Saturday, January 31, 2009

Shrinky Dinks....Such Fun!

Sometimes inspiration is found in the toy section! The childrens craft section to be exact. I've been having a great time making elements for my jewelry using shrinky dinks. The whole process is fun! Look at my examples below to see just how much they change in size once baked....

Now I must make some beads to go with these silly little elements. Look for some soon....I have other ideas too!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

One World One Heart Giveaway!

One World One Heart Giveaway is a blog owners event where artist giveaway a handmade item with the purpose of meeting new friends and encouraging new visitors to each others blog. Here is what I'll be offering as my give away ~ Something appropriate for Valentines Day and the "One Heart" idea. Anyone can participate. All you have to do is leave a comment HERE on my Giveaway post and you will be entered into my drawing. Hope I get lots of names to toss into the hat! A winner will be drawn on February 12!

I discovered this cool event as I was just checking out my facebook and checking in on friends. Thanks to Marcy for spotlighting this on her blog and making me aware! And, thanks to Lisa for creating such a cool event!

Please click on the link above to learn more and to see all the other wonderful items being offered.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Hot, Spicy & Good

Yesterday was my Valentine inspired Open House. It was a great event and I saw a number of people I haven't seen in a bit. I concentrated on my New heart pendants and necklaces and both were well recieved.

My goofy dogs and then shinaniganes entertained us all and my good friend Donna hung out with Peter and played wii......most everyone ended up playing wii at some point....who can resist that fun!....All and all, it was just a great day spent indoors with good people, good fun, and BEADS of course!!

Hope to see YOU at my next party :)

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Beadmaking Japanese Style

It seems like every year around this time I pull out this book. I purchased this maybe 5 years ago and love it. Althought I can't read most of whats in it (there is some English), I have picked up many useful tips and techniques. The torch set up alone is very intreguing to me...I actually saw this author at work and loved watching a totally different working style. The Japanese style, like all there work, is delicate, intrecate and just down right beautiful. One day I'd like to go to Japan and take a class......that would be REALLY interesting....

Its very cold today and the week ahead is said to be in either the low teens and twenties or at single digits. With that being said, I don't believe I will be spending to much time at the torch. It takes a bit for my studio to warm up and by then I just can't bring myself to walk the short distance to my get there. What a wimp I am.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Positive Passengers Wanted!

Rule#6~ No Energy Vampires Allowed
“You got to be strong enough to tell people that you will not allow any negativity on your
bus. You got to say this is where we are going and to get there we need a positive and
supportive team and whoever is negative will be kicked off the bus or left at the station.”

This is a great book.... Energy Bus. My husband is the Director of Transportation in a local school district and turned me onto this book a few months ago. I haven't yet read it but from the bits and pieces my husband shares me , I'm anxious to do so. I think its a great message. A positive one. One that welcomes everyone in but doesn't feel the least bit bad for kicking stinkin thinkers off.

About the Book:

“It’s Monday morning and George walks out the front door to his car and a flat tire. But this is the least of his problems. His home life is in shambles and his team at work is in disarray. With a big new product launch coming up in 2 weeks for the NRG-2000 he has to find a way to get it together or risk losing his marriage and job. Forced to take the bus to work, George meets a unique kind of bus driver and an interesting set of characters (passengers) that over the course of 2 weeks share the 10 rules for the ride of his life… and attempt to help him turn around his work and team and save his job and marriage from an almost inevitable destruction.”

In the mode of other best selling business fables The Energy Bus, by Jon Gordon, takes readers on an enlightening and inspiring ride that reveals 10 secrets for approaching life and work with the kind of positive, forward thinking that leads to true accomplishment - at work and at home. Everyone faces challenges. And every person, organization, company and team will have to overcome negativity and adversity to define themselves and create their success. No one goes through life untested and the answer to these tests is positive energy—the kind of positive energy consisting of vision, trust, optimism, enthusiasm, purpose, and spirit that defines great leaders and their teams. Drawing upon his experience and work with thousands of leaders, sales professionals, teams, non-profit organizations, schools, and athletes, Gordon infuses this engaging story with keen insights, actionable strategies and a big dose of positive infectious energy. For managers and team leaders or anyone looking to turn negative energy into positive achievement The Energy Bus provides a powerful roadmap to overcome common life and work obstacles and bring out the best in yourself and your team. When you get on The Energy Bus you’ll enjoy the ride of your life!"

This book is for everyone not just professionals who work in a traditional job. Its for YOU. Its about attitude. How you choose to treat yourself and others. We've all experienced the gossips, those who are arrogant about what they do and how they do it, and those who try to suck you dry of every ounce of energy you have...............this book gives you great insight as to how to approach it all.

I plan on beginning this book tomorrow. I actually need to buy one for myself since Peter leaves his at work.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Be Whacky

I have been itching to be Whacky. To do things differently. To explore whatever captures the attention of my muse. Its not a creative slump I'm in but its a giddy desire to dive into creative bliss!!!! To me, thats when I am free, unchained to make things that I have to. Instead I allow myself to do as I please.....make what moves me........create freely. One of my FAVORITE ways to kick start this process is my Creative Whack Pack. Last year I shared this pack with you and I've dusted them off and am playing around with these cards today.

There are a few cards from this deck that have caught my eye. The one I'm going to start with will be: Learn from Mistakes...its one of those things that I tell my art students but sometimes forget to utilize myself. "Errors are one of life's primary learning vehicles. That's because success reinforces the way you do things. When you fail, you learn what's not working, and you get the opportunity to try new approaches." This is the question the card then asks- What mistakes might you make on your current project? What might you learn?

The other card I'm going to use tomorrow actually will be, Think Like A Kid! I hope to show some of my Whacky results later this weekend. Stay tuned :)

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Outside My Comfort Zone

Its always interesting to shake things up and work outside your comfort zone. Working with colors, styles, shapes that aren't necessarily "you" has the potential of opening doors to new ways that grow to become YOU. I've been doing just that and my first trial bead is kind of interesting to me. Primarily neutral, what I call subtle with an organic textural feel are the ways I would describe the bead. I used a few reactive glasses which really helped in the loose "happenings" approach I wanted to take. I enjoyed making this first bead so much that I continued with this experiment yesterday and anxiously await this mornings kiln opening! As you can probably guess, these beads have multiple views but I've only chosen to show one...they are very intreguing to me but WOW are they different for me.....

I'd love to hear what you think about my step outside my box. Its a whole different way of working....

Friday, January 2, 2009

New Thinking for an Old Shape

Here are a few new hearts. I haven't yet made them all into pendants. Maybe I'll just put a few up in my Etsy shop and sell them as beads....don't know yet. The first one here is an example of my new pierced hearts......I've been interested in putting nails in my hearts but instead made my own "nail". I like it and plan on continuing with this pierced concept. My nail thing is great for dangling something from like this bitty silver key.
The next two hearts really focus on using black as a background element to dots and flowers.

This heart uses what I call a Starburst motif. All in the name of trying new things on an old shape.