Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Torching Tuesday!

Yesterday I was in the studio doing a little of this and that...made a few buttons, made elements for a new necklace, cleaned up a bit. You know how that goes. But today, I will be at that torch cranking out who knows what. Wait a minute, this sounds like "unstructured" torch time........wasn't I going to do better at structuring?? Didn' I just write that yesterday??? Oh well, thats for the New Year, I'm still in 08!!

Along with the beads & jewelry, I've also been bitten by card making. And yes, I'm pushing the holidays along here and I'm onto Valentine's Day...Here are a few cards I made. I love them.......especially the one with wings. I think today I'll make Heart pendants that are inspired by my cards. Check in tomorrow :)

Monday, December 29, 2008

New Years....What Resolutions Are You Making?

Its just days away from the New Year and I've begun thinking about resolutions. Its a love hate thing with them. On one hand, I really like to think and aspire to being better in someway for the New Year. But, on the other hand, resolutions tend to fizzle out a few weeks into the New Year. Like many of you, I'm going to make a few resolutions anyways and do my best to stick with them. These are just a few things I'm thinking about........this could change but its a start.

Resolution Number 1~ Work smart. By this I mean that I plan on focusing my work schedule better and balancing it with family time. I want to make sure that my work time at the torch is purposeful and better utilized. Unstructured, freetime at the torch is important too for creative growth but as with anything it needs to be balanced.

Resolution Number 2~ Relax. I'm a high energy, busy person. I'm always doing something....work, business and home life always have me on the go. This is good but it can really be a drain. I need to find time to de-stress. I work out in the mornings....this is good but I need more.........I want to get back to yoga in the New Year.

Okay. This is a start. I'm sure I'll fine tune this or maybe just scarp it for different ones by Thursday. What are your resolutions?! Do you think you'll stick to them??

Well, with the time off from work I've also been doing things that I haven't had time for....such as this quilt I began 3 years ago! Its a simple quilt and I had everything cut and ready to be constructed but it just sat around collecting dust. Yesterday was the day it finally got done and I'm so happy I finished it!!! Of course my dogs have already broke it in by balling it up and sleeping on it. Gotta love dog hair around here :)

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Twelve Months of Beadmaking....

I got this idea somewhere and thought I'd do a list myself. Starting with this post I'm going to try and come up with 12 different beadmaking suggestions for each month. It will be a fun and potentially useful list to stimulate thinking when the creative well has run dry. I'd love to show YOUR work here too so if you send me your lovelies, I'll post them.

Januaryy~ White. How can you use just white when making beads. Push yourself to create 12 different beads that use just white and clear.

February!~ Hearts. Of course. Exaggerate or simplify the heart shape. Make the bead hole horizontal rather than vertical....see how you can make your hearts different from what you've already done. (I constantly work on this one since hearts are a constant in my work)

March~ long slender cylinder beads that say Spring is on its way! I love Spring....I don't often work with elongated cylinder beads but hey, this is a challenge of sorts.

April~ Latticino & Disc beads. I admit I'm not much of a latticino girl but I do use this technique periodically. Therefore, a focus on this technique for an entire month will do me good. Placing these lovely twisted canes onto a disc bead is also a challenge. But, practice, practice, practice...........thats what I tell my art students, so thats what I must do too!

May~ Coy Fish. There is a Japanese bead artist who makes beautiful fish on beads. (must find her name) I've tried this myself...attempting to figure out just how she does this. What a challenge. Since May 2nd is Childrens Day in Japan, and the symbol is a carp windsock, why not try making a fish on a bead.....or even a fish bead

June~ Murrini. Makum, useum, showum off.







I've got to think on this and continue my list later. I don't want to do the things that I necessarily like to do but would rather do things that I find hard or I procrastinate at trying. Feel free to suggest something!!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Making Stuff...

The Holidays are a great reason to make things. Not that I need a reason! My problem is that I can't stop making stuff....anyways, I think making stuff is relaxing, fun and just plain theraputic. And, I think handmade items are the best way to show someone you love them. So, my art therapy session this morning consists of creating unique placemats that have special quotes on them. These will be a gift for my sister (hope she doesn't read this) Hubby is still sleeping and its just me, Winston and my paints. I'll show you some once they are at a more finished state :)

We had a fairly big snow storm yesterday so I have some orders to get out in the mail today. Wasn't even going to try and get to the post office yesterday after school. It was hard enough getting home. I also have earrings to make and shopping to do. Yes, I thought I was done but I still have 2 or 3 things to pick up.

Hope you all have a great day and have fun preparing for the Holiday!! I know I am :)

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Featured Artist~Mallory Hoffman

I've been a bit off track with my Featured Artist series but better late then never is my motto! Mallory Hoffman, a.ka. Rosebud101, is my December artist. Mallory has been a wonderfully kind web buddy and is a wonderful glass artist too. Pictured above is one of my many favorites from her Etsy shop....I hope you will go check out her other work too!

How long have you been making beads? I've been creating beads for about 2 1/2 years.

What inspires you? There are so many things that inspire me. Nature is a driving force in my work. Colors, oh, I love colors! Shapes are fun and interesting too. There are just so many things. Can you tell, I'm a touch ADD, or is it just a touch??

What has been the most challenging with learning your craft? Since I started to make glass beads, I have been working to make consistently good ends to my beads. I don't know why I have such a hard time with that skill, but I do.

What makes you really happy? My children are adults and live independently...every mothers dream come true, but when they come home, its is a wonderful experience to see how they have grown and changed through the years. I love interacting with them as adults! Other things that make me happy ase sales!!! I tell my dog that if we don't make a sale this week, he doesn't get any dog food:)

What really presses you buttons? That's a good question. I think that people who lie to me are the most challenging people I know. Being untruthful does really press my buttons.

Where do you hope to go with your bead/jewelry making? Like so many other people, I'd love to be able to support myselft by making and selling beads and jewelry. However, that's for another lifetime. I think my major goal, right now, is to improve my skills, interact with and meet many other bead makers and sell when I can so that I can buy more glass to melt!

Other interesting information about Mallory: I used to be a high school special education teacher. When I make an "interesting" bead..somewhat wonky of off center, I often think of the youngsters I had in school. I wonder how they are doing at this point in their lives. I love to see them become successful in that they are working and paying their bills, getting married, having children, being good parents and living full, productive lives. It's a thrill to run into them in the communithy and see them as adults.

Now, go visit Mallory!!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

New Gift Certificate

I just created this new gift certificate....I have cute ones already but I just felt the need for a change. Plus, I get to make each one of these myself. Each one will be a bit different. I can't wait to make more. The brown background you see is actually the envelop..

Let me know what you think....

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Tacky Gift & Cookie Swap

Last night was my holiday party. It was so fun! A few people who had planned on coming couldn't since family issues and illness held them back. We missed them.

My favorite moment of the party was when I had everyone team up for the Christmas Tree Wrap......one person from the team had to be the tree while the other team players had to decorate them. They had about 8 minutes to do this and I almosted pee'd my pants watching it all.

I had a very resourceful team, a creative team and an inovative team which really means another creative one. Yes, that balloon is not really a balloon but a condom!! The condom was taken from another game we played....called Feel Up the Stocking.

Everyone brought a Tacky gift and I read the Right Left Christmas story. We all ended up with some horrid, some good and some strange "gifts". Sue always likes to pretend she has "forgotten" her gift and leaves it here for me to find in the morning BUT this year Santa is mailing it to her!!!! I know she won't read this....she is not much of a computer person.

I'm just sorry I didn't take more pictures! Its hard trying to remember picture taking when your laughing so much!
Well, after about 4 more cups of coffee I think I'll be ready to make some beads today. I have plenty to do in that department.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Working with a Theme

Sometimes a theme just takes off for you and inspires a wealth of items. My theme has been Silver and Glass and I've primarily been focused on earrings. I wanted to work with lower priced items for the holidays considering the economy and all. Anyways, I'm really thrilled with my results. I just shot these and the lighting wasn't the best but I still think they are terrific. Some of these will be available in my Etsy shop so get them while you can. Others will be shipped out to shops. I'll be sure to show you others that are in the line up.