Friday, May 28, 2010

Fabulous Friday Finds for May 28

Friday again. Another week that went by in a flash. As you can tell from my other posts this week, I was busy working on some bead crochet pieces. I'm not sure it's completely out of my system yet, so you may see more pieces over the next week or so.

I did find a few goodies for today's Fabulous Friday Finds post.

The first Fabulous Friday Find is the creation of a ceramist named Madeleine Hall-Arber.

This adorable jester pot is in Madeleine's Etsy shop, madmud. I have a particular affinity for jesters and mimes. I'm not sure why, but I seem to be drawn to them; and this guy has such a wonderful personality. Can't you just see it in his little face? I think what cracks me up most about this piece is the way he's perched on the edge of the pot.

The jester almost didn't make it here because there's another of Madeleine's creations that really wanted to be shown here... Ready for the plunge is a piece that made me laugh out loud.

The second Fabulous Friday Find is another bit of whimsy. This folk art painting by Regan Tausch is just adorable!

My grandfather was a horse trainer, and I inherited a love of horses from him. I think he would have enjoyed this folk art painting of a dappled gray mare and her foal.

You can find more of Regan's art in her Etsy shop, artbyregant. Lots more horses, all of them adorable. The appaloosa is wonderful. And there are houses, boats, angels, and all sorts of other whimsical paintings to be found.


Fabulous Friday Find #3 is another painting, but of a completely different sort.

Spice is the creation of an artist named Anna Olszowka Khosravi (don't ask me how to pronounce that!), and her work can be found on her website, WoodenPottery.

I chose to show Spice here because I really like the combination of oranges and purples together. Although the pieces are made up of horizontal lines, they're not so regular as to be completely geometric, and that makes them fun.

Make sure to check out her watercolor paintings, too. The one called Butterfly is my favorite.

Since I spend a significant amount of my time playing with beads, it should come as no surprise that I spend a significant amount of time LOOKING at beads.

I had gone on one of my fairly regular searches for lampwork beads and found this Sinister bead by Janel Dudley.

I've had Janel's shop, JanelDudleyBeads, in my favorites on Etsy for a long time, but I think this might be my favorite of her beads. I have no idea what I'd do with it. Maybe just put it on a shelf and look at it. It's like a tiny sculpture, don't you think?

The last Fabulous Friday Find for this week is something a little out of the ordinary.


Specifically, a turkey wing broom, made by Samantha Pritchard. Her Etsy shop is aptly named BROOMCHICK.

Now, I'm no fan of cleaning (yuck), but if you have to clean your house anyway, you should have a fun broom to use.

I have a few handmade brooms I've purchased over the years at the Renaissance Faire in Bristol, Wisconsin. But now that I don't live close to Bristol, I'm happy to see that I can add to my broom collection. We're building a new house, and I know I'm going to need more brooms!

That's it for this week's Fabulous Friday Finds. Once again, I hope you enjoy them. Happy Friday, and have a wonderful holiday weekend! Remember our soldiers!!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

From There to Here

I can hardly believe it, but I finished the bead crochet rope I started yesterday! From there to here in lots and lots and lots of easy steps. :-)

It was simple, really.

Or maybe not.

I guess it all comes down to your point of view.

After numerous conversations with the customer to determine what she wanted, the process began with the sorting of beads. Since the size 8/0 picasso beads I was using were a mix, I had to remove three of the colors from the mix, leaving me with six colors for the rope
: black, royal, teal, dark red, olive, and honey. The length of the rope was determined (45"), and the request was to use all the colors throughout the rope, but to have the dark colors "fade" to light and then back again to dark. That meant coming up with custom blends of the two sets of colors. Lots of counting. And then lots of stringing, as you can see from yesterday's post with the picture of the strung beads.

And so begins the process of crocheting. One initial row of six slip stitch with a bead in each stitch, join the ends, and then...
1 - Insert hook under the thread to the left of the first bead.
2 - Slide down a bead from the strand of strung beads.
3 - Yarn over (or in this case, thread over).
4 - Pull hook through, making another slip stitch with the newly added bead in place.



The last step to be completed is the join, seamlessly attaching the ends of the rope to make a loop.

And now I think it's time to do some peyote stitch!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Ready . Set . Go!

I'm still behind on my peyote cuff designs, but that doesn't mean I haven't been playing with beads!

My beading needle has been temporarily set aside so I could play with another piece of hardware: my crochet hook. Using more of the picasso beads from Beads and Babble, I created this piece with a diamond pattern that looks so much like a snake that people were "eeking" when I posted the picture on Facebook.

You can see the beads I used for this in the background. Although I know a rope without a pattern would have been equally gorgeous, I just couldn't resist this.

There are two sets of diamonds that travel the length of the rope, and it really does look like a snake. I'm not sure what kind though.

The project I'm just starting is a custom bead crochet rope that also uses the picasso finish beads (they're gorgeous!!!), this time the size 8/0 ones. The request was for a 45" long rope that has different color sections that blend into each other. That required that I first sort the beads, so I spent awhile picking up the different colored beads from the mixed hanks I had and dropping them into little paper cups. It's a good thing I have OCD.

And now they're all strung. Three thousand four hundred twenty four beads. 3424. All carefully blended and strung so the rope will go from dark to light and back again.

Time to start crocheting. :-)

I still haven't given up hope on catching up on my peyote cuff designs. There are patterns to be done and bracelets to be beaded, so stay tuned.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Catching Up

I'm going to be playing catch-up this week. I was so busy that I didn't get my new peyote designs for weeks #18 or #19 beaded. I created the designs, though, so I'm working this week on getting them ready to show off.

So what was keeping me so busy? Well. House plans, for one thing. We're getting ready to build a house, and there's a lot to be done to prepare. My husband and I have been working on the plans for so long, but there are always things we want to change (and as much as I hate making changes to the plans, it's much less expensive for us to change drawings than it is to move wood and windows around later). The drawing here was last week's version of the front elevation (it's a one-story house with a walk-out basement). It's different now. We just decided today that we wanted to have a French door at the front, with windows flanking it, instead of the row of windows in this version. It'll be nice to be able to walk out the front of the house onto the deck (which wraps around two sides).

We also had to start getting bids on materials and labor, for the things we're not going to do ourselves. The windows and doors have been chosen, the siding, the woodburning stove, and the stone for the hearth and the posts outside the house. We'll have the foundation and framing done, as well as the plumbing, electrical, drywall, and HVAC; and we'll do the siding, the stonework, cabinets, trim, interior doors, and all the finishing touches. It's a LOT of work, but it's fun. And when we're finished we'll have the house we want.

In addition to working on the house plans, I was working on some custom orders for beadwoven pieces. I finished two ndebele ropes (one of which was a Mother's Day gift and the other wound up in my Etsy shop):

This is Neptune's Twist, created from transparent teal, transparent turquoise, and transparent amethyst colored beads with an accent row of transparent clear beads with an AB finish.

When I finished it, I thought it looked like ocean waves, with the colors and the flowing curves.

It was a Mother's Day present for one of my husband's aunts.

And this one is called (simply) Turquoise, Lemon and Lime Twist. It's made from opaque beads in bright sunny yellow, turquoise, and lime green, with an accent row of a mixture of yellows, blues, and greens. Very summery.

This one is in my Etsy shop. It started out to be a custom order, but I didn't have enough of the same beads to make it as long as was requested. That happens sometimes.

And the most recent custom order is this piece, called Salsa. I was asked to make a bead crochet rope, and the customer sent me pictures of a rope she had seen that she really liked. That rope, which was made by Claire Kahn, used gemstones in beautiful shades of deep coral red, turquoise, and sand.

So off I went on a hunt. Although gemstones are readily available, I wound up finding these gorgeous picasso seed beads in an Etsy shop called Beads and Babble, operated by Shannon Ferguson.

Shannon had several listings for picasso beads, and even before I heard back from the customer about whether she liked these, I had ordered them (as well as a bunch of others).

The beads arrived, and they are just as gorgeous in person as they were in the pictures.

For the rope, I used eight beads around and alternated sections of the Salsa mix with sections of the dark red and the turquoise beads (which I also ordered from Shannon). These beads are TINY, even smaller than some other size 11/0 beads I have, so it took me awhile to finish this piece. It was worth the wait, though. I love the way it turned out; and it will soon be in the customer's hands.

And I've already ordered more beads from Beads and Babble. I mean, come on! How can you resist beads that look this delicious?!?! :-)

** If you visit Shannon, tell her you found her through my blog. She's really really nice, her shipping is free, and her beads are wonderful. I'm sure I'll be shopping there again.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Fabulous Friday Finds for May 21

Welcome to another Fabulous Friday Finds! I'm having great fun putting these together, and I really appreciate all the nice comments that are left on these posts.

My first Fabulous Friday Find for this week comes from Facebook, the creations of Rich and Cat Audette Hope: ClayMonsters

I have to tell you that I hard the hardest time choosing a single picture to post here because I am in love with just about every one of the Clay Monsters I've seen! Be sure to look at all the photos on their Facebook page, and you'll understand what I mean.

According to their Facebook page, you can send them a message if you want to purchase a monster. Or if you're lucky enough to be in their area (Baltimore, MD), you might catch them at a show.

I think if I ever encountered these little guys at a show, I'd have to find someone selling a large trunk so I could haul a bunch of them away with me.

I love them! I might just have to have one. Or four. :-)

The next Fabulous Friday Find is the work of a polymer clay artist named Helen Breil, whose work I came across while browsing for goodies.

She has some really unusual shapes and colors in her clay, and I particularly liked this piece with the polymer set inside a pewter focal. Her website has gorgeous pieces of jewelry featuring her work, and if you're so inspired you can go shopping on her site.

The piece pictured here is called a Focal Frame, and she also has a whole page full of Focal Art Beads. Gorgeous!

And for those of you who play with polymer clay, there are textured stamps and tutorials available. (I still haven't gotten around to playing with my clay stash.)

Speaking of polymer clay, this next Fabulous Friday Find just amazes me. I've posted before about how much I love teeny tiny things. Well, this is teeny tiny.

What? You thought I suddenly took up cooking?!?!


This Beef Stew and Vegetables Preparation Board is just one of the food items available on the World in Miniature by Diane website.

Tiny little bits of food that look good enough to eat. Created at 1/12 scale, that means those carrots are just over 1/2" long.

Not in the mood to make beef stew? You can also find breads, cakes, fruits and vegetables, meats and poultry, and even a section called gourmet gruesome! There are also accessories for kitchen and bedroom. All tiny stuff. Makes me wish I had a dollhouse. :-)

Keeping with the "tiny" vein, I came across Lisa Snellings' little creations the other day and was immediately entranced.

I first spotted some of her Poppets, but when I went to explore more in her Etsy shop, Strangestudios, I found these Harlequin candlesticks.

I'm in love.

From the tilt of their heads to their tall skinny bodies, these whimsical characters just call to me. They want to be in my house, holding up MY candles. And they're in my favorite colors, too -- black and white.

Aren't they wonderful?

You can see some of the Poppets hanging around at their feet. Probably looking up at them like they're their idols or something.

You can see more of Lisa's work (and play) at her website, Poppet Planet. I got a chuckle when I read the tagline in the banner on her blog. This girl has a sense of humor. :-)

I guess since I just posted a picture of those harlequins, it's only natural that clowns would follow. Well, not a whole clown, but an adorable watercolor (mixed media, actually) painting called Directionally Challenged.

The painting is by CindysCardsandArt. I just love how the shoes carry over onto the mat. And that the jeans are really jeans. And that the shoes are on the wrong feet.

She has several paintings in her shop that I really like, including one of the Statue of Liberty from an odd perspective. I think I just like the whimsy she projects in her work.

And I'm not afraid of clowns. Or mimes.

Time to watch a little TV... there was a Dead Like Me marathon showing a couple of days ago, and now they're on our DVR. Yay! :-)

Friday, May 14, 2010

Fabulous Friday Finds for May 14

What a week! It's been a hectic week of working on house plans, shopping for building materials, getting permits, and with a little bit of beading fit into the schedule. Not quite as much beading as I like, and I actually missed my goal to publish a new peyote cuff last week and this week. I have the designs done, but I haven't beaded them yet; so I'm going to try to catch up on my 2010 goal tomorrow. Or Sunday.

I did manage to track down more Fabulous Friday Finds though. So here, without further ado, are this week's goodies.

I'm a self-confessed bibliophile, so I've been in love with this first Fabulous Friday Find for a long time. It combines a love of books with a love of teeny tiny things. Cuz I also love teeny tiny things.

This incredible necklace is the creation of Margaux of

The thing that amazes me about this necklace is that Margaux made each of these little books from a scrap of leather and 30 sheets of paper. And each little book is only 5/8" tall.

There's one necklace with six books (which I've linked here), but you can also purchase a necklace that has just a single book. One teeny tiny book, for all your teeny tiny secrets.

My next Fabulous Friday Find is this beautiful wooden chain I found on Rings & Things.

I wasn't looking for wooden chain. I was looking for beads. But then I found this chain. And I love it. It reminds me of the wooden chains my grandfather (Papaw) used to carve. He'd take a single piece of wood and then carve it into links.

I have no idea what I would do with wooden chain, but I like it.

There are other styles, including some big flat links and even some heart-shaped links, and right now they're all 15% off.

If you've never shopped at Rings & Things, I can recommend them. I haven't purchased from them online, but I've bought several things from them at the Bead and Button Show, and I've always been happy with their prices and quality.

My third Fabulous Friday Find is a ring called Airy Light Clouds, and I gotta tell you that this ring is just as gorgeous in person as it is in the picture.

How do I know that? Well, because I have one.

Airy Light Clouds is the creation of Ande Cruz, a jewelry designer whose works I'm always ogling. I had this ring in my favorites for sooooooooo long, and when she had a one-day sale a few months ago I immediately made it my own.

And now I wear it every day. It's so comfortable and lightweight, and even with all those holes in it it's quite sturdy. A wonderful ring from a wonderful jewelry artist! What could be better?! :-)

Did I mention that I'm a bibliophile? Books books books, everywhere I looks (okay, I had to make it rhyme).

My fourth Fabulous Friday Find is my newest batch of books... all of which showed up on my doorstep today from Amazon. I've only had time to look through them quickly, but I'm very happy with them all and can hardly wait to spend some quality time going through them from cover to cover.

Embellished Beadweaving, the new beady book by Laura McCabe, is the book that started it all. I went to Amazon to order a copy of it, and there were a bunch of other books on my wishlist. I knew this gorgeous book wouldn't want to travel to me alone, so I gave it some company:
- Totally Twisted, by Kerry Bogert
- Beaded Colorways, by Beverly Gilbert
- Seed Bead Fusion, by Rachel-Nelson Smith
- Polymer Clay Color Inspirations, by Lindly Haunani and Maggie Maggio

I can't tell you how much I enjoy all my beady books. All of the ones that showed up today are wonderful, filled with ideas, techniques, and inspiration galore. I've learned all of my beadweaving techniques from my books, and one of these days I'm going to actually get out my stash of polymer clay and make something from it -- and I'll have plenty of books to guide me on my way. :-)

Well, I had a few more things in mind for the Fabulous Friday Finds, but my internet connection is being a bit uncooperative tonight. So I'm going to publish this while I can!

I hope you enjoy my finds! :-)

Friday, May 07, 2010

Fabulous Friday Finds for May 7

Another Friday, and another batch of Fabulous Friday Finds. It's been a busy week this week, trying to prepare for the Whole Bloomin' Thing festival tomorrow (!), but I still managed to find a bunch of goodies to share. Hope you like 'em! :-)

My first Fabulous Friday Find this week is this adorable, or adorably ugly (in the nicest way), ceramic pendant by artist Tanya Besedina.

I came across this piece when I was looking through all the art dolls on Etsy. Her name is Clio, and she's a Goddess Butterfly.

There's just something about the shape of her face, that nose, and those giant lips that make me smile.

Tanya has lots of other whimsical goodies in her Etsy shop, and even more in her flickr photostream. Shadowboxes, little jars that look like fairy homes, and even drawings -- cute!

About once a week, I do a search on Etsy for lampwork beads. I'm amazed by lampwork beads, maybe because I know I'd probably burn my fingers off (I think I'd have a hard time NOT touching the bead while it's being made), or burn the house down.

There are some really gorgeous beads to be found... and this incredible focal bead called Perfect Day, by lampworker Susan Jones, is a perfect example of lampwork gorgeousness.

Just look at all those colors! And I love the etched finish. This bead would look completely different if it weren't etched, probably equally beautiful, but different.

After you've finished drooling over all the beads in Susan's Etsy shop, grab a napkin and visit her website. WOW.

Going from the sublime to the sublimely ugly, my third Fabulous Friday Find is this Angler Fish charm necklace by Marty, a jewelry artist who creates silver and gold sculptural pieces using the lost wax process.

This angler fish is my favorite. All those teeth. That strange little dangly thing meant to lure in unsuspecting critters who will become dinner. Eek.

Not all of her creations are so ugly (once again, ugly in a GOOD way)... visit the Marty Magic website to see more of her creations. There are creations of all types, so plan to spend awhile browsing.

Although Lauren Abrams has two Etsy shops (laurenabrams and labeanabags), I frequently check out her flickr photostream and her blog to see what lovelies she's creating in polymer clay.

Some recent additions are these beautiful bangles, made from polymer clay on a brass base.

I love the jewel tones in these bangles!!

My fifth Fabulous Friday Find is this ceramic piece by another talented ceramic artist, Judy. She's the curator of an Etsy shop called Red Crow Arts, and I've long been a fan of her work.

I have some of her pieces from a couple of years ago, but now it looks as if I'm going to have to go shopping again.

I found this piece, called Birds of a Feather, in Judy's flickr photostream. I have to admit that I'm not quite sure what it is... except that it's adorable! It might be a little sign... but you can find a similar pendant in her Etsy shop, along with lots of other adorable pieces.

Yep. Gonna have to do more shopping. :-)

My last Fabulous Friday Find is a little robot named Lee Mayors.

I found this little guy while I was poking around on flickr, and I just love him! I think it's the eyes...

This little guy is the creation of Maria Caicedo Langer, who lives in Bogata and who proclaims himself a junk sculptor and creator of toys, sculptures, props, and accessories made from trash, ordinary stuff, and recycled elements.

Visit his flickr page to see more of his robots. Each one has its own distinct personality - zombies, critters, and even life-size cyborg suits.

But still.

Ya gotta love the pink eyes though. Right?

Okay, that's it for this week's Fabulous Friday Finds. Now it's time for me to do more preparations for tomorrow's festival! If you're in the Waynesville area, stop by. :-)

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Getting Ready for a Show

I don't do shows very often. And I think I know why. I'm lazy. There's so much involved in preparing to do a show that I usually just avoid them.

I'm doing one this Saturday, though. It wasn't something I really planned, but my newfound friend and ceramic artist Cathey Bolton-Moore talked me into it. She's the curator of a shop called Art on Depot in downtown Waynesville (ok, technically her shop is located in the Frog Level historic district); and since the street right outside her shop is going to be blocked off for The Whole Bloomin' Thing festival this Saturday, she's making it pretty easy for me to participate by loaning me tables, a tent, the use of her cash register, AND her husband (to help set up). How great is that?!?!

Even with all that help, there are still a lot of things for me to do.

I just spent a couple of hours making tags for all the jewelry I'm going to be taking with me. A lot of tags. It's a good thing I have a lot of experience with graphics and printing, or that task alone would have been daunting. You see, since I sell online in my Etsy shop, I don't have to make tags for anything. I do have a spreadsheet with a list of all the pieces I create (well, almost all the pieces -- sometimes I don't get around to entering them, so there are "strays"), so making the tags was pretty easy.

I'd been wanting to incorporate the White Rabbit illustration somehow (I really love those Tenniel illustrations!), so I took this opportunity to make him part of my tags. Why the White Rabbit? And why that particular illustration, even though the Mad Hatter is really my favorite character? Well, because the White Rabbit is holding a watch, and the name of my business is time2cre8. It just makes sense, right?

Anyway, there are the tags. At least the tags for all the pieces that are in my spreadsheet inventory. After I round up all the jewelry and attach the tags, I'll have the strays all sitting in front of me and will be able to add them to the inventory also. I cringe to think how many of those strays there are. More than there should be, that's for sure.

Since I finally managed to incorporate the White Rabbit somehow, and since I was sitting at the computer fiddling with graphics anyway, I decided to redo my Etsy shop banner. My old banner was created by another Etsy seller, and it was never really "me". I'm pretty happy with this one... it has an image of one of my early peyote designs, Little Vine; my shop name and info in my favorite font, Occidental; and the White Rabbit hanging out over there on the right side, letting people know that custom orders are welcome! :-)

Now it's time to get back to preparations for that festival on Saturday. Two days left to have everything ready. I think I can do it. I'm making a list of all the things I need to take with me. You just never know what you're going to need at one of these things.

I just hope there's enough time for me to get everything ready and still manage to get a new peyote cuff design done for this week! I'm bound and determined to keep that New Year's resolution I made.