23 April 2014

Bring Your Own Sunshine


I walked out of my studio on March 7th.

I was in the midst of baking a tray of Simple Truths in a new series I am calling 'Wanderlust' along with the Simple Truths Sampler Club selections based on the March Art Bead Scene painting (and now April); I had 10 year dancer necklaces to complete and a soldering project to get started using a map as my pattern for our beloved dance director; a fundraiser to plan for the Pop-a-Dot jewelry for our honor society scholarships for the Dance Education Center; planning for an art exhibit I am hosting in July-August to include starting to make my own art and getting all the other artists on board and cruising in the same direction; custom orders for spring jewelry, projects for several design teams along with Bead Soup to prepare; and publications and blog posts that I am committed to write for Art Bead Scene, Earrings Everyday and Halcraft, not to mention my own.

I felt like a dark cloud was hanging over me and a little like my own parade had hit a dead end.

I walked back into my studio on April 13th. It felt a little like this.

Source: Animal House via Democratic Underground

I was still trying to march to my own drummer, but I didn't really know where I was going. It was all where I left it, in various states of completion, and I have been working to dig my way back out and seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. It is a sickening feeling to know that there may have been people left hanging and wondering what happened when their orders have not been processed and their posts have not been written. And although I am trying my best to get back into the swing of things, I haven't been able to fully commit, and that lets me down. And that left me with my own personal thunderclaps to deal with in addition to the rain.

When you are called into service for your family, there is nothing else to do but show up. And that is what I have been doing and will continue to do. So if you are waiting for me, feel free to give me a nudge in case it has fallen through the cracks in my world and buried under the piles. But know that I am back to forging ahead and making some plans so that I can get my parade marching in the right direction. I know that I am being a bit dodgy about things, but when I am ready to share more about this, I promise I will.

I do believe that we need to bring our own sunshine no matter where we go. There is no use bringing everyone else down and raining on their parades just because you have hit some turbulence and lost your way. The skies are parting and it really isn't all as bad as it feels when you are in the eye of your own storm. I do see the break in the clouds, the light streaming through. Something that cheers me up is sending out gifts. So that is what I am doing!

Congratulations to Miss Mary Redman!
You are the winner of a ceramic rose heart and dottie barrel bead from Thea Elements.
I will be in touch to get your address for sending this little ray of sunshine your way!

'never surrender your dreams'
But just because I haven't been in my studio much doesn't mean that I am not busy. This week is the final rehearsal week at the theater for the big dance show. My first big project back in the studio was to finish the 10 year dancer necklaces with the etching help of my friend Lisa Liddy of Metal Me This. I love etching but I don't do it enough, so it helps me to have an expert in the process be my source. She is an absolute joy to work with and I couldn't have done this without her! Of course, I neglected to take a picture of all the necklaces from this year, so I am sharing one of the original ones I created a few years ago. They consist of a copper dog tag with the etched image of the studio, the school motto and the dancer's name. My own Tiny Dancer is in the 10 year group this year. Miss Tori gives them a special note along with the program from their first dance recital (what a nice touch!) and the special necklace that I created. It has become a badge of honor to be there 10 consecutive years and to have the opportunity to wear this necklace. I am honored to continue this tradition creating this unique keepsake for these lovely young ladies!


Samples of some of the special Pop-a-Dot Magnetic Jewelry Dots available this week.


Keeping me busy, I am selling my Pop-a-Dot magnetic jewelry every day this week and through the performances. This is a great gift for the dancers, and I do customize them with names (all the orders have to be in to me by Thursday night to be ready for the show on Friday!). This is the logo of the Dance Education Center. Additionally, I have hundreds of different images that are all positive messages and pretty images. And the new ones debuting now are Fabric Dots. Coming this summer will be Faux Opal Dots and even Simple Truth Dots! Once people start picking them out they love them and can't wait to get more, and this allows me to donate a generous percentage back to the Dance Education Center for their National Honor Society for Dance Arts Scholarship program. Last year I donated $900 to this fund through my two week sale, and this year is actually on pace to rival that!

Deadlines looming are the only way that I can get back on track. And the next big one looming for me is the Bead Soup. I am delighted that I get the chance to participate in this once again, because it really is a wonderful world-wide community event. The reveal for our Bead Soup designs is on Saturday, May 3rd. So that means I better get busy!

I always ask Lori Anderson to pair me with an international participant. Yes, it costs more to send my package overseas, but it costs more for them to send it to me as well, so I think that it is a wash. Plus, being paired with a new friend in another country means that I get things that I never would get locally. I am never disappointed. And this year, I think I got the best and biggest Soup yet!

Absolutely darling packaging from Miss Sabine! (photos borrowed from her!)

This year I am paired with a dynamite lampwork artist named Sabine Dittrich. She sent me so much amazing material to work with tucked in these incredibly cute little silk pouches and lipstick holders (that my daughter is coveting!). Her beads are so drool-worthy! It will be daunting - but incredibly exciting - to dig in and see what I can make. I can't tell you how good it will feel to get back to actually making something. I hope I can do them justice! I sent Miss Sabine two different Bead Soups to play with in my Simple Truths style and I can't wait to see what she does. Thank you so much, Miss Sabine, for the beautiful Bead Soup ingredients! 

The Bead Soup from Sabine in great detail! I really appreciate all the descriptions!
So, be sure to mark your calendars for the 8th Bead Soup party on Saturday, May 3rd! And until then, be sure to bring your unique sunshine to those around you!


17 April 2014

30 Words :: Fickle + Beautiful


A fickle mistress, 
Spring.
One minute
she heats things up,
lulling you into stripping down,
loosening your inhibitions.
 Next
she can turn
cold, stormy, unpredictable.
Good thing she's so
beautiful.

This was the view outside my window on Monday.
Prior to that, every last bit of snow was gone in my yard and the grass was starting to get green.
C'mon, Spring! Show us your colorful tapestry once again!
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The premise of 30 Words Thursdays is simple...
Take an image (preferably one you shot, or have permission to use).
Write 30 Words about it. No more. No less.
Post it each Thursday.
Add your link to the InLinkz on my 30 Words Thursday post.
(InLinkz code will be open for one week.) Enjoy seeing what others have captured by visiting them and leaving a comment.
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Grab the code for your own blog!


16 April 2014

Spring Fever Challenge



Color makes me happy, and this pile o' loveliness was too alluring to ignore. So back in February when it was most definitely winter outside, Miss Lesley offered a chance to play in the Spring Fever Design challenge that she cooked up with some other lovely ladies. I could not sign up fast enough. You see, winter has been lingering on far too long. And just when the grass was greening up and the birds were starting to chirp, this happened....

Sunday... there was grass.
Monday... there was sticky, drippy, clumpy, heavy snow!

Pretty... for December. Not so much for April 14th!
ARGH!

So playing with these fresh springy beads made me feel a teensy bit better. Thank you to Miss Lesley of THEA Elements, Miss Caroline of Blueberri Beads and Miss Claire of Smitten Beads for the happy dose of pretty that the shared with me! Of course, I neglected to snap a picture of all of this before I dug in, so you will have to see if you can pick out my random bunch from the pile o' fun pictured below.


That is a whole lot of happy right there! How can you not smile when faced with this awesomeness?


I started with this little birdie bead from Miss Caroline. Little tulips adorn the creamy body. So stinkin' cute! I just recently purchased some vintage Lucite fiber optic top drilled beads from a destash that were the perfect match to the pink flowers. And it just so happened that I had a strand of top drilled pearls in a fresh citrus green sitting on my table. I have been wanting to use this adorable little beaded link for eons. I believe this is from my friend Miss Kristen Stevens. That is sort of the blinged out 'nest.' I finished it off with a little strip of the dyed sari silk ribbon in a lovely sage to mauve shade and a rhinestone connector clasp. I call this Nestling In as this is just what the birdies are trying to do around here! That is, before the snow!



I really am not a big fan of pink. But there were these lovely pink ceramic rounds from Miss Lesley in the mix. Also sitting on my messy desk space were these new gunmetal spike dangles. I like to mix opposites in my work... the pink is soft and girly and the black spikes are hard and more masculine. And to keep it from being too goth-preppy I added these bling balls that were also just sitting there. (Clearly, I have a lot of beads that I never put away after I buy them!). I am calling these The Softer Side of Tough as this has a great balance of hard and soft, round and spiky, matte and sparkly.

And finally, I had time to make this necklace I am calling Pick a Posie. I used the other wee birdie and the leaf bead from Miss Caroline. I have these little wooden flower spacers that are really cute. These spacers are the result of me digging in the clearance bins at Walmart. Clearly, no bead goes unloved in my world. They were stacked together spacing out some horrendous acrylic beads but I saw the possibilities in them (and threw out the beads they were supposed to highlight!). Goes to show that there is potential in everything! I wanted to highlight the daisy shape by weaving them in and out with some lime green SoftFlex beading wire in Chrysoprase. As luck would have it, I happened upon a cream ceramic flower from Lisa Peters Art that has the same exact shape. You can't really tell in this picture, but there are tiny gold dots all over the surface. The back is the rest of the sari silk ribbon from Miss Claire and some more of those rhinestone connector clasps that I totally love (I think I bought every one in every color they had when they were for sale at Michaels last year!).

I haven't been up to the task of making much in the past month or so as I have been focused on some family matters, so it felt good to have something light a fire under me! Wouldn't these make great gifts for Mothers' Day? If you are interested in any of these creations, please let me know! Otherwise,  I will be putting them in my website shortly.


I feel pretty good that I used almost all of the pieces that were sent to me. I only have the heart shaped pendant with a rose on it and one little dottie mauve barrel bead spacer from Miss Lesley left over (see below).


Instead of letting them languish in the depths of my overstuffed studio, I am going to give them away! I figure that if we all pass a bit of sunshine around there might be enough warmth to melt the snow and bring on the real flowers! The only way to enter is to leave a comment on this post and it only takes one comment to win (but please be sure that I can contact you via email by turning that feature on in your profile or putting it in the comment!). I will select a winner of the pendant and bead (and who knows what else will make its way in the package!) next week!

Please check out all the other participants and get your dose of spring fever!

Caroline Dewison - http://www.blueberribeads.co.uk 
Erin Prais – Hintz – http://treasures-found.blogspot.co.uk/ < you are here
Klassy Joolz - http://klassyjoolz.blogspot.co.uk/
Toltec Jewels - JewelSchoolFriends.com

10 April 2014

30 Words :: Take the Wheel


Cal in the Bucky-Mobile with his Mima, 1999

In the blink of an eye
you went from
my baby boy
to a handsome 
young man
ready to
take the wheel 
and navigate
life
down
your own
winding road.

Cal and Sydney, Homecoming 2013
My baby boy turned 16 a few weeks ago. This Friday he takes his driver's test. He is a good driver and I have great confidence in him. And I am starting to be ready to let him navigate his own adventure while still having a port to call home. He is definitely going places, I am sure of that. And I am enjoying the ride...literally and figuratively!


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The premise of 30 Words Thursdays is simple...







Take an image (preferably one you shot, or have permission to use).




Write 30 Words about it. No more. No less.




Post it each Thursday.




Add your link to the InLinkz on my 30 Words Thursday post.
(InLinkz code will be open for one week.) Enjoy seeing what others have captured by visiting them and leaving a comment.




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Grab the code for your own blog!


03 April 2014

30 Words :: Where You Live


I never considered
thirty-seven.
indivisible by its own digits, 
12th prime number
fifth lucky prime.
Nothing special....................until now.
Now this number
signifies
where you will 
live.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The premise of 30 Words Thursdays is simple...
Take an image (preferably one you shot, or have permission to use).
Write 30 Words about it. No more. No less.
Post it each Thursday.
Add your link to the InLinkz on my 30 Words Thursday post.
(InLinkz code will be open for one week.)
Enjoy seeing what others have captured by visiting them and leaving a comment.
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Grab the code for your own blog!

27 March 2014

30 Words :: Puddles + Potholes


It's a game we play
every March...
creatively dodging
gaping abysses
threatening to swallow
my minivan whole
while
blindly judging
the depth of
newly formed lakes
without drowning 
the passersby.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The premise of 30 Words Thursdays is simple...
Take an image (preferably one you shot, or have permission to use).
Write 30 Words about it. No more. No less.
Post it each Thursday.
Add your link to the InLinkz on my 30 Words Thursday post.
(InLinkz code will be open for one week.)
Enjoy seeing what others have captured by visiting them and leaving a comment.
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Grab the code for your own blog!

20 March 2014

30 Words :: Emerging Artist


The intricate dance of 
pen on paper
creating a
patchwork quilt landscape
hills and valleys
twisting, turning, intersecting, dissecting
latitudes and longitudes
drawn by 
my very own
emerging 
13-year-old
artist.


And here is my favorite artist at the Riverfront Arts Center with her Zentangle that was selected for the annual Emerging Artist show.


Frame-worthy art for sure!


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The premise of 30 Words Thursdays is simple...
Take an image (preferably one you shot, or have permission to use).
Write 30 Words about it. No more. No less.
Post it each Thursday.
Add your link to the InLinkz on my 30 Words Thursday post.
(InLinkz code will be open for one week.)
Enjoy seeing what others have captured by visiting them and leaving a comment.
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Grab the code for your own blog!



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