Friday, November 19, 2010

They're Here!

Wow -- I was taken by surprise this morning.  Holy smokes!  The Best Little Bead Box(es) showed up on my doorstep while I was indulging in my morning coffee.  And my day is full - I've had too much work to do on my tech job to dive into those boxes.  But this evening... oh, this evening is going to be glorious!  Stay tuned for a first-hand account of what's making its way around the country...

In other news, I've listed two new beads in my Etsy shop.  I'm hung up on flowers these days - maybe because my back yard desperately needs a face lift.  :-O

Well, I'm heading back to tech land - YOU go have yourselves a happy and creative day!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Hiatus is Over!

Rumors of my demise have been greatly exaggerated.  I took a much-needed break from the blogosphere, but I'm back - happy and, hopefully healthy!

What a busy summer I had, making stuff for my Etsy shops, selling at shows, teaching classes, working and travelling for my high-tech job, and taking care of my declining mom who has Alzheimer's.  Phew!

I signed up for the Bead Journal Project, and only made it through April.  I signed up for a creative drawing class and didn't get through that either.  I think I'm going to have to stop signing up for things until my life calms down a bit (hmmm... maybe that will be in my NEXT life.).  However, I DID sign up for a project that has me really excited.  See that new logo on the right side of my blog page?  It's the Best Little Bead Box project to benefit the Beads of Courage program.  You can read the inaugural post HERE to find out exactly what this project is.  Then follow along on the Best Little Bead Box Blog  -or-  follow along on Facebook - to see what leaves the box and what's being added.  Then stay tuned to find out how you can win win win!  It's going to be a dream stash, for sure!

Here's a preview of what I'm going to put in the box.

This doesn't include any of my lampwork - that will be a  surprise until I actually make it this weekend.  And I haven't finished raiding my own stash yet.  When it's my turn to fill the box, the Best Little Bead Box Blog will have much better pix of my additions to the treasure chest!

And now I'm heading back to tech land.  It's nice to be back here chatting with you folks!  And a big THANK YOU to all of you who came to see me at the ISGB Bead Bazaar in Rochester, NY as well as those of you who cheered me up at B.A.B.E.!  Soon I'll be adding more fiber to my diet... ah, I mean, my Etsy shop.  Stick with me, people!

Now go have yourselves a happy and creative day!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Getting Ready for Rochester

Wow, I can't believe that I'm leaving for Rochester, NY in 3 days. I also can't believe that time has slipped by so quickly... AGAIN ... You'd think that after all this experience with that time thing, I'd be used to it by now.

The International Society of Glass Beadmakers is having their annual conference, called "The Gathering", in Rochester this year, which is why I'll be on a plane at 6 a.m. Monday morning heading east.  We have a 1-day bead bazaar at the Gathering that's open to the public.  If you're in the Rochester area on July 31, please come by the Rochester Riverside Convention Center on Main St. and stop by my booth to say hi!

Here are a few items I'll have with me for sale.  A few beads in my "Mudcloth" series...

And a brooch that I made on a piece of my handmade felt - with a lovely bird by Heather Powers of Humblebeads.  I'm hoping to have a few more of these finished before I head to the airport.

I've been a member of the ISGB since 2000, and I've been to every Gathering since then except one.  I wasn't going to miss this one - but getting to Rochester from the San Francisco area isn't easy.  Not much choice when it comes to flights, and the cost was horrendous.  Ah well... next year it will be in Louisville, KY - a much easier destination!

So today I have to do my high tech work, tonight I'm teaching a class, but tomorrow I'm dedicating the entire day and evening to making as many items as I can before I pack up on Sunday.

That's the Friday scoop.  If all goes well, I'll have a few more pieces to show you before I take to the skies.  Now I'm off to high-tech land - and you folks go have yourselves a happy and creative day!

Oh... and PLEASE don't forget to vote for Beads of Courage at the Pepsi Refresh site - we need your help to get into the top 10, and we're almost out of time.  Thank you so much!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Sending Out a Plea

Today, I'm asking all of you to please help the Beads Of Courage program.  This is a program that I've been supporting for several years - what it does to help out kids with serious illnesses is just wonderful!  You can read about Beads of Courage HERE.

Beads of Courage is in the running to receive $25,000 of funding from the PepsiCo corporation.  You know, that company that makes Pepsi Cola.  The top 10 "ideas" that have a positive impact will receive $25,000 to help fund their idea.  Currently, Beads of Courage is in 17th place.  Here's where you can help us.

In order to get into the top 10, we need votes - votes every day - lots and lots of votes!  All you have to do to vote is register with your name, email address, and birth date.  Then vote once a day - every day - through July 31.  PLEASE help our kids, THEY need your votes!

Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

An Adorable Giveaway!

Do you like giveaways?  I've been lucky a couple of times with blog giveaways, and I just found out today that bird on wire is having one!  From now through July 25 at 5:00 p.m., leave a comment on that giveaway thread, and you will be entered in a drawing for the cutest little needle-felted barn owl this side of paradise!

These days, I've been really taken with birds.  I have a vessel in my Etsy shop with a bird on it by Humble Beads.  And when I was at the Bead & Button show, I purchased two raku birds by odd designs.  Later today, I'll be making a vessel for one of those raku birds - I've already designed the piece in my head, and made a lampwork bead to go with it.  This one will be somewhat different from my other vessels.  When I saw her birds at the show, a picture popped into my head and now it's time to execute that design - yeah!  I just came back from the eye doctor and the good news is that he didn't dilate my eyes today.  So now I can spend some time in the wet lab and actually see what I'm doing.

Here's the bird from odd designs that will go on my next vessel.

Speaking of raku, I recently finished a vessel on which I used a raku bead from Lisa Peters Art.  Here's my little dottie vessel...

And now I'm off to Starbucks for a quick iced tea before I hit the lab.  Hope YOU folks have a happy and creative day!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

A New Vessel, a Bit of Bead & Button

Wow, I've been so busy in my tech job that the time has just flown away!  I haven't been on the torch since I came back from Milwaukee, but I have had a bit of time to work out in the wet lab.  In fact, I've completed a new vessel.  No "official" pix yet, just a few shots from my camera to give you an idea of what I've done.

I built this vessel to go with that wonderful raku bead that I got at the Bead & Button show from MAKUstudio.  I think I shall call this vessel "Pele".  Pele is the Polynesian goddess of fire and volcanoes.  One legend has it that she was born in Tahiti, but was banished by her father because of her temper and the fact that she had seduced her sister's husband.  After a tumultuous life creating the volcanoes on the Hawaiian islands, her final resting home is believed to be in the fire pit called Halema'uma'u crater, at the summit caldera of Kīlauea, which is one of the Earth's most active volcanoes.

The collar of this vessel is very fiery, and MAK's raku bead was born in a fire pit.  I'm just hoping that I can seduce someone with the beauty of this piece!  :-)

Here is the wool stash that I picked out for the vessel.  You can see the wet vessel in progress on the bubble wrap.

Here are both sides of the vessel after I completed felting and forming it.

And here is the vessel after I finished embellishing it.  This one took a long time - the bead-woven collar is very long!  I started creating the collar before I made the vessel, and I really misjudged the circumference of that opening.  But the way in which I dealt with the excess collar really adds to the feeling of "Pele" on this piece!

This was taken in the sun...

... and this one was taken in the shade.

This vessel will be going into my Etsy shop as soon as I get some "real" pictures of it.  I have two others in progress, but pix of those will have to wait a bit.

Here are a few pictures I snapped at the Bead & Button Show.

Kimberly Affleck in her booth - oblivious, I think, to the fact that my camera was pointed at her (from across the aisle, hence the poor photo quality).  I love her banner, displaying her seahorse beads for all the world to see!

Here's Lauri Copeland in her booth - Ms. Wildfire!

And my B&B neighbor and good friend Sharon Peters, with her booth helper Juanita - whom I borrow every chance I can get.  Standing in the booth next to them (behind Juanita) is Gretchen Schueller, owner of Piece of Mind Bead and Jewelry Studio.

I just couldn't resist this photo.  This pooch spent a lot of time working the bead show with his charge.  I wanted to "chat", but when a dog is wearing a working dog vest, it's hands off.  I have such a hard time keeping my distance from fur kids.  It looks like it was break time for the pup, though...

And now I'm off to forage for groceries so my cupboards won't be so bare.  Then I'll return to tech land, and later tonight, I'll be embellishing vessel number 2.  Now you go have yourselves a happy and creative day!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Home Again, Home Again...

Well, I'm back from Milwaukee - still a bit worn out from my trip.  Wow, I had such a lovely time at the Bead & Button Show!  It was absolutely wonderful to meet some of my fellow artists whose work I include in my own work, as well as connect with friends I only see once a year in Milwaukee.

I had the pleasure of meeting Carol Dean Sharpe of Sand Fibers, whose work I admire greatly - and also own!  Carol and I have many things in common, and when we met, it seemed as if we've known each other for years.  I also had the pleasure of meeting Marianne Kasparian, a.k.a Mak, of MAKUstudio.  Mak's work is truly drool-worthy.  I've used some of her raku pieces in several of my felted vessels, and I scored more of her fabulous work while I was at the show.  I've already picked out the fiber for 2 vessels that I'll be making for some of her raku beads.  Here are Mak's pieces that I now own.

These are all destined to become part of my felt work.

It was great to see Lisa Peters again!  I spent a lot of time hovering over her table, trying to discipline myself to not buy half of her inventory.  Here are some pieces that I acquired - I'll show you more of Lisa's work next time.  These, too, will be incorporated into my felt work.

And what's a trip to the Bead & Button Show without replenishing some of my seed bead stash?!  Here's the latest installment in my size 11 rainbow.

I'm ready to take on just about any felting project I can dream up!  And I did dream up a few while I was on the road.  I took a few pages of notes during the show's "down time", and I'm just itching to get out to the wet lab.  Four of my vessels found new homes at the show, so it's definitely time to make more.  I'm teaching a bead making class this weekend, but I'm hoping that I can mess around with fiber before then.  If not, then definitely on Sunday!

Until next time, go have yourself a happy and creative day!
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