and it's all gorgeous.

I am in awe.

I'm also in awe of the clocks created by James Borden. His clocks are called Timeshapes, and they are absolutely totally amazing.

The picture here is a closeup of one of his clocks, a cherry wall clock that's 5 feet high and 3 feet wide!!

From James' biographical statement:
Timeshapes are essentially mechanical weight-driven or spring-driven clocks, every part of which has been designed and built by James Borden. The pendulums and escapements are also of the artist’s own design. Timeshapes exhibit a wide, graceful motion and soft, woody, clicking sounds which are mesmerizing and relaxing to watch and hear.

I just know they're incredible, and I wish I had the money to buy one. Of course, I'd probably never get anything done because I'd be sitting and staring at it all the time.

Okay, that's it for this week. It's after 11:00, and I'm determined to get this post published before midnight! Hope you enjoyed this week's finds. :-)

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Still a UFO

I really do hate creating UFOs (UnFinished Objects). But sometimes they happen. Unlike a lot of jewelry designers, my process rarely involves much planning. For someone who plans almost every other aspect of my life, I suppose it's strange that I don't plan my jewelry designs. I just find it somehow freeing to create jewelry that evolves as I make it.

The bad part of that method of jewelry design is that I wind up with way more UFOs than I might if I charted out the path for each new piece. I know I'm not the only one, but I cringe at the prospect of even counting how many UFOs I have stashed away. And now there's another one. Well, it's not stashed yet because I still have hope that I can come up with a solution to my design dilemma.

This particular piece began with a drop-dead gorgeous bead by my friend Lisa Peters. Lisa makes the most incredible clay pieces - beads, cabochons, buttons, pendants, and all sorts of other goodies - and I have quite a collection of them. I was going through my stash of Lisa goodies (it's quite a large stash, and it always seems to be growing) and found this bead. I realized that I had the perfect beads to complement the colors in it in my stash of Czech glass picasso beads. And I was right.

So I made an ndebele rope using four different types of beads. The rope is PERFECT for the bead, which has a kind of organic look to it. There's a slight twist in the rope, and I think the curves in the rope look so nice with the little craters in the bead.

Ah, but here's the problem. I don't know how I want to hang the bead from the rope. I thought of making a bail using some of the same beads from the rope, but the hole is too small for a strand of ndebele. I tried using just a single strand of the larger beads, but I didn't like the way it looked. I keep thinking I might try my hand at making a big swirly bail with a piece of heavy copper wire... but I don't do much wire work.

I had a few suggestions from fans of my Facebook page, and although some of them were promising, I still have this UFO sitting on the table next to me.

So what do you think? Any ideas? I could use some help here! :-)

Friday, September 10, 2010

Fabulous Friday Finds for September 10

Welcome to another episode of Fabulous Friday Finds! I had a whole batch of sites and goodies bookmarked to post about this week, things I collected during this past week, but I've changed my mind and decided to do a "themed" set of finds. Change is good, right?

I'll start off by saying that the reason for the theme is that I am so pleased with the way my newest peyote design turned out! Sometimes a design that looks great on paper (or on the computer screen) just doesn't look the same when it's beaded, but I was so happy with this one. I've actually been working on this design for awhile, since back when Queen Anne's Lace was in bloom, but it took some tweaking to keep it from looking to "regular." I had to fiddle with it to get the blooms to be random enough to suit me, and then I had to figure out how I wanted the design to be on the cuff so I wouldn't wind up with a 4" wide cuff (not that there's anything wrong with that).

Anyway, this week's Fabulous Friday Finds are all around one thing: Queen Anne's Lace. It's considered to be a weed, but it's such a pretty weed... :-)

As soon as I decided on this theme, I knew right where to go for the first Fabulous Friday Find that shows off Queen Anne's Lace.

The embroidered cuff you see here is the creation of an Etsy artist called Waterrose.

Rose has a particular affinity to Queen Anne's Lace, so when you visit her shop you'll see several variations. The French knots she uses in her embroidery versions of this flower are the perfect way to illustrate all the tiny blooms on the flower.

You can read more about Rose and her artistic journey on her blog or her website.

And if you like to embroider, be sure to read her latest blog post about her Queen Anne's Lace challenge!

I've only known of one name for this plant, so I was quite surprised when I came across this listing for a Cow Parsley Lamp!

This lovely lamp is the creation of an English artist named Hannah Nunn. It's a free standing table lamp made from paper which has been laser cut with the Queen Anne's Lace design and then laminated.

It has such a lovely glow. I can just see this sitting on a hall table or in a guest bathroom. (I'm going to have to remember to visit Hannah's shop again when we finally get our new house built and are ready to decorate.)

It's quickly becoming obvious to me that I could have an entire room dedicated to this flower! Just look at these lovely resin coasters that have pressed Queen Anne's Lace flowers in them. Even though they're coasters, I could see these mounted onto a dark cloth, framed, and hung as a piece of art.

These pretty coasters, as well as lots of other goodies, can be found in the Etsy shop called Zipper8Design. The shop is curated by a recent architectural school graduate, Allison, and she has way more goodies than just these resin coasters.

Be sure to check out her unique Drinking Straws Wall Sconce. What fun!

The fourth Fabulous Friday Find is by another English artist, whose Etsy shop I've had in my favorites since the very first time I spotted one of her creations.

The shop name is seaurchin, and Lisa Stevens is an amazing porcelain and ceramic artist.

I'd love to be able to watch her work, as she creates the most incredibly intricate designs in her jewelry and home decor pieces. As if that weren't enough of a reason to watch her work, she's a model maker for Aardman Animations - the creators of Wallace and Gromit! I loooooove Wallace and Gromit!!! Lisa's so lucky to be part of the creative genius behind that.

The little bowl you see here was one Lisa created for a Dish-a-Day project (one of those ventures which excites and frightens at the same time). You can see more of her creations in her flickr photostream. Definitely worth an ogle. :-)

Hillary Burkett, the curator of CameraSHYphotography, has captured a wonderful picture of a couple of Queen Anne's Lace blooms, mounted it onto a polymer clay base, and then covered the image with resin - wearable art!

Of course that picture would look just as great hanging on a wall... don't you think so? Hmmm. Maybe a themed room.

You can see more great photographic pendants, earrings, rings, and other goodies in her Etsy shop. Her style is simple and elegant and wonderful.

Having watched episodes of Beads, Baubles, and Jewels and That's Clever on TV, and having seen how tedious it is to work with a jeweler's saw to cut a design out of a piece of silver, I have a lot of admiration for the people who practice that art form.

Jane E. Roberti creates simple and modern designs featuring metal and wood. This pendant features two Queen Anne's Lace blooms that look as if they're floating away on a breeze.

You can find this pendant and more of her designs in her Etsy shop, janeeroberti; and check her flickr photostream to see some pictures of her studio (don't you love having a peek into someone's workspace?).

It's getting late here, and I've managed to find quite a few Queen Anne's Lace pieces to show you. Before you go, though, check out my newest peyote cuff design!

Happy Friday! :-)

Friday, September 03, 2010

Fabulous Friday Finds for September 3

Holy cow. September! The year's gone by really quickly, and I honestly think it's speeding up. Despite the fact that most of this week was spent looking for kitchen cabinets, lights, bathroom vanities, sinks, faucets, flooring, counter tops, and all the other things we'll need to build our house, I did manage to find a few Fabulous Friday Finds that AREN'T building materials.

My first Fabulous Friday Find is a great sale, from now through September 6, being offered by my friend and fellow Bead Art Originals teammate, Darcy Horn (aka TheJadeDog).

I was cruising around on Facebook earlier today and saw Darcy's post advertising the sale: 50% off all supplies on her website! Woo hoo! And there are LOTS of supplies from which to choose, including handmade cabs and toggles, vintage beads, vintage brass, sequins, and all sorts of other goodies. (Even though the sale is for supplies, I thought you should see one of Darcy's incredible embroidered pieces - you can see more of her artisan jewelry on her website and in her Etsy shop.)

Darcy's original post:
In observance of the long weekend, making some big decisions, hitting my 9 year work anniversary at International Bead Market, 4 year anniversary on Etsy (art-to-wear), 3 year anniversary on Etsy (supplies), the big 4-0 birthday, etcetcetc....From right NOW until midnight Monday September 6th, all supplies at are 50% off. If you are in RO, you will get the same discount, just make an appointment.

Fill up your shopping cart, check out, and Darcy will email you the revised amount plus shipping charge.

My next Fabulous Friday Find also came about as the result of my cruising around on Facebook. One of my friends posted a link to an incredible polymer clay creation by Jon Anderson.

I've actually seen some of his pieces in person, and they're amazing. Intricately patterned creatures covered with hundreds and hundreds of polymer clay cane slices. The slices are laid out in such wonderful detail that the animals almost come to life.

There are loads of them to look at on the FimoCreations website, but these horses are my favorites.

I mentioned earlier that we're shopping for materials to build a new house, so we've been looking at lots of wood. My husband and I both like the look of wood, so we'll have cabinets, doors, trim, flooring, and even a ceiling all made from wood.

When I go poking around on Etsy, I'm always on the lookout for unique wooden pieces; and this little table, called Fufluns, is great. It's one of those things you just like but have no idea where it would be used.

Maybe a plant stand? But that would hide the top of it. Maybe it should just sit there in the room and be art. Yep. That's it. It doesn't need to "do" anything other than reside. :-)

The table is the creation of an artist from Hungary, and you can find this and more in her Etsy shop, designlipe.

Without intending to do so, I guess my mind is on building materials this week... the next Fabulous Friday Find is made from concrete!

Can you believe that such a gorgeous red heart is made from one of the staples of the building industry? It also has some recycled glass in it to add some shine, and the whole piece is framed in stainless steel.

This piece, as well as lots of other unique pieces -- all sorts of shapes and colors -- can be found in the Etsy shop called DrCraze.

The artist's name is Jeramiah Clark, and other than his having a sense of humor (evidenced by his avatar, which is of an adult male wearing flip flops and riding a tricycle), I don't know anything about him. I just love these concrete pieces. And I might have to have one some day. :-)

My final Fabulous Friday Find for this week is in another language...

I took two years of French when I was in high school. Despite the fact that I received straight As in the classes, I barely remember anything about the language (of course, that was MANY years ago). Now I have to rely on online translators.

Even without being able to read or translate French, though, this tutorial on turning polymer clay into artisan pieces that resemble leather is great. You can follow along with the pictures to see how this artist (Martine) takes polymer clay and transforms it into a gorgeous necklace that looks nothing like polymer clay in the end!

The piece you see to the left is another creation by Martine -- be sure to look through her gallery when you visit her blog.

That's it for this week's finds! More shopping next week, as we haven't made final decisions on hardly anything for the house. I may have to do a Fabulous Friday Find post that features lights, sinks, counter tops, cabinets... :-)

Monday, August 30, 2010

Beadweaving Inspired by Bones' Temperance Brennan

I watch a LOT of TV. My justification for all the TV is that I use my TV time to do my beadweaving. I do a lot of beadweaving; hence, I watch a lot of TV. It's a vicious cycle. :-)

Unlike a lot of people, I don't have a studio or even a dedicated workspace for my beady work. I just camp out in my big comfy chair with my task light next to me, legs scrunched up underneath me in pretzel-like formation, and an old cutting board which acts as my work surface propped on my knees and the arm of the chair. Whatever works, right?

A couple of years ago I saw some catchy ads on TV about a website called hulu. And almost immediately, hulu became my friend. On it I could watch shows my husband doesn't like - science fiction, medical dramas, etc. And it was on hulu that I was first able to watch what is now one of my favorite shows, Bones.

Even though I'm a big fan of the show, I hadn't really paid all that much attention to the fashions on the show until one of my beadweaving friends pointed out to me all the striking necklaces sported by one of the show's main characters, Temperance "Bones" Brennan. She does have some style! There's even a flickr photostream dedicated to Bones' Necklaces.

So why am I babbling on about Bones? Well, because the Bead Art Originals team decided that we wanted to start doing challenges -- creating something for a particular theme to get our creative juices flowing. And the theme that was chosen by the last challenge winner (Darcy Horn, aka thejadedog) is a Bones-worthy necklace. The official name of the challenge (which I'm proud to say I thought of!) is No Bones About It. :-)

It was serendipitous for me that the details for this challenge were being talked about shortly after I received one of those ginormous boxes of polymer clay goodies from my friend and fellow BAO member DDee Wilder (aka Malodora). Mixed in with all the other goodies was a polymer clay cabochon that I determined would be PERFECT for the challenge.

What do you think? Would Temperance Brennan wear this? I think so. I even decided to name this piece Temperance.

Now it's time to go back to watching TV. And playing with my beads, of course.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Fabulous Friday Finds for August 27

Welcome back to another Fabulous Friday Finds! I have lots more goodies this week -- seems there's never a shortage of fabulous things to show off here.

My first Fabulous Friday Find is an art doll by an incredibly talented polymer clay artist named Amanda Klish. I almost hesitate to call her creations "dolls" because they are so amazing. They're like nothing I've ever seen!

I came across her work on Facebook, and I spent a looong time poring over the photos she has on her Facebook page.

I was particularly happy to find pictures of the process she uses to create the armatures for her figures. I've been wanting to try my hand at turning some of my drawings into art dolls, and now with Amanda's help I think I know where to start! (Suffice it to say that my idea of using chopsticks and tape has been tossed out the window.)

You can also find Amanda's creations on eBay occasionally. And I'm quite happy to report that they're demanding the prices they deserve!

Do you ever look at your contacts' contacts on Flickr? I do. All the time. Because I find really cool stuff that I'd probably never see otherwise.

Case in point - one of the cutest lampwork beads I've ever seen. I think it's the eyes that get me...

This adorable focal (called Lucy in the Sky) was created by a lampwork artist named Melanie Moertel. It's just one of a whole bunch of amazing beads and focals.

Loads of color and lots of whimsy. :-)

I almost hesitate to post this next Fabulous Friday Find... because I'm just asking for you to be my competition in a giveaway I want to WIN!!!

If you've ever seen any of the Lark books, you'll know just why this is so exciting. They're wonderful books, with great photographs of pieces created by incredibly talented artists. I own a few of them, but this giveaway would add a bunch more to my collection!

The giveaway is on the Lark Crafts website, and you could win NINE BOOKS (!) in their jewelry collection.

Talk about inspiration!

Hurry, though. The giveaway ends on August 30. I already entered. :-)

Do you ever see something you want, even though you have no thought whatsoever as to WHY you want it or HOW you would use it? Or is that just me?

This next Fabulous Friday Find is one of those things. It's something called Coarse Random Mesh, and it's from papermart.

It's just cool stuff, made from polypropylene plastic fibers molded together into a mat.

Of course I want every color. It's supposed to be for packaging material, but I just think it would be fun to play with... maybe I could make beads from it.

Oh, wait. I have millions of beads already and WAY too many projects going to think of taking on a new one.

Still. I want some.

Oh my gosh oh my gosh oh my gosh.

That's what keeps going through my head as I look at the pencil sculptures created by Dalton Ghetti.

That little shoe you see there is carved from the graphite in a pencil!!!!!

And when you click on his name (above), it'll take you to the site, where you can see more of his work (the gallery is to the right, with 17 pictures).

I am amazed.

Totally amazed.

Here's another link, this time from buzzfeed, where you can see Dalton and some more of his work.

Holy cow.

I think that's it for this edition of Fabulous Friday Finds... Hope you saw something you liked! :-)

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Well-Traveled Beads

Do you ever think about where your beads have been? I hadn't given it much thought until recently, when I took a bead crochet project to work on while we drove from North Carolina to Kentucky.

I like coming up with names for my pieces that have some kind of meaning, and I was trying to think of a name for this bead crochet lariat as we crossed over the mountains separating North Carolina and Tennessee. And then I began thinking about the journey these beads had taken...

This is just the part of the journey I know:
- The beads are Czech glass (picasso beads), so they began their lives somewhere in Czechoslovakia.
- I purchased them from a wonderful Etsy seller named Shannon Ferguson (aka beadsandbabble), and she lives in California.
- Shannon shipped them to me, so they wound up in North Carolina (not sure how many states they traversed as they made their way here).
- And then they traveled with me on my trip to London, Kentucky... out of North Carolina, across Tennessee, and into Kentucky.

And that's just the seed beads! I have no idea where the little ceramic cubes I used for the fringes originated.

But this piece, which I have named "Over the Mountains," is well traveled. :-)

Where have your beads been?

Friday, August 20, 2010

Fabulous Friday Finds for August 20

I'm back with another installment of Fabulous Friday Finds! At some point I came to realize that the best way for me to ensure that I get a Friday post done with goodies I encounter during the week is to write the post and add the goodies as I find them and then schedule the post. Duh. :-)

My first Fabulous Friday Find for today is an amazing art doll (you know how much I love those!) by an artist named Cindee Moyer.

Obviously, this is Rapunzel.

Don't you just love the creativity Cindee employed in her version of this fairy tale figure? The detail of the bluebirds flying around that long blonde braid, the pensive expression on Rapunzel's face, and even the addition of moss around the bottom of the tower.


There are some other beautiful art dolls in Cindee's Etsy shop, but you'll be blown away if you visit her website.


In addition to art dolls, I frequently look around for unusual lampwork beads. I don't even want to think about how many lampwork beads I've got stashed away for some future project; but I just can't resist these little beauties. (Someday, I may have to take up the torch myself!)

I came across these beautiful hollow lampwork beads when I was poking around on Etsy.

These are made by a lampwork artist named Nadin Gershon. She makes all KINDS of lampwork beads in addition to these hollow ones, but I just love the look of these. Irregular, sparkly, and you know they're lightweight because they're hollow.

Nadin has several Etsy shops (click here for the shop where she sells her beads, and you can find the remainder of her shops in her shop announcement), where she sells not only her beads but also her own jewelry creations. She also has a website. Yummy beads! :-)

So... Do you like geese?

I have to admit I've never really given them much thought, but when I saw the polymer clay geese made by a French artist named Estelle Marchal, I laughed out loud.

The unfortunate little guy here looks as if he needs some flying lessons. He seems quite puzzled about why he's hung up in those branches.

Lest you think there are only geese, you need to check out Estelle's website to look at the other creatures she creates: hermit crabs, octopus, squid, flamingos, whales, pelicans, and fish. They're all equally cute and hilarious. You can find them all hanging out in the gallery on her site.

You can also see pictures on her Facebook page.

Just be careful that you haven't just taken a drink of something, or it will be sprayed all over your computer screen.

I will never claim to be a knitter, although I've made quite a number of knitted scarves, hats, and blankets over the years. Let's put it this way -- I can knit really well and really fast as long as I'm knitting in a straight line. When it comes to increasing or reducing, I wind up with a knotty mess.

That doesn't stop me from drooling over handspun yarns. Not for a minute. For a non-knitter, I've amassed quite a collection of yarns that I just couldn't live without; and someday I may even get around to using them for something.

One of my favorite yarn makers on Etsy (and a fellow member of the Full Time Etsy Crafters team) is Bobbi of kittygrrlz. She produces yummy delicious looking yarns that just call out to me with their colors and textures.

Best of all, until Friday night (that's tonight!) she's accepting comments on her Facebook fan page to win $25 worth of yarn! I didn't even know that until I went poking around to see what else I could tell you about Bobbi and her goodies. :-)

Don't know how to choose handmade yarns? Check out the Full Time Etsy Crafters blog for tips.

Whether or not you're a cook (I'm not), you just have to appreciate this last Fabulous Friday Find. It's a set of measuring spoons made from a mesquite log. Aren't they great!?

And there's absolutely nothing that says these have to be stored away in your kitchen drawer waiting to dole out the correct amounts of salt, baking powder, allspice, etc. They'd be great just sitting in a jar or a bowl and doing nothing at all. Or maybe I could use these to update my plastic bead scoop...

These spoons can be found in the Etsy shop called OutNumberedNovelties, a shop that's overflowing with wooden creations of all sorts. I also love the odd shaped little boxes they have. And there are pendants, cutting boards, hair sticks, and a bunch of other goodies in the shop.

That's it for this week's installment of Fabulous Friday Finds. Hope you found something you liked! :-)