Friday, April 30, 2010

Fabulous Friday Finds for April 30

Wow. It's the end of April already. That sure went fast. One third of 2010 has passed!

I'm a little late in posting my Fabulous Friday Finds for this week, but it's still Friday, so here goes:

Fabulous Friday Find #1 is a website I can't read! Maria Wojtiuk has such a sense of humor that I don't need to read Polish to have a good time looking at all her creations.

Click here to visit her gallery. It's easy to navigate once you're there, and it's well worth your time to click on the images and view them larger so you can see more of the detail. And what detail! Just look at those faces in the picture to the left! Don't they just make you want to hop in your car and go on vacation with them? (Well, okay, maybe not - but they are fun!)

Maria also has an Etsy shop, where you can see some of her oil paintings and more of her ceramics.

I did notice one thing as I was looking at all her art... I think all of her cats are happy!


The second Fabulous Friday Find are the art dolls known as Mrs. T. Bagg, the creations of Rose Farnsworth Davis.

Rose creates these little dolls (well, parts of dolls, since they don't really have bodies) to fit into teacups. I don't think it matters that they don't have arms and legs to get around... their little faces are so adorable!

I swear I've seen little old ladies like this walking down the street, sitting in restaurants (sipping their tea, of course). The years of wisdom show up as lines in their little faces, and they all have the slightest hint of a smile.

The one pictured here is Lucile. In a red hat. I love that she's in a red hat. :-)

You can see more of Rose's Mrs. T. Bagg dolls in her Etsy shop and on her blog.

My husband will tell you that I'm notorious for "finding" things. Stones, sticks, bits of wood, oddly shaped and deformed pieces of metal... I have a whole collection of them, knowing that someday I'll do something with them. I don't know quite what. But something.

My third Fabulous Friday Find is an artist named Cathy Rose, an artist who has used a whole collection of "found" objects, combining them with porcelain, wood, and metal to create works of art that draw you in and make you feel what the subjects are feeling.

The picture here is a sculpture called Wind. Can't you just feel the wind blowing through your hair as you look at this? The horses' faces, even though they don't have much detail, are perfect in their own right.

You can see her other works on her website, Cathy Rose. I'd love to be able to see these in person. From every angle. Alas, I checked the show schedule, and there's nothing close to me. Maybe someday she'll visit North Carolina. :-)

I'm drawn to little teeny tiny things, and that's what made me immediately add this Little Blue Butterfly Cottage to my favorites on Etsy.

This little cottage, and all the other wonderful little miniature habitats, houses, and terrariums, was made by Jessica from little bits of moss, stones, twigs and tendrils, and a bit of polymer clay. And a LOT of whimsy.

Jessica's Etsy shop is called BettysFanstasy, named after her Grandmother, who is her inspiration for all things good.

Her profile says it all:
Betty's Fantasy is a place where fairies fly and innocence rules over all. A place where you can be yourself and embrace your imagination.

Another piece which immediately made it into my favorites list is the last Fabulous Friday Find for this last day in April.

It's the Mad Hatter.

Specifically, a wonderfully sculpted Mad Hatter ala Tim Burton / Johnny Depp. The outlandish outfit, the red hair, and of course, the HAT.

Of all the Alice characters, the Hatter is my favorite. I know he's crazy. Maybe that's why he appeals.

This doll, the creation of William Bezek, is amazing. You can see more of William's work in his Etsy shop, WormwoodHollow.

And even more on his blog. Where he appears to be freaked out by the blooming azaleas.


And now it's time for me to do a little beading. I have two bead crochet ropes to finish, a peyote cuff to finish, a new square stitch bracelet to photograph and list on Etsy, and beads to track down for a special order.

Hoe you enjoy my Fabulous Friday Finds. :-)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Growth Chart for Beaders

Earlier this year I signed up to participate in the Art Bead Scene Carnival of Bloggers. I thought it would prompt me to write more interesting posts. I've had ideas for all sorts of posts, but when it comes to sitting down and writing I admit that I get lazy. Anyway... the topic for this assignment is Growth, and as I gave that one some thought I decided to look at beading in terms of a growth chart. You know, those charts you hang in a doorway to chart the progress of your child's growth? I don't have kids, but I can remember my Mom marking my height on the door frame and being so excited to see the marks progress up the frame as I grew.

Do you chart your growth as a beader or bead artist? How do you keep track of the progress you make? As I started thinking about this blog post, I did a little searching and found numerous references to the stages of life. Here's a link to a site that I thought described the stages (eight, in this case) succinctly: The Eight Stages of Life.

I haven't used eight stages, but I started thinking of the stages in terms of a bead artisan's life:

Infancy: You're brand new to the world of beads. Oh, you've seen beads before, but your eyes have just opened to the possibilities that you might be able to create something of your own, starting with a selection of beads, clay, paper, metal, polymer clay... What do you do? How do you learn? Does someone teach you how to stitch, string, embroider, mold, or otherwise manipulate those beady bits of goodness?

I thought back to my own first venture into beads. It was when I was in junior high school, and I learned how to make paper beads. Remember those? I made thousands of them, using the colored pages from catalogs and bottles of Elmers Glue to hold them together. The strips of paper had to be cut into long skinny triangles, and my Grandfather decided to help me with making my beads uniform in size by making a wooden template I could use to mark the pages.

My Mom took my paper bead necklaces to work and sold them to her coworkers, who were happy to have brightly colored looping necklaces that only cost them $1.50. (I think I might have been underpricing my work.) I still have one of those original necklaces, now more than 40 (gasp!) years old. I found it in my grandmother's jewelry collection, and it made me smile to think about making all those beads. Back then, my little bead venture was aided by everyone in my family: my Grandfather's template for cutting the beads, my Grandmother helping me to cut the paper into strips, my Mom doing the marketing.

A couple of years ago I made paper beads using scrapbook paper. I did all the cutting and rolling, and I sold a few of them in my Etsy shop. With every paper bead I made, I thought of my family and how they nurtured my creativity by helping me with those first beads.

Adolescence: While I created those paper beads back in junior high school, it wasn't until I was in my 40s that I rediscovered beads and began to explore the possibilities, entering the adolescent stage of my beading.

I admit that I would often wander down a jewelry aisle at the local craft stores, but I rarely did anything but look. One day, though, I picked up a package of seed beads in all different colors (I'm like a magpie, apparently, attracted to bright shiny things -- at least that's how one of my friends describes me). I had no idea what I was going to do with all those beads, but I knew I could do something!

I knew how to crochet, having been taught the basics by my Grandmother, and I was so excited when I found books on bead crochet! Who knew I could combine something I already knew how to do with my newfound package of beady goodness? I've always been visual, so learning new techniques from books is a "natural" for me. Some of my first beady books were about bead crochet by some masters in the technique, Bethany Barry, Ann Benson, and Judith Bertoglio-Giffin. Being a self-confessed bibliophile, I probably spent more money on books than I did on beads during those bead-adolescent years.

My first attempts at bead crochet were a little frustrating. Trying to control those little beads and get them all going in the right direction, making sure to put the tip of the crochet hook into the right place in the rope... through some trial and error, I finally became comfortable with the technique, though, and now it's one of my favorite things to take with me on road trips. I can string the beads ahead of time and crochet away while sitting in the passenger seat, never worrying about sprinkling beads all over the vehicle.

Young Adulthood: Having "mastered" bead crochet, or at least having done so many bead crochet lariats, necklaces, and bracelets that I was tired of doing them, I temporarily put aside my beads and spent a year or two doing one of my other favorite pastimes, drawing. I still had beads, but I just didn't feel like picking up that crochet hook again, and I really didn't know any other techniques at that point. I was also a little bored with the bead selection at the local craft stores.

And then I went to a Bead and Button Show in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Wow. All those beads. Beads of every size, shape, and color imaginable. Beads made of glass, wire, wood, ceramic, porcelain, metal, polymer clay. And once again I was drawn in by all those "bright, shiny things" and walked away with POUNDS of beads. And not a real good idea of what to do with them. I just knew I could do something fun with them. I just had to find more books...

And find them I did. Books and magazines galore, all about beading and beading techniques. The first technique I learned was peyote, and while I've learned other techniques since then, peyote continues to be a favorite. The first beads I bought were Czech glass. They came in so many different colors and finishes, and I walked away from that show with thousands (millions?) of them.

My first peyote cuffs were created with no patterns. At least no patterns that were mapped out ahead of time or recorded in any way. I just made them up as I beaded, sometimes tearing out sections I didn't like and redoing them. It was great fun to hold the tubes of beads next to each other to see what I could combine for my next creation. I still have some of those original peyote bracelets and cuffs. They don't meet my standards any more for beadweaving, but I don't have the heart to take them apart and reuse the beads for something else. They're a part of my beady growth, so I think I'll just hang onto them for awhile.

Adulthood: I think this might be my current stage of growth. And I have continued to grow. I've added more books and magazines to my collection (more than 100 books and countless magazines, including Bead and Button, Step-by-Step Beads, Beadwork, Bead Style, Bead Trends, Art Jewelry...). I learned more techniques and stitches from the instructional pages in the backs of those magazines (tubular peyote, tubular herringbone / ndebele, right angle weave, spirals, beading around cabochons), and I'm constantly inspired by the works of art I see depicted in the beading books.

Two of my favorite books are 500 Beaded Objects, a Lark book with pictures of some of the most glorious bead creations you've ever seen; and Mastering Beadwork, a great technique reference book by Carol Huber Cypher. I refer to those two books again and again for both instruction and inspiration.

As I entered beady adulthood, I began creating more and more pieces and selling them in my Etsy shop, time2cre8. I had initially opened an Etsy shop to sell my artwork, but now it's devoted to my beadweaving and jewelry making. One of my first "Etsy idols," someone who demonstrated the possibilities that could be achieved with beadweaving, is Carol Dean Sharpe. She was, and continues to be, one of the most talented beadweavers I know; and now she's a dear friend (and cosmic sister).

With peyote still one of my favorite techniques, I purchased a graphing software so I could design my own patterns; and just this year I made it a personal goal to create a new peyote design every week. So far I'm on track, with 17 designs completed (and that means that I finished the designs and beaded the cuff, and in some cases even published the patterns for other beadweavers to purchase!).

I also began incorporating art beads and cabochons into my work, and I've now amassed a collection of polymer clay, lampwork, ceramic, and porcelain goodies by such artists as Lisa Peters, Dee Wilder, Marianne Kasparian, Moon Stumpp, and Kristie Roeder (to name but a few). Not only have I begun to collect their beautiful work, but I'm privileged now to be able to call all of these talented bead artisans my friends.

I visit their shops regularly, and sometimes I go through my collection of their works and choose a piece to use for one of my new creations. The piece shown at the left is a gorgeous cabochon made by Lisa Peters, and it was my first attempt at using right angle weave (aka RAW) to create a beaded bezel.

I have to say that I'm quite happy with my progress and most of all with the friends I've met along the way.

Middle Age: While I might be there chronologically, I'm not sure if I've reached this stage in my beadweaving. Maybe. I have learned more and more techniques, but when I look at the work by some of my friends I know I'm not on the same level as they are.

I'm continuing to learn new techniques and to refine my skills. And I continue to buy beads of all kinds, even though I could probably start beading now and bead continuously for years with no danger of running out. I thought about taking a picture of all the containers of beads I have, but the thought of gathering them into a single location (some are still packed, since we recently moved; and others are stacked on shelves in a cabinet) made me cringe.

Some of my pieces are a little more "mature" than others, and I'm always trying to expand my knowledge (more books) and range.

As I try to grow toward beady middle age, I'm incorporating more design elements into my pieces, working toward creating pieces that are unique and artsy and unexpected. The piece to the right, which features a focal by Kristie Roeder, incorporates some driftwood I collected on the shores of Lake Michigan.

Maturity: What will come with this next stage? Will I ever reach the level of some of my favorite bead artisans: Marcia DeCoster, Diane Fitzgerald, Rachel Nelson-Smith, Carol Huber Cypher, Carol Wilcox Wells?

I'm not sure.

But I'm always growing, and I still LOVE playing with beads. I'm thankful for the nurturing I received from my incredible family, for the friends I've made along the way, and for the journey itself.

And with that, I think it's time for me to get out the beads and play for awhile.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Black and White and Red All Over

Week #17 of 2010, and design #17 for me in my quest to create a new peyote cuff design every week this year. I thought it would be a challenge to come up with that many new designs, but it's really been fun.

The challenge has made me work on designs more throughout the week, sometimes with two or three of them going at one time.
I have all kinds of sketches and ideas for patterns, but they always require tweaking and lots of messing around with them to get them to be what I want. And then I have to bead them all, because no matter how good the design might look on the computer screen or printed, it's just not the same until I see it with real beads.

I'd been working on a dahlia / chrysanthemum / carnation type design for awhile, but I just wasn't happy with the way it was working out. And then came the color choices for the Bead Art Originals mosaic... black, white, and red. Truth be told, those are my favorite colors; and my friend and fellow BAO member Carol Dean Sharpe (aka SandFibers) chimed in with the color selection based on knowing they're my favorites.

So back to work I went on the design, fiddling, tweaking, rearranging. And finally it was what I wanted! So here's the first version of the Dahlias design. (I'm working on getting the pattern ready to publish, too, so other beadweavers will be able to create their own versions of it.)

I also had a little time to play around with some of the other beads and goodies from my stash. This piece is very different for me -- it's a charm bracelet of sorts, with two lengths of chain and a length of ndebele rope that I created using matte copper and bright copper delicas. I thought it would be fun to create an all-copper piece, so I went on a hunt for copper goodies to add. There's just one charm on each of the strands: an open heart charm, a skeleton key charm, and a crackled glass bead that's a beautiful coppery color. My first charm bracelet, called Charmed by Copper. :-)

Time to go play with more beads.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Fabulous Friday Finds for April 23

It's been a busy week here. We've spent several hours traipsing around on our property looking for the survey stakes that were placed there years ago. With the help of a neighbor and a weed whacker, we finally managed to find them. It seems a small thing, but we're finally able to begin the process of building our house! Hooray!!!

I still managed to spend some time tracking down some more Fabulous Friday Finds, though. Once again, these are from all over the place, so have fun checking them out for yourself. I hope you enjoy them.

The first Fabulous Friday Find for this week is one of the coolest things I've seen, a circular walking bookshelf! I'm a bit of a bibliophile, so I tend to like all things books.

And I really really like this.

In fact, I'd love to have one of these and just be able to walk around a giant room on it. It'd be good exercise, right? Of course, I'd need a bunch of them to house the 3000+ books I have...

My husband's a carpenter. Maybe I can talk him into building me one. Ha. He's going to be very busy with that house, though, so this would have to be a way-in-the-future project.

I wasn't able to find where this one could be purchased, or even if it's for sale. If anyone finds it and can share a link, please do!

If you've seen any other of my Fabulous Friday Finds posts, you know that I love silly stuff. Whimsical stuff. Especially stuff with funny feet and legs. I'm not sure why. But I do.

So when I came across the ceramic art of Mary Judy, I fell in love.

And how could you NOT fall in love with this serving dish!?! Polka dots. Wiggly skinny legs. With STRIPES?!?!

I need one of these.

Or several.

Visit her Etsy or her Artfire shop to see more. There's even a clock with silly legs. How cool is that?!

I spend a lot of time on Facebook, and one of my favorite places to visit is the Daily Art Muse. There are always interesting pieces posted on there, things I might not otherwise see or find on my own.

That was the case with my third Fabulous Friday Find: seeds.

These are the creations of a sculptural fiber artist named Jodi Colella, and they're wonderful! The seeds are my favorites, although there are lots of other beautiful pieces on her website.

Continuing in the whimsical vein, there's an artist on Etsy whose work I've admired for some time: Jessica Doyle.

There's something about the linework here... wiggy and free, but at the same time with so much detail that it brings these pieces to life.

One of my favorite pieces is this Whimsical Windmill.

It looks like a structure and a flower all at the same time.

I've done lots of drawing, but I never managed to do anything this "free". I also love her use of watercolors, something else I never quite mastered.

If you'd like to see more of her work and her process, visit her blog. You can get a glimpse of some of her works in progress for an upcoming show. And even though the works in progress are small (ACEO sized, which is 2.5" x 3.5"), it's a LOT of work!

Too bad this windmill isn't real... I'd like to have one of these in my yard. :-)

You'd think that with as many beads as I have (containers and containers full), I wouldn't need more. Well, I don't NEED more. But I really like the look of these recycled glass beads. The etched finish, that brilliant shade of cobalt blue. I might just have to order these...

So my last Fabulous Friday Find for this week is the source for these luscious bits of glass: Rings & Things

Rings & Things has all sorts of beady goodness on their site: beads, findings, Swarovski crystals, and even books to show you how to put it all together. They do have a minimum order requirement of $25, but I think their prices are good. Just don't order the last of these blue beads! I think I need them. :-)

Okay, that's it for this week's finds! I hope you enjoy them.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Bead Fabric

Bead fabric is one of the terms I've heard used to describe beadweaving, and it fits. Sewing hundreds or thousands of beads together with a needle and thread (or on a loom) yields something that can resemble fabric in the way it looks and feels.

Even though I don't sew any more, I still have a pretty sizable stash of fabric. Some of it is 20-30 years old, but I just can't bear to part with it. It was while I was going through one of the boxes that I came across a gorgeous piece of turquoise fabric with a wonderful drape. I pulled it out of its box and put it down in a little "puddle" and was immediately inspired to create a bracelet pattern from it.

Here's one of the photos I took of the fabric:

And here's the bracelet it inspired: Seafoam Fabric

The color is different, but I chose something in the same color family - teal and seafoam.

The result is very abstract, but I'm quite pleased with it. The beads I used for this version all have different finishes: transparent silver-lined, opaque, silver-lined frost, and transparent.

I think there will be more colors using this design... any suggestions?

Monday, April 19, 2010

Something Old, Something New

I've been wanting to create an Oglala bracelet suitable for a bride for awhile now, and I've finally done it! Isn't this beautiful? Frilly and feminine, it's filled with ruffles from one end to the other. Faux ivory pearls in a variety of sizes are the focals that run through the center, and I used size 15 crystal beads with an AB finish for the picot edging. This piece is called To Have and To Hold.

I've also been working on some simpler pieces: still beadwoven, but modern and minimalistic. When I "discovered" these Swarovski squares, I knew I had to have some. For this little necklace, I used a 14mm crystal clear square with a peyote square (folded over) used as the bail. It's suspended from a 16" sterling silver chain. Just a little bit of bling, this piece is called Clearly Elegant. :-)

Now I'm busy at work on a necklace using some of Lisa Peters' beautiful raku pieces... I haven't quite figured out the entire design, but I'm having fun experimenting with some different ideas.

Before I close, I just want to make sure you've checked out this week's Bead Art Originals items of the week... Visit the BAO blog for details!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Fabulous Friday Finds for April 16

Did you finish? Your taxes, I mean. All done? Mailed by midnight last night? Hooray! Now you can sit back and relax and look through this week's Fabulous Friday Finds. :-)

Since you've finished your taxes and (probably) feel like dancing, Fabulous Friday Find #1 is one of Keri Colestock's Wall Dancers. I love these figures!!!

One of my friends gave me one as a gift, and I could see having a whole wall full of them. You just couldn't be sad in a room filled with these wonders.

Keri's been making her polymer clay dolls since 2003, and she's made thousands of them. I remember seeing them on eBay a few years ago. You can find them in her Etsy shop or on her website. Or just look through her flickr photostream. Read about them on her blog.

I am blown away by how many of them there are and how each doll has her own personality. Fairies, holiday dolls, mermaids... there's just no end to Keri's creativity.

Fabulous Friday Find #2 is a site filled with all sorts of jewelry components and findings -- Ornamentea.

Not your everyday ordinary findings, but some extraordinary pieces that will add personality to your jewelry creations.

I've been on a search for some new closures and findings for some of my pieces, and when I was searching for bead caps I happened upon these ceramic bead caps that are available on the site.

Come to find out, there's a whole array of Elaine Ray ceramic components available, everything from bead caps to beads to toggles.

I'm thinking of ordering some of these caps to finish off a few UFOs (you have UFOs, right? UnFinished Objects?). I have several bead crochet ropes that need a finishing touch, and I think these caps might be just the thing.

Of course, I probably won't stop with just ceramic bead caps... not from a site that offers free shipping for orders over $50.

My next Fabulous Friday Find is a giveaway by a fellow member of the Full Time Etsy Crafters team, Jean-Marie.

She's the curator of Daisycakes Soap, and she's doing a giveaway on her blog for a four-month subscription. That's $25 worth of olive oil soap, the perfect thing to pamper your skin... or the skin of whomever you choose to be the recipient of such a great gift.

Check out Jean-Marie's blog for details on the giveaway.

I'd wish you luck in the giveaway, but I think I want to win this one for myself...


This next find is just for fun. A friend of mine sent me the link to this ad for HEMA, a Dutch department store. The first HEMA store opened on November 4, 1926, in Amsterdam. Now there are 150 stores all over the Netherlands.

Take a look at HEMA's product page... just wait until it loads and watch what happens. DON'T click any of the items in the pictures. Just wait.

This company has a great sense of humor and a computer programmer with a lot of time on his hands.

What a hoot.

I've found more dolls this week... I'm not even looking for dolls, but sometimes I see them as I'm poking around on the internet, and that's what happened here.

These are the dolls made by a Russian artist named Anna Zueva. Visit her Facebook fan page to see more of her wonderful art. (Click the "Extended Info" link to read her story.)

The detail on these is incredible, and I love their little faces. My favorite thing about the one I posted here is that tiny little bird perched up there on her head. This one is called City Trip.

What's funny about my finding all these dolls for my Fabulous Friday Finds posts is that I really didn't play with dolls when I was little. Maybe that's why I'm so attracted to them now. :-)

From dolls to weirdly wonderful, this next Fabulous Friday Find is the work of artist Marie E.v.B. Gibbons, a wildly creative clay sculptress located in North West Denver.

Visit her personal site,, where her past works are shown. Or visit her Studio site, where you can see more of her work as well as sign up for classes.

I'd love to live closer to Denver so I could sign up! Or at least so I could see some of her work in person.

That's it for this week's Fabulous Friday Finds. Time for me to put away the piles of paper that have surrounded me for the past few days while I worked on taxes.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


Well, I had a blog post earlier in the week about income taxes, and now I have a brand new peyote cuff design that was also inspired by them. This inspiration was based on just how much ink (albeit printer ink) goes into filling out all those forms. This year was particularly paperwork-laden for us since we moved last year and have to submit forms to both Illinois and North Carolina.

It was while I was thinking about all that ink that I came up with the idea for Inkblots. And although I know there will be another version of this design soon, the initial idea was for black and white - my favorite color combination and something I knew would work for this design.

Now that the taxes are finished, I can get to work on publishing some more patterns in my Etsy shop.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Got Income Taxes on Your Mind?

If you're in the U.S., and you haven't yet filed your income taxes, I'm pretty sure you're up to your ears in paperwork and digging through drawers and folders to find all the receipts and such you need. This year, for some reason, I waited till the last minute. Our new accountant is working on our taxes right now. At least I'm not having to do it myself!

Anyway, while I had taxes on the mind, I thought I'd go in search of some goodies that relate to taxes... you know, just to get you in the mood to fill out all those forms. :-)

Of course, Uncle Sam needs your support if he's to keep our government afloat. I don't think I'd mind paying Uncle Sam so much if he looked like this little guy. (This adorable hat is the creation of sweetpeatoadtots.)

Sadly, though, the image we all have in our heads of Uncle Sam is of this crotchety old man. And who wants to give HIM money?! (Photomosaic art print is by artbarkers.)

And what does Uncle Sam do with all that money he collects from us, anyway? It's no big secret that a lot of it goes to those big bankers... as if they needed more! (The Banker sculpture is by zalt57.)

But of course the bankers have to have their big fancy Cadillacs... (Print available from paigenance.)

and their planes... (Stained glass airplane kaleidoscope by sendmenewz.)

and don't forget the luxury yachts (Sea Breeze yacht set by Times3Toys.)

So while those Washington and Wall Street fat cats are enjoying all our money, we're all still hanging on and trying to get by on what we have left over after necessities and taxes, (Fat Cat Leo Brooch by studio12.)

working like dogs. (Paco the Pandora lampwork dog by maybeads.)


But perhaps there's a tiny glimmer of light at the end of your tunnel. (Photo print by chicalookate.)

Perhaps you've found all your receipts, tabulated all your income and deductions using one of those fancy newfangled adding machines, and have finally finished with your 2009 tax returns... (Lightning Adding Machine by rediscoveries.)

and, wonder of all wonders, you're getting a REFUND!!!

Well, lucky lucky you! You ought to just go out and buy yourself a treat. Something fun. Something you can wear every day of 2010, to remind you of just how happy you are that you got money BACK from Uncle Sam.

Something like this Show Me the Money peyote cuff by my friend and fellow beadweaver, Carol Dean Sharpe (aka SandFibers).

Now that you've finished reading this silly blog post and clicking all the pictures and visiting all the shops, GET BACK TO THOSE TAXES! Uncle Sam needs you.


Friday, April 09, 2010

Fabulous Friday Finds for April 9

Welcome to this week's edition of my Fabulous Friday Finds! I have another varied batch of finds for you, so I hope you'll enjoy them. :-)

Fabulous Friday Find #1 is some of the most amazing art I've seen, by an artist named Charles Clary. He takes paper cutting to a whole new level with his Percusive Art.

His recent blog posts have been showcasing pieces for his solo show, Double Diddle Escapades.

Be sure to check out his older blog posts to see more of his work. This Terr-a-Diddle Formation is incredible!

Just imagine the hours of planning, cutting, and assembling that goes into each of these pieces. Many layers, perfectly planned, letting you peek down through to the bottom.


Fabulous Friday Find #2 is a contest. A beading contest, to be exact, and it's all about color.

The contest details are on Zoya Gutina's website, My Lovely Beads. You have from now until June 15 to enter, so there's still plenty of time for you to create a piece for the Fashion Colorworks 2010 Beading Contest.

What can you win? There are prizes from, Softflex Company, and Beads Direct UK

What are you waiting for?! Get out those beads and get to work!

It should be no surprise that some of my Fabulous Friday Finds come from Etsy. I spend a lot of time on there, both tending to my shops (time2cre8, where I have all my beadwoven creations; and time2split, where I have art supplies, vintage items, and assorted other goodies) and looking at all the wonderful things my fellow Etsians create.

This week I added a few new favorites to my extensive list.

Fabulous Friday Find #3 is this piece by an artist whose work I've admired for awhile, Liz Hall. Liz' Etsy shop is called LizardsJewelry. I'm almost envious that she can take her name and turn it into her shop name. :-)

Liz uses precious metals, polymer clay, stones, plastics, glass, and (according to her) whatever else catches her eye to create her pieces.

This piece, called See How My Garden Grows, is probably my favorite. I love those little squiggles of black and white, the detail of the teeth along the edge, and best of all those three little circles at the bottom. Or is it the top? This piece can be worn as a necklace or as a pin, so you can choose which way is up.

Dr. Seuss would love this, I think.

I'm not sure if Dr. Seuss would like this next Fabulous Friday Find, but I think he might. I know I do.

Check out this cool Robotic Teapot by Richard Symons.

Who even knew robots drank tea? You'd think it would short out their circuits or something.


Fabulous Friday Find #5 is a blog of faces. Well, faces and other stuff. Cool stuff. Weird stuff. Fun stuff. The blog is called Hidden Missives, and it's filled with faces that are the creation of Jay King.

I first happened across his work on his flickr page. I'm fascinated by what he does with all these faces (made from polymer clay). And fascinated by the little snippets of stories he includes with them.

I'm not sure if this is my favorite of his faces, but I had to choose Edgar Poe to show here because he's one of my favorite authors.

According to his flickr profile, Jay does these faces for fun. His "real" job is making and repairing stained glass windows. I saw some pictures of those too. They're amazing.

Poor Edgar, though. He looks a little... er... squished.

The last Fabulous Friday Find I have for this week is for my beady friends. Specifically my beady friends who like teeny tiny beads.

You think 15s are small? How about 16s? 18s? Smaller?

How about 22s?

Now that's tiny! And Empyrean Beads has them.

Lots and lots of teeny tiny beads. I'm intrigued by the size 22 beads. I have no idea what I'd do with them, but can you imagine working with something that small???

There's lots of other cool beady stuff, too: Czech glass buttons, vintage beads, silk thread, needles (my favorite, John James).

And now I think it's time for me to do some beading myself. Happy Friday!

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

The Ladybugs Have Arrived

It's spring, and the ladybugs are out. And when they come out, it seems like they're everywhere. How do they get all those places? I remember last year seeing them all over the place on the shore of Lake Michigan, and I was always finding them on windowsills. They're good little bugs, though, since they eat aphids. Gardeners really like them to keep pests away; and ladybugs are thought to bring good luck.

It was a comment made by our former neighbor about how many ladybugs he'd been seeing that prompted me to create this week's new peyote design. Twin ladybugs, facing each other on a background of pale minty green.

So here are the twins. I'm not sure what their names are - Liam and Lila? Those sound like good names for ladybugs, don't they? :-)

This has me wondering if I can come up with more buggy designs...

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Bead Art Originals Beauties

I'm awed every week when I see the compilation of Bead Art Originals items of the week. This week is no exception, with eleven (11) members participating. With such a variety of goodies to choose from, how can you resist?

Visit the BAO blog to see the details of the special deals offered by Anna, Cathy, Triz, Smadar, Mak, Dee, Sarah, Lisa, me, and Carol Dean -- a talented bunch of bead artists and people I'm proud to call my friends! :-)

Friday, April 02, 2010

Fabulous Friday Finds for April 2

As I've been doing these Fabulous Friday Finds posts, I've noticed that I'm finding things earlier and earlier in the week that I want to include. In fact, I've begun "cheating" a little... creating this blog post as soon as I find something I know I want to include and scheduling it to post on Friday. Thank goodness for scheduling!

The first Fabulous Friday Find for this week was actually supposed to be in last week's finds, but I somehow forgot to include it. It's a site called Voila, and it's filled to the brim with polymer clay goodness!

I don't know how I could forget, because this site is awe inspiring. It showcases some of the most wonderful polymer clay creations you can imagine.

There's also a section on the site for Tutorials (some free and some you can purchase). Just in case you have a stash of polymer clay and have been wondering what you can do with it. (Doesn't everyone have one of those stashes? Or is it just me?)

Fabulous Friday Find #2 is all about Tiny Plastic People. Specifically, the tiny plastic people who live in worlds created by Vincent Bousserez.

One of my Etsy friends was talking about these little people and just how cool they are. They're teeny tiny little people, adults and children, in all sorts of poses and outfits. And they're a hoot!

My friend shared a link that ultimately took me to the flickr page where Vincent Bousserez has created his Plastic Life world. He's placed these tiny plastic people in all sorts of settings and photographed them. I thought I'd share this one since Easter's coming up, but you'll find lots more on flickr.

And in case you're looking for bunches of tiny plastic people for yourself, you can find them on eBay (well, of course). Look for o scale people. I gotta get me some of these. :-)

This next Fabulous Friday Find was sent to me by one of my Facebook friends, who told me she was wearing her "distracted by beads" t-shirt.

I definitely need one of these.

In fact, with as much time as I spend playing with beads, I should probably have one for every day of the week.

This shirt, and a whole bunch of other items with the phrase "I'm Not Easily Distracted. I... Hey, look. BEADS!" is available in the cafepress shop called Spare Time Design.

My kind of shirt.


Fabulous Friday Find #4 is all about spring cleaning. Actually it's all about cleaning anything and everything. One of my Full Time Etsy Crafters teamies sent a link to this site: How to Clean Anything.

There's a lot of information on the site, so it's one of those sites you might want to bookmark for future reference.

There are even hints and timesavers. That's what I need. Now if I could just figure out where all that saved time goes...

Do you like oddball free stuff?

This next Fabulous Friday Find was posted on Make. It's an offer for a free promotional plastic resin sampler puzzle. And it's kind of cool.

Of course, it's nothing you need. But when does that ever stop you?

It looks like fun. Like a 3D version of Tetris.

Last, but by no means least, is Fabulous Friday Find #6. It's an awesome Etsy shop by another of my Full Time Etsy Crafters teammates, nicholasandfelice. Well, okay. It's TWO of my teammates, since Nicholas and Felice run the shop together.

See, I had planned to include this gorgeous pair of earrings from their shop in one of my Fabulous Friday Finds posts. I saw them and immediately fell in love with them (black and white are my favorite colors, and I really LOVE the etched finish on these). I actually planned to purchase them, but first I had to run an errand. My gnat-like attention span took over, however, and by the time I went back to get them they were GONE! SOLD! And not to me!! *sob*

Shortly after that happened, our team had a "team chat," and I told Felice what had happened. She told me she had another pair that were just slightly different than these (the shape of the glass pieces), but she hadn't photographed them. So while we were still chatting away in the team forum, she took a picture, listed them just for me, and I bought them. And they arrived yesterday. AND I LOVE THEM!!! She even sent me a special treat, and it's equally wonderful. I am a happy camper.

And on that note, my Fabulous Friday Finds post for this week is done. I hope you enjoy my finds.