Monday, July 28, 2008

back in the groove, almost

Home since Friday evening, I'm working to get my groove back. Cleaning up, laundry, grocery shopping, errands, post office, picking up pets from their caregivers, working at my husband's shop, organizing, cooking. whew! Isn't it something how you go away and clean like crazy to have a nice tidy place to come home to and five minutes after you return, the place looks like a cyclone hit it. Oh, well, it wouldn't be home without chaos! It sure is great having our little furry critters home with us. I missed the little buggers!

Oh, I had another job interview in between trips! Cross my fingers... This is a job I think I would really enjoy.

Putting beads on Etsy tonight. These two (front and back of the moon and sun bead) are listed and I have a BIG BAG more to put on soon as they are formatted and my eyes are uncrossed. The pictures don't even really do them proper justice because the sun was only peeking around the clouds when I took the shots. When the sun is full out, the 22 gold foil fairly shimmers up through the layers on the beads. Beautiful!
I'm working on another series using real silver foil. I have my colors conditioned and ready to set overnight so I can get started on them tomorrow. Soon as I start to make beads, focus sets in and everything else fades away.

It really is therapeutic.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

lina khan lampwork beads

I got these lovely pieces of lampwork glass beads from the very talented Lina Khan, a resident of the Canary Islands, who is featured today on Art Bead Scene Blog. She was a delight to interview and of course her work speaks for itself. Aren't they just beautiful?

We are home from our Pittsburgh trip. It was quite something, with soaring, searing heat and thin crowds in the vendor's pavilion. My husband made a few sales and more importantly for him, made some excellent professional contacts for his automobile art. I spent all my time perched in my booth, waiting for a bored wife of an auto enthusiast to come on over and discover a girl's booth of goodies. Saturday was a good day, Sunday was another story. Our tent was weighted down by four concrete filled PVC pipes, which hang suspended by ropes to the tops of the legs of the tent. My husband decided to take a walk and look around at the car show. I sat contentedly in the heat crocheting a large purse when suddenly a micro-burst of blasting wind swept the tent up in the air (concrete posts be damned), over my head, sailing through the golf course behind me, and landing in a heap on the putting green thirty feet away, upside down! OMG, carnage was everywhere! My jewelry display flipped all over the place, wooden display busts and earring trees tipped all over the ground, scattered jewelry everywhere, and about ten feet of linen yarn unraveled and flew in a twisted line towards the tent. I still sat in my chair, crochet hook poised in mid air, stunned. I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. So much for concrete weights...
I called Michael on the cell and he literally sprinted back to the booth.

Thankfully some kind hearted vendors near me came running over, retrieved my tent, set it back up and re-anchored it. Michael arrived panting from exertion in the intense heat. Incredibly nothing broke or was damaged, other than the large chunks of putting green chewed up by the tent crash. The wind continued to plague us and we took turns for the next 25 minutes holding onto a bungee cord hooked to the top skeleton of the tent so the sucker wouldn't take sail again. Then came an announcement of impending severe thunderstorms in our area, with a forecast of it settling over our heads in 40 minutes. That really did it. You've never seen two people work so fast to pack a large truck full of delicate paintings, display panels, tent, jewelry tossed into bins, tables and chairs folded up and packed away and so on. Bear in mind it was 100 degrees.... We packed it all in, climbed in the truck, drove out of the vendor's area and just then a veritable monsoon hit Schenley Park.

Ah, well, these things happen, unfortunately to ME! ha!
After that episode, we were both ready for an extra large sapphire gin martini. But we settled for a extra large super duper venti iced mocha with extra whipped cream at Starbucks. Mmmmmm... good. Afterwards we made a cheer me up stop at a terrific art supply store called A & C Artist & Craftsman Supply on Hobart Street in Pittsburgh. What a great store! They had everything. Michael stocked up on small canvases and I got a supply of cool handmade papers and also thicker Indian made papers for some art journals I want to stitch together with coptic binding.

Now we are home for only a moment before leaving in just a few hours to go pick up our doggie Lucy, who has been at doggie summer camp with my parents. We'll be back Friday and then I can get back into creating and posting.

I'm not quite to the point of laughing over our experiences. Post-traumatic art show stress is a more accurate description. I'm glad to be home!!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


hello friends! i am out of town and out of blogging commission for the next seven days, visiting family and doing an art show in Pittsburgh. We've left fat boy Mango at the vet (my poor kitty... although they do an excellent job caring for the "kids"), and my parents are watching Lucy, so all fur balls will be in safe and capable hands.

looking forward to starting some radical new jewelry designs when i get back. i've been filling my sketch book...

be back soon...

Sunday, July 13, 2008

what do i charge?

Working steadily on the usual multitude of tasks, interrupted by a foray into house hunting, whereupon my husband found a three bedroom house east of Richmond off of beautiful route 5 for a good deal, so we spent all of yesterday over there and hours the evening before chatting with the owner, taking pictures and talking it over. Anyway, my necklace production got stalled a bit.

Back on track at last, I found a moment to take a pic of one of the types of necklaces I will be offering up for sale in Pittsburgh next weekend. It is a new style of design for me, very light weight and summery. When I started them, I knew I wanted sparkle and movement. Now that I'm cranking them out with the polymer beads made last week, what to charge for them? All stones are semi-precious, most of them very good quality. My question for any reader is this: what to charge for this necklace? It is about 20" plus bead and fringe. Each one is six or eight stranded knotted C-lon beaded cord dotted with beads, sterling silver cones and clasp. All told, each piece from polymer bead to finished product took about 3 or a little more hours to complete. Anyone with price suggestions please leave a comment or email me.

Hope everyone is having a great weekend! I'm off to vacuum out the dog hairs and crud from the car.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

not nearly enough time in the day

Where does all the time go? My list is checking off but it's 9:30 and just sitting down with dinner. I still have 25 sterling hook and eye clasps to make tonight to still be on time.
I have two pending interviews for Art Bead Scene Blog. For a little preview, I have sent a list of questions to lampwork bead artist Lina Khan. Check her out at
Her work reminds me a bit of Stephanie Sersich with a splash of the Canary Islands where she lives tossed in the mix. Most enchanting beads...
Lina's interview should be on art bead scene sometime next week, I hope.
The best part of the day came when I got an email from Christen Olivarez, requesting the final review of my Fall Belle Armoire Jewelry techniques article. It is to be called A Tribute to Art and it's seven pages. Very exciting! They do such a beautiful job.
And now it is back to work. Dinner is down the hatch.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

making lists

There are so many things to be done between now and when we leave next Tuesday to go to the Grand Prix in Pittsburgh it makes my head spin. We sat down earlier tonight and first made a list of everything we have to do, then made a day by day list of those divided tasks, one for me, one for Michael. Between running around getting ordinary mundane things done, I'm also steadily chipping away at the bead making list.

Sometime in the next six days all of these and a bunch more will be made into graceful necklaces for my little booth at the art show. I have all my beads, thread, wire, and paraphenalia laid out to get started tomorrow. Instead of using the few purchased clasps I have in stock, I've decided to make the little sterling hook and eye clasp I favor most. So there are a pile of those to be made.

Oh, look for a new article from me in Art Bead Scene Blog coming up. I've found a lovely lampwork bead artist to interview, her first, so watch for it. Her beads are simply amazing.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

hot dog, i've got new beads

I hope everyone is hangover-free today. I got lots of beads made yesterday but only a few polished this evening. These are called Sunburst mokume bead series.

Can't have too much mustard. Note our umbrella pole, from which there is no umbrella after the wind caught it, flipped it over our fence and broke it in five or six pieces. We figured we would just buy a new one this year but Costco, where we bought it last year, decided not to carry them this year so we're out of luck for this summer since now we waited too long and winter coats and heaters are already sprouting up in the stores.

A hebrew national hotdog tastes best on a toasted bun on my late mother in law's Fiesta ware plates.

Lucy woofs for a little taste...

We tried to coax Mango outside for a bit but he wasn't inclined to leave his usual belly up position. No modesty there.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

beadin' steady

Here is the start of it all. And a late start on beads it was after first etching a batch of copper and nickel pendants (see new etsy listings).

think thin slices...

please, cat hairs, float the other way...

and a final cut of possible pendants and I am finished for the night. Time to walk the doggie Lucy around the block and then settle in bed with a book. Good night and have a fun and safe 4th! I'll be in the ice cool AC making these up into beads!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

burn the copper

These are all new pieces, other than the long zen stamped connector, from an order that went out today. The Chaffinch above was etched, then dipped in patina, rubbed down, then doused good with a torch for a lovely iridescent pink overtone. It looks like it was dropped in gasoline but I like the effect.

The owl craze has bitten me as well, especially after listening to several great horned owls hoot back and forth to each other in the woods near where my husband was working the other day. I had to call my dad, a wildlife biologist, to convey the sounds to him to make sure I was hearing that particular species. Click on the owl text below for a closer view.

hoo hoo HOOOOO!! Shout it out, this is what the great horned owl sounds like. Go ahead, your neighbors won't mind. Mine haven't said anything so far. It's hot and everyone is a little crazy this time of year.

I'm happy to be a guest editor on Art Bead Scene Blog this month. Look for my first post sometime later this week. While this crazy month is progressing, I'm still trying to live by this.