30 September 2011

The Art of Procrastination

"Procrastination is the art of keeping up with yesterday." ~ Don Marquis

I am so glad to hear the procrastination is an art form. That is one that I know all about and excel at daily. I bet you were beginning to wonder about me, or maybe you have forgotten about me completely. Whatever the case, I have to say that being unplugged for even a few days is not a happy site. (But the time unplugged in South Haven, MI and then in Galena, IL were HEAVENLY! More on a later date!)

Those few precious days that I actually came home between laundry loads (no, seriously, our new, one year old washing machine suddenly stopped working about 3 weeks ago. After $285 plus an extra week because they ordered the wrong part, and a trip to the laundromat for 5 loads later, we had mountains of laundry to wash. Have you ever had it so bad that you had to go out and buy new underwear?) were spent just catching up on the essentials. I have the one big show that I do in about 2 weeks and I am not even 1/2 of the way to where I feel I need to be. There is a nearby gallery that is hosting an exhibition of the Gallery Q artists so I have had to drop everything to get that ready for next week's delivery. I have missed all but one quarter of one football game for my son, and to make up for all my absences I am having a mother-daughter day on Saturday. I am working on displays and packaging for this show and just trying to tread water over here. And now some changes at my job have made me even more resolved to find a way to survive on my own. So intermittent blog silences are to be expected while I work on making my to-do list a to-done.

But you didn't come here to hear my wah-wahing did you?

You came here to see pretty things. Like this quilt...

"Housetop"--twelve-block "Half-Logcabin" variation, ca. 1965
Cotton, Wool Corduroy, 77"x 65"
Lillie Mae Pettway, 1927-1990
Gee Bend's Quilter

 This month we were to be inspired by the amazing folk art quilts of the Gee's Bend, Alabama quilters. This group of African-American women were ingenious in their iconic designs, playful in their use of color and pattern and resourceful in their sourcing of materials. They didn't let the mere fact that they didn't have bolts of fancy fabric deter them from creating some masterpieces in textile art. The one that we were challenged with is by Lillie Mae Pettway. The bold use of color and the rectilinear pattern are the strong suit of this quilt.

My eye kept being drawn to the rather rustic stripes of tan with what appears to be writing on them. Maybe they were old feed sacks or some other readily available textile. I just liked the fact that there could be a hidden message in there.

As part of my Art of Procrastination series (maybe that would make a good art show?), I am putting the finishing touches on the Art Bead Scene monthly blog tour that I host (I wish that I could put this together ahead of time, but there are other artful procrastinators out there like me who squeak in at the last minute!). I have a goal this year of doing every single one of the challenges. That is really how I got my start, so I wanted to get back to it. Plus I think that as an editor it is part of the fun to share in the challenge with everyone else. And after seeing all the inventive designs submitted for this month, especially the one by Miss Molly Alexander who is a true gem of a designer, I decided around 9:30 pm that I needed to jump in the fray as well. So I set a goal of midnight to be complete. And I am proud to say that at 11:54 pm I was done!

Here are the fruits of my labor. I created a quilt block 'simple truth' with this message:

gaze in awe at the rich tapestry of your life

I dug around and found some antique boot buttons that I have had for years in shades that blend right in. The tangled wire bead was a gift from my friend Sandi Miller from the Inspired by retreat. Green is a predominant color in this quilt and I happened to have these really funky nut beads in a rich sage green. To bring in some of the other colors, I found some fire cracked matte agate rounds and some cobalt blue recycled glass faceted cubes. I used a great vintage cellulite button for the clasp with steel washer spacers on black leather cord. Of course, I don't measure and I started once and then had to cut it apart (because I am pretty sure that procrastinators are not planners), so I just about ran out of the leather at the end with nary enough cord to make a button loop. That would make for a lopsided necklace and that just won't do. So I decided to lash on a Vintaj hook which solved that problem nicely.

{rich tapestry of your life}

Oh, and those rustic tan ceramic beads? Those are my favorite part. I recently purchase a strand of these for no other reason then I liked their color and texture. They are quite heavy so I stuck with three to hopefully balance the necklace. They came in handy. Maybe there is a secret planning to my procrastination after all!

So, there you have it. There really is an Art to Procrastination.

Or maybe just a Procrastination to my Art. ;-)

Be sure to check out the Art Bead Scene on Friday, September 30 for the blog tour to see all the great entries this month!

Your turn....
Are you a planner or a procrastinator? 
Did it drive you crazy hearing about how I created this at the last second, or are you nodding your head and chuckling in agreement?
If you are a planner, do you think that you could rise to the challenge of a last minute deadline?
If you are a procrastinator, do you think there is any hope to turn me into a planner?

21 September 2011

Out of this World

“Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes, and having fun.” — Mary Lou Cook

I can remember when I started making jewelry and picked up my first publications. I was in awe that there were people out there whose 'job' it was to create such lovely designs and write articles for the magazines. I knew that this would be a dream job for me. Little did I know that those who were in those pages were just like me, or at least, had started out just like me. I remember when I realized that I could possibly submit something to a magazine and have it printed. That was an aha moment for sure.

I set a goal for myself in 2009 to be published once per month. I did it, but boy was it a struggle! Those deadlines just keep on coming! But it helped me to hone my writing skills and understand not only what the different publications were looking for but also how they wanted to receive it.

I don't have the time these days to submit to so many publications. I pick and choose, or rather, I think about doing it when I have something that I think might be worthy. I don't really sit down and create just for those glossy pages, but only submit something I think might catch their attention.

When I submit things for publication, I never really know what they are looking for, even after all this time. I mean, they might have a call out for something in particular like long earrings or fall themed bracelets, but I really never know if what I am making will make the cut, because I am rarely cutting edge. I just make what I like, and if someone else likes it then that is all the better. And lest you think that every thing I submit gets published, that would be wrong. I have boxes of jewelry that went no where, or went to one publication and then another or to the Gallery Q and then to Etsy only to be rejected more than once because no one wanted it. Destination: reWork.

Early in the year I was tickled to receive the notice about the Creative Jewelry submissions for 2011. This once a year publication is a compendium of some of the best and brightest designs out there. It is not a regurgitation of designs you have seen in other magazines, but more like a book that is a great jumping off point and one that I hang onto every year.

I recall that I submitted about 10 pieces for this issue: earrings, necklaces and bracelets. I was thrilled when they told me to send in 8 of them, and then a little panicked. I busied myself writing up the step-by-steps just so, packaging them all in little boxes and including hand written tags. I was really hoping that a few would be picked up especially after putting in all that work. One was immediately selected to be the Design on a Shoestring project in the Spring Stringing issue. I had no idea as to the fate of the rest.

But one day in the middle of the summer, my friend Kerry Bogert emailed me the image of the cover of Creative Jewelry in the pre-publication advertising call. There was my necklace "Out of This World" on the cover featuring Kerry's unmistakable mod dot bead. I emailed Miss Danielle, editor of Stringing to find out if it was true. She said they were still mocking up the covers and hadn't decided yet, but if it was in the pre-publication marketing that was a good sign. So I sat on that news and tried not to think about it because I didn't want to jinx myself.

So it was with great anticipation that I waited to actually see a copy of Creative Jewelry. I finally found it in a local book store last week Thursday when I left for the Inspired by Nature retreat (more on that at a later date, I promise!). And when I returned home, there were my copies of the issue and all my lovelies back home with me.

I submitted 9 pieces, and had four picked up in the magazine which is way more than I could have hoped. I am beyond proud to be on the cover and to showcase an enameled filigree bead from Barbara Lewis and the lovely glass bead from Kerry Bogert. They each created components that I used to to make jewelry for my Gallery Q exhibit from a year ago that was inspired by the painting by Brenda Wenberg called "Looking Good." This necklace was one of the few that I had left from my Gallery Q exhibit and I thought it would be publication-worthy, but I had made it in the summer of 2010 so I wasn't sure that I should send it in. I am so glad I submitted it!
My two all-time favorite books are Stringing Style and Stringing Style 2. (I seem to have misplaced both of these books, but I can almost remember them page for page.) I liked how simply they were laid out and how inventive the designs were. I feel that way about this issue. It feels like a book and is filled with some top-notch talent. I am very blessed to be sharing space with people I admire like Jen Judd Velasquez, Marcie Abney, Cristi Clothier, Stephanie Dieleman, Kristy Abner, Kelly Morgan, Michelle Mach, Jess Italia Lincoln, Denise Yezbak Moore, Heather Lawrenz, Melanie Brooks, Carter Seibels Singh and Molly Schaller, just to name a few (and if I missed your name, please don't fret! I love this issue to pieces and I am so thrilled to be in it with you!). Plus there are plenty of new (to me) designers in here as well, and that is just so exciting. I think that seeing new perspectives is almost as fun as finding them on my own!

There are more than 130 pieces in this publication and there is something for everyone. Want to know my personal faves?
  • "Rose Copper Canyon" focusing on a gorgeous pink geode focal.
  • "Lucille" for its stunning simplicity.
  • The fresh color palette and masterful asymmetry of "Air and Earth."
  • The woodsy balance of "Wise One."
  • For an amazing knot technique in "Brazen Knots" that I can't wait to try.
  • A great cluster of briolettes in "Autumn Luxe," something I never would have thought of
  • Mixed metals are so lovely in "Earth and Sky."
  • And the wonderful playfulness in the "Songbird's Garden."
So much to love. You will have to get a copy of your own to fall in love with your own favorites. ;-)

One of the pieces that didn't make it in was "Woodsy." This is one of those cases where I truly thought that he would get picked up. That little owl was the first one that I ever made last winter. I loved that little owl so much that even though it didn't get into the magazine, I made a whole flock more. And you all loved them, too, because they flew my Etsy nest in a big hurry! Today on the Art Bead Scene you can go and read all about "Woodsy" with a tutorial on how to make him. You can use your own woodland creature, and there are tons of art beads out there that have a woodland inspired theme, but I have put up a custom listing for a one-of-a-kind Woodsy wise old owl in case you would like him to come and live with you!

Thank you, Miss Danielle and your lovely staff at Interweave for always treating me with such a kind heart. I am truly honored to be in such esteemed company and thrilled to be the cover girl twice in one month!

So now it is your turn...
Have you ever wanted to submit your jewelry designs to a magazine?
What is stopping you?
They are always on the look out for new talent. Just be sure that you have come up with a design that is interesting, has a great blend of materials and is extremely well made. Read my post here for some Do's and Don't's for submitting to publications.

17 September 2011

Inner Joy

"It is only with the heart that one can see clearly,
for the most essential things are invisible to the eye."
- Antoine de Saint Exupery

Welcome to the Bead Soup Blog Party!

Thank you to Lori Anderson for being such a great hostess. She does an amazing job. 

I was excited when I learned that I was paired up with Evie and Beth McCord. This mother-daughter duo is so wickedly talented. I just love that they seem to finish each other's creative thoughts. 

They sent me an array of goodies, from dyed silk ribbon (saving for another day), a sterling silver leaf toggle clasp, custom made lampwork glass beads and the most stunning enameled hummingbird pendant. 

I love the enamel work that Beth and Evie do. I love how intricately detailed they are. But they are also quite large -- I think that my hummingbird might be life sized! The colors are rich and shimmering just like the real bird. I was not sure what to do with him because of the size. But that is why this is a challenge. You need to stretch yourself in these sorts of things.

I decided to use the focal and clasp (that I darkened just a bit with Novacan Black Patina - love this stuff!) and two of the glass beads. I wanted to use some in earrings but I just ran out of time. I will likely add earrings later.

I didn't feel that I had anything that was suitable in my stash, so a trip to Michaels was in order. I picked up some sage green glass pearls in graduated sizes, cut glass in a lovely shade of peacock blue and a set of filigree pieces. I turned some colorized filigree beads into curly little flowers complete with curly little tendrils to add to the garden theme. 

The most challenging part was deciding how to connect the hummingbird to the flower. In the interest of time and the fact that I really don't want to call attention to how it is constructed, I opted for some simple gunmetal black jump rings. You can hardly tell that they are there and yet they give movement.

I call this "Inner Joy" in honor of our shimmering feathered friends that flit from flower to flower bringing an immense sense of beauty and love wherever they go.

A few facts about the hummingbird totem in Native American cultures (borrowed from www.birdclan.org)...

The hummingbird is the only creature that can stop dead while traveling at full speed; can hover; or can go forward, backward, up or down. Hummingbirds live on nectar and searches for the sweetness of life. It's purpose is to pollinate the flowers of the world. Its long "nose" lets it bypass the often tough and bitter outer layer to find the hidden treasures underneath. The song of hummingbird awakens the medicine flowers.

    Hummingbird's message is adaptability in life's many situations and being able to "roll with the punches".

Hummingbird is also inner joy. A hummingbird person takes great pleasure in spreading joy and love and beauty to all around you, and have the gift of taking that inner joy into new and different surroundings.

     If Hummingbird is your personal medicine, you love life and its joys. Your presence brings joy to others. You have a talent for finding the good in people, and are not put off by a gruff or abrupt exterior for you know that, if you can only get beyond that tough outside layer, you'll find goodness and beauty inside. You join people together in relationships which bring out the best in them.

You know instinctively where beauty abides and, near or far, you journey to that place. You move comfortably within a beautiful environment and help others taste the succulent nectar of life. Hummingbird disdains ugliness or harshness, and quickly flies away from discord or disharmony. Hummingbird is a fragile medicine, its target is Beauty and Hummingbirds mission is to spread joy or to be destroyed. Hummingbird quickly dies if caged, caught, or imprisoned.

You may have a gift for working with flowers, maybe growing them to share with others, or using flower essences for healing. Aroma therapy may be your calling.

Hummingbird shamans tend to be deliriously happy most of the time. They have high energy and a spirit that must be free. They talk fast and are always moving about, expending energy. Most people find them easy to get along with. To restrict that wonderful, free, loving energy is to suffer great depressions and feelings of uselessness. Hummingbird must fly free in search of beauty, spreading joy and love to all it touches. They don’t keep secrets, they are usually honest and outspoken, and they’re willing to try anything once.

Please go and visit my partners Beth & Evie McCord and then take your time to enjoy the outstanding Bead Soup Party! Thank you ladies for such an inspiring work of art!

If you leave a comment on this post, any comment at all, AND you have your email turned on in your preference so that I have a way to contact you, I will share one of my new 'simple truth' pendants with you featuring a hummingbird! International friends welcome!

The Hostess, Lori Anderson and her partner, Manuela Wutschke

1. Aimee Wheaton and Barbara York
2. Alice Craddick and Sandra Richardson
3. Alison Sachs and Amy Severino
4. Allison Scott and Cynthia Abner
5. Amanda Cargill Austin and Charlene Sevier
6. Amanda Davie and Patsy Evins
7. Amber Dawn and Kim Ballor
8. Ambra Gostoli and Christine Hansen
9. Amy Freeland and Christine Altmiller
10. Ana Krepel-Novak and Eleanor Snare

11. Andrea Morici and Hope Smitherman
12. Andrea Trank and Jayne Capps
13. Andrea Turini and Charlene Jacka
14. Angela May and Emanda Johnson
15. Anitra Gordy and Elizabeth Owens Dwy
16. Ann Rishell and Debbie Price
17. Ann Sherwood and Lynne Bowland
18. Anna Lear and Barbe Saint John
19. Anna Sabina­­­­ and Erin Siegel
19. Nan Emmett and Erin Siegel
20. Astrid Boyce and Birgitta Lejonklou

21. B.R. Kuhlman and Deanna Chase
22. Barbara Bechtel and Bryna Lumb
23. Barbara Blaszczyk and DaviniaDesign
24. Barbara Judy and Holly Westfall
25. Barbara Lewis and Cathie Carroll
26. Barrie Edwards and Lyn Foley
27. Becky Fairclough and Jana Tarhala
28. Bella Borgouise and Gillian Lehman
29. Beth and Evie McCord and Erin Prais-Hintz - YOU ARE HERE!
30. Beth Bricker and Heather Pyle

31. Beth Emery and Cassie Donlen
32. Bobbie Rafferty and Cindy Cima Edwards
33. Candice McGinnis and Sally Anderson
34. Carol Bradley and Cece Cormier
 35.  Cathy Khoury and Molly Alexander
 36. Carol Tannahill and Hilary Frye
37. Carrie Tahquechi and Cris Peacock
38. Cat Pruitt and Cindy Gimbrone
39. Charlene Gary and Doris Stumpf
40. Charlotte Pevny and Kate Gardenghi

41. Cherrie Fickand Cathie Carroll
41. Claire Maunsell and Cherrie Fick
42. Cheryl Roe and Jenny Vidberg
43. Chris White and Norma Turvey
44. Christa Murphy and Kathy Alderfer
45. Christie Murrow and Dana James
46. Christina Miles and Collette Collins
47. Christine Brandel and Elizabeth Woodford
48. Christine Damm and Cynthia Deis
49. Christine Hendrickson and Debbie Goering
50. Christine Stonefield and Dee Wingrove-Smith

51. Cilla Watkins and Johanna Rhodes
52. Cindy Wimmer and Riki Schumacher
53. CJ Baushka and Cory Celaya
54. Courtney Breul and Joanna Matuszczyk
55. Cristi Clothier and Kathleen Robinson Young
56. Cryss Thain and Serena Trent
57. Cynthia Tucker and Kitty Durmaj
58. Dana Johnson Jones and Eva Sherman
59. Davinia Algeri and Janet McDonald
60. Deci Worland and Lara Lutrick

61. Diana Ptaszynski and Kristy Abner
62. Diane Cook and Kerry Bogert
63. Diane Hawkey and Jen Judd Velasquez
64. Dorcas Midkiff and Jill Harris
65. Doris Radlicki and Heather Goldsmith
66. Dot Lewallen and Gaea Cannaday
67. Elisabeth Auld and Jennifer Justman
68. Erin Fickert-Rowland and Geanina Grigore
69. Erin Grant and Julie Jones
70. Eszter Czibulyas and Helena Fritz

71. Fiona Christie and Michelle Heim
72. Gail Zwang and Genea Crivello-Knable
73. Geneva Collins and Jana Haag
74. Gretchen Nation and Heidi Post
75. Heather DeSimone and Karin Slaton
76. Heather Marley and Terry Carter
77. Ingrid McCue and Jennifer Pride
78. Jackie Ryan and Nicole Keller
79. Janna Harttgen and Joanne Tinley
80. Jean Yates and Lori Anderson

81. Jelveh Jaferian and Jenny Davies-Reazor
82. Jenni Connolly and Jennifer Heynen
83. Jennifer Cameron and Kristi Bowman
84. Jennifer Geldard and Lisa Liddy
85. Jennifer VanBenschoten and Kim Hora
86. Jess Italia Lincoln and Lori Greenberg
87. Jill MacKay and Lori Bergmann
88. JJ Jacobs and Karen Tremblay
89. Joyce Becker and Kathy Welsh
90. Judy Glende and Karen Sinkowski

91. Judy Riley and Kelly Morgan
92. JuLee Wolfe and Julie Bean
93. Julianna Cannon and Julianna Kis
94. Julie Nordine and Lesley Watt
95. K. Hutchinson and Shea Zukowski
96. Karen Firnberg and Karyn Bonfiglio
97. Karen Williams and Kimberly Roberts
98. Karen Zanco and Polly Barker
99. Kari Carrigan and Laura Twiford
100. Karin von Hoeren and Laura Blanck

101. Kate Richbourg and Lorelei Eurto
102. Kathleen Lange Klik and Maria Clark
103. Kathy Engstrom and Keri Lee Sereika
104. Kay Thomerson and Loretta Carstensen
105. Kelley Fogle and Laurel Bielec
106. Kelly Ramstack and Sally Anderson
107. Kim Stevens and Tiffany Long
108. Kristi Harrison and Mandy Williamson
109. Kristi Kyle and Lana Kinney
110. Kristina Johansson and Sue Hodgkinson

111. Kym Hunter and Laura Sanger
112. Laura Zeiner and Susan Kennedy
113. Laurel Steven and Mary McGraw
114. Laurie Hanna and Lisa Boucher
115. Lesley Weir and Liz DeLuca
116. Linda Djokic and Tracey Weiser
117. Linda Inhelder and Pam Brisse
118. Linda Landig and Lori Dorrington
119. Linda Murphy and Lisa Hamilton
119.  Line Labrecque and Marianne Baxter
120. Lisa Lodge and Monica Johnson

121. Lois Moon and Melissa Muir
122. Lola Surwillo and Therese Frank
123. Lori Bowring Michaud and Marci Brooks
124. Lupe Meter and Norma Agron
125. Maggie Towne and Marge Beebe
126. Malin de Koning and Susie Hibdon
127. Mallory Hoffman and Shirley Moore
128. Marcie Abney and Patty Miller
129. Marcy Lamberson and Melissa Clarke
130. Margot Potter and Suzann Sladcik Wilson

131. Maria Grimes and Wendy Blum
132. Maria Horvath and Melinda Orr
133. Maria Rosa Sharrow and Marie-Noel Voyer-Cramp
134. Marian Hertzog and Melissa Mesara
135. Marianna Boylan and Sandi Lee James
136. Marina Dobrynina and Michaela Pabeschitz
137. Marsha Neal and Miri Agassi
138. Mary Ellen Parker and Melissa Meman
139. Mary Elliott and Tamara Soper
140. Mary Hicks and Laurel Steven

141. Melissa Pynn and Michelle Buettner
142. Michelle Hardy and Niki Meiners
143. Michelle Mach and Moira McEvoy
144. Missy Rappaport and Norma Agron
145. Molly Alexander and Poranna
146. Mylene Hillam and Nicole Rennell
147. Nadezhda Parfyonova and Stacey Curry
148. Nan Emmett and Nancy Peterson
149. Nancy Boylan and Natalie McKenna
150. Natalie Monkivitch and Niky Sayers

151. Natasha Lutes and Pam Ferrari
152. Noemi Baena and Penny Ilagan
153. Pamela Petry and Rebecca Sirevaag
154. Pat Haight and Mary McGraw
155. Patty Gasparino and Vonna Maslanka
156. Penny Neville and Sandi Volpe
157. Pepita Bos and Wendy Chamberlain
158. Raida Disbrow and Rebecca Watkins
159. Rebecca Anderson and Sabrina Staub
160. Regina Santerre and Rose Binoya

161. Rhea Freitag and Tari Kahrs
162. Rochelle Brisson and Sheryl Stephen
163. Sally Russick and Tracy Bell
164. Sandra McGriff and Shay Williams
165. Sandra Wolberg and Sara Hardin
166. Sarah Elder and Salla Small
167. Saskia Kaffenberger and Sharon Gardner
 168. Sharon Palac and Shannon Chomanczuk
169. Shay Stone and Suzette Bentley
170. Shiraz Biggie and Tammy Powley

171. Staci Smith and Tracy Stillman
172. Stacie Stamper and Tracy Martin
173. Stefanie Teufel and Vicky Taylor
174. Stephanie Dixon and Stephanie LaRosa
175. Stephanie Haussler and Valerie Norton
176. Suzanne Tate and Terri Wlaschin
177. Sweet Freedom Designs and Tammy Jones
178. Tania Spivey and Tari Sasser
179. Tara Plote and Terry Matuszyk
180. Terri Gauthier and Deana Hager
181. Theresa Fosdick and Tracey Nanstad



Blog Widget by LinkWithin