Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Thursday Giveaway Winner...

The winner for this past week's Thursday Giveaway is Malin de Koning. Congratulations! Please email me with your contact information and I'll put your prize in the post. Be on the look out next Thursday for another opportunity to win!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Safely Kept...

I made this as a gift for a friend of mine for her birthday. It's a vintage locket all the way from Australia with a textured vintage key riveted to the front. It's a way to keep pictures of the kids safe. The locket is hung on a long necklace with rubies, gold-filled wire and gold-plated chain.

Bad Kitty...

Bold as brass, Paulo remains at the scene of the crime.

This boy can be awfully naughty! He knocks things over, claws things up, and pesters his sister. He sneaks places he's not supposed to be and has a RED sticker on his file at the vet's. But for all his mischievous ways, he's terribly cute and that makes up for A LOT!


I just uploaded twenty-five new lots to the Sale site and will continue to take pictures for the next upload as long as there is light out. (My goal is to do another upload tonight!) There are some treasures in the most recently posted batch that were most definitely hard to part with, but I feel better for putting them out there. Hopefully they all will find happy homes. CLICK HERE to visit the Sale site!

Oh! And if you see something you like in the Sale site, but can't afford it... make me an offer. It never hurts to ask. There are no hard and fast rules here about how much anything costs. Some of the beads in the lot sets are worth more by themselves than what I'm charging for the entire lot sixfold. There is definitely treasure to be found!

Although it is wonderful to make money and pay bills, this is more about me liberating myself and freeing up space, both mental and physical space. It's an exercise in letting things go. In six months, I might be in another phase in my life and my hoarding streak will blaze fiercely... so it's an opportunity for me to purge while I can – while it feels right and good. So, if you see something you like in the Sale site, seize your opportunity!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Beaded Links...

A Bead A Day
Do you like to mix crafting with jewelry making? Lisa is looking for crafty ideas for using a filigree pendant to create a unique piece of jewelry.

About.com Jewelry Making
Tammy announces her first About.com jewelry making video.

Art Bead Scene
While Art Bead Scene Editor, Cindy Gimbrone is on vacation, she's left us a gem from Studio Saturday - her box of inspiration!

Beading Arts
After receiving a wonderful package of crystals from Auntie's Beads, Cyndi set out to make a bracelet that would show them off!

Carmi's Art/Life World
The new Katiedids components are responsible for Carmi's new pearl necklace design.

Cindy Gimbrone, The Lampwork Diva
While Cindy's off enjoying the bead-ch, let's get ready for the upcoming HalloweenMas newsletters by checking in on a re-wind. It's Barbe Saint John's magic with Cindy's Calaveraz.

Earthenwood Studio Chronicles
Melanie shows off the treasures of her shopping spree at Bead Fest Philly.

Katie's Beading Blog
Katie shares a couple of ideas for jewelry using crystals and pearls, plus, announces a giveaway winner.

Lorelei's Blog: Inside the Studio
Lorelei shows off her loot from her Bead Fest Philadelphia trip!

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Jean is totally WOWed by the fabulous Margot Potter's latest book: scroll down to read the truly intriguing review of this unique book--it is SO worth it!

The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton
SueBeads has generously supplied an assortment of goodies for this week's Thursday Giveaway.


They nailed this horoscope on the head! I can totally get behind this "get it done" attitude and am looking forward to delving further into my passions!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

BeadFest Loot...

If you've been following along the blog, after reading the title to this post you might be scratching your head and saying to yourself, "Hey! Wait a second! I thought you didn't go to BeadFest!?!?" And you'd be absolutely correct. I did not go to the show this year, but I did have a friend who did! Lorelei graciously acted as my personal shopper and stocked me up on lots of goodies. Included in my package were lots of interesting findings, components and ICE Resin from Susan Lenart Kazmer of Objects and Elements, beautiful silky porcelain pieces fromNancy Schindler of Round Rabbit and Joan Miller, and lovely lampwork glass from JoAnne Zekowski of Z Designs in Glass.

Aren't these inspiring picks? I can't wait to carve out some time to work with all these amazing finds! I am particularly excited about the new 1 oz syringes of ICE Resin! It's such a clever idea. They've been packaging two part epoxies like this forever, but this makes perfect sense. Sometimes you need just a little bit of resin to fill a couple of bezels. If you're like me, you might be tempted to forego the measuring cups and eyeball it (which is usually a bad idea when trying to mix exact quantities). The new syringes make it easy to squeeze out just the right amount in equal portions and not have to worry about sticky cups or making too much.

My brain is buzzing with a plethora of ideas! Now, I just need to find some time to execute all these grand plans in my head!

Friday, August 27, 2010


I've been having a hard time with my carnivorous plants. One week they're doing brilliantly, thriving and producing babies... the next week, dead. My Venus Flytraps are sadly dying off. Out of the twenty or so that I had, only six remain and they are not in the best of conditions. The Drosera (aka sundew) is holding on, but it is fickle. One day it's the peak of health and the next it is a limp, brown mess. My sarracenia has been consistently underwhelming. That is... until now!

I've been experimenting with the best placement of the plants and how moist to keep the soil. The sundew seems to do better in a controlled environment with medium moisture. Too much and it wilts. Not enough and it dries up. I put the sarracenia outside to soak up a little rain water and it's thriving! While it was indoors, it produced a few small stalks. None of them ever opened to my knowledge. But as soon as this one was outside, new BIG stalks sprung up and were lovely examples of the species.

Luckily the local botanical society is organizing field trips to a nearby wetland called, "Third Bridge Wetland" and a bog called, "Spruce Flats Bog". I'll have to keep my eyes open for the carnivorous plants. Apparently in the 1950's the same botanical society introduced some of the first "pitcher plants" to the bog and it's reported that they are thriving quite nicely to this day. I will definitely be along for these trips!

Self-Portrait Friday...

The garden has been very generous with tomatoes this year. It seems like every day there's a bushel ready to be picked. I'm constantly thinking of all the different things that I can make with these vine-ripened, carnelian jewels.

I fell asleep after a picking session earlier this week. The smell of the tomato plants was still heavy on my hands. As I drifted off into dreamland, memories began to surface. I remembered my grandmother's garden behind the big white house. James (my cousin) and I would steal the Tupperware saltshaker, the plastic yellowing from age and the blue letters worn away by use. We would hide in between the rusted metal structures holding up the fuzzy-leafed tomato plants. We'd pick tomatoes right off the plants and enjoy them with a sprinkle of salt. This was the taste of summer.

Memory soon gave way to fantasy...

Suddenly, the plants began to sprout their canary-colored blossoms by the hundreds and within the span of seconds, began to develop fruit. Each plant began to bubble with more and more green knobs that swelled and reddened as I looked. Soon the garden was flooded with a sea of red-orange orbs. The tomatoes multiplied beneath me without end. I looked around, but my cousin was missing and I was alone, atop the pile. Still the tomatoes abounded exponentially. The big white house seemed so small and was swallowed up by this ocean of produce. I noticed that I was no longer the child of my memories, but the adult I am today... still holding on to that old saltshaker.

Introducing: Strung Out...

The fine folks at Beadaholique picked the name for their new blog! Sarah Stahl ended up clenching the $100 prize with her suggestion of "Strung Out... a beader's blog". CLICK HERE to see the other top contenders.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Thursday Giveaway...

This week, one lucky winner will claim an assortment of goodies courtesy of Sue Kennedy of SueBeads. She has generously put together a grouping of enameled glass beads, lampwork glass rondelles, Moldavite-green "sugar" beads, and a customized copper bezel filled with resin and Washi paper. I love the rich autumnal colors of her lampwork beads and the smooth satiny finish of the enameled glass. For a full selection of Sue's beads, swing by her website or check out her Etsy shop. You'll enjoy free shipping from August 26th to midnight (EST) August 31st. CLICK HERE to visit her blog to get the behind-the-scenes look at the artist and her work.

You could easily be the winner of the bead spread shown above. All you have to do is leave a comment on this blog post WITH the name of your favorite bead from her WEBSITE. One lucky winner will be randomly selected from the comment section of this blog post on Monday (August 30th) at midnight EST. Make sure to leave your name if it doesn't already appear next to your comment for easy verification (and don't forget to say what your favorite bead is from her website)! This giveaway is open to all participants, including international readers.

Bonus Points: Want to earn an extra shot at these gorgeous beads? All you have to do is blog, update your Facebook page and/or Twitter about this Thursday Giveaway. Please leave a SEPARATE comment with your act of social media kindness.


I've been enjoying the cicada song for the last part of summer. Often times I have the windows flung wide open, listening to their serene songs filtering in. I am told that after their buzzing drone is first heard, it's six weeks until the first frost. Their song heralds the end of summer quickly coming to a close.

Rarely do I see them. Usually, they are only heard. Earlier today though, I spotted this little fellow on the deck. The insect reminded me of my first trip to the area, exactly one year ago. I found a dead cicada – perfectly preserved – while taking a stroll. I still have that dry cicada carcass. Its brittle body and paper-crisp wings are tucked safely away in a tin. This fragile thing is stacked carefully between two squares of quilting batting, and is hidden from prying eyes and unwanted looks. I keep it as a reminder of the passage of time and the renewal of life that surrounds us all.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Lark Jewelry & Beading 500 Series Book Giveaway...

Lark Jewelry & Beading is hosting another great giveaway! This time they're putting up for grabs the entire set of 500 Series Jewelry books (1000 Rings, 500 Bracelets, 500 Brooches, 500 Necklaces, 500 Earrings, 500 Pendants & Lockets, 500 Plastic Jewelry Designs, 500 Wedding Rings, and 500 Gemstone Jewels). They've also included Brilliance! That's ten books! I have a couple of these books and they're absolutely luscious. They're visual candy that is full of inspiration! After looking through them, your fingers will itch to make something. That's a guarantee!

To enter the giveaway is super easy. All you have to do is visit their blog and comment on the post with your favorite piece of jewelry and what it means to you. You have until 9 PM EST on August 30th. CLICK HERE to participate.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


The first twenty lots are finally up in the SALE SHOP. If you have questions about anything, feel free to ask me. I'll do my best to answer them. I admit that the descriptions are lacking in details, but I did say that this sale would be "quick and dirty". I'll upload another twenty or so items this afternoon. But don't let that stop you from getting something now. I'll refund shipping from multiple orders placed during the run of the sale. Happy Bargain Hunting!

Thursday Giveaway Winner...

The winners for this past week's Thursday Giveaway are Amy of Copper Diem and Yelisa of Imaginative Jewlery and Creaciones Yeli. Congratulations! Please email me with your contact information and I'll put your prizes in the post. Be on the look out next Thursday for another opportunity to win!

Monday, August 23, 2010


I've been working feverishly to get things posted to the sale site. It hasn't been easy. A storm passed through today, which seriously compromised my internet access. (We have satellite internet and when it's cloudy or storming, service is either severely reduced or stopped completely.) We're definitely investigating and trying out alternative options to prevent this in the future. Virgin mobile has a product called Broadband2Go and this might be the answer to our problems. We'll see.

But... as some of you may know, when it storms my head starts to pound. I joke around that I'm a human barometer. I don't know what it is exactly... whether it's all in my head or if it is indeed a shift in atmospheric pressure causing my sinus cavities to turn into flaming pockets of burning pain. I took a few hours, while the internet was down to rest.

I pulled an "all-nighter" or rather an "all-day-and-nighter" yesterday. Staying up for days in a row didn't used to be a problem. Sometimes I'd get so caught up in projects that I'd realize that I had only slept a handful of hours the entire week. But as time marches on, it has become very apparent that sleep is becoming a necessity and not an option. Realty is setting in that I'm not as spry as I used to be. I don't think my stubbornness to stay awake and hammer through did anything to help the situation today. I felt like I was scraped off the bottom of someone's shoe.

So... faced with reality, I'm just going to have to step back a little and work on things a little at a time. It's easy to get caught up in the zeal, but if I have any intention on living through this massive undertaking, I'm going to have to pace myself. New items will appear tonight in the shop and then tomorrow afternoon.

(A big thanks to everyone who has been patiently awaiting the updates to both the shops!)

Gifts from Hawaii...

My good friend and talented artisan, Candice Wakumoto sent me an early birthday present and care package! Whenever I open a package from her, it's like Christmas morning. She sent a variety of Asian foods and Hawaiian specialities that are hard – nigh impossible – to track down here (including coconut butter not shown in the picture). She also sent a cat toy for "the kids" (also not shown).

But the real prize included in her package from Hawaii was the opening flower pod made out of fine silver with gold accents. I love the organic shape and all the possibilities of what to fill it with. This will most definitely go into my treasure chest of favorite things. Thank you, Candice!

More Toad Lilies...

Here's another toad lily from my deck garden. I have to say that they are quickly becoming some of my favorites. This particular tricyrtis hirta "Miyazaki" is much like the last I shared, but the spots are more fuchsia instead of pale purple.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Beaded Links...

A Bead A Day
Do you have plenty of beads in all the right colors? Lisa is exploring the meaning of the color purple and discovers she might need to do some bead shopping!

About.com Jewelry Making
Have you ever thought about expanding your jewelry business but need a little mulla to do so? Then you may want to learn more about this jewelry grant.

Art Bead Scene
It's the Art Bead Scene Monthly Carnival Blog! Join us as we embark on an exploration.

Beading Arts
Chapter three of Cyndi's e-book is available for download! "Dimensional Beading" looks at how to use textural stitches in your bead embroidery!

Carmi's Art/Life World
This week Carmi makes a floral tribute necklace with fabric flowers.

Cindy Gimbrone aka Lampwork Diva
This week Cindy's Mad for Monday is about the frit.

Earthenwood Studio Chronicles
Melanie shows the results of her experiments with Ice Resin and LEDs... Light! Science!

Snap Out of It, Jean! There's Beading to be Done!
Jean reviews Making Mixed Media Art Charms and Jewelry: not to be missed!

Strands of Beads
Melissa unveils her new Saturn charm.

The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton
For this week's Thursday Giveaway, TWO winners will walk away with beautiful bead sets created by Gaea Ceramic Beads.

Clearwing "Hummingbird" Moth...

I was out on the deck tending the flowers when I heard the familiar buzz of hummingbird wings. I didn't think too much about it. I have a feeder out and they are constantly divebombing each other. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw the familiar shape and green of the hummingbirds. Again, I didn't think anything of it. That's when I started to look a little closer...

Buzzing around the bright red dianthus, was not a bird... but a BUG! I was surprised to see that this creature was not in fact one of my hummingbird visitors but a clearwing "hummingbird" moth, (also known as, "Hemaris thysbe").

They have large, fleshy bodies that closely resemble the shape and size of an adult hummingbird. The wings were in constant motion, so it appears from a distant that they are indeed hummingbirds. The telltale sign though that they are different creatures are the dark black antennae, long legs and curled tongue.

Above is an illustration of the Clearwing Hummingbird Moth by the talented artist, April Flaherty. CLICK HERE to visit her website to check out more of her botanical themed pieces.

The Deep Shame...

I know I said I wouldn't post pictures of my mess, but I'm going to be absolutely brutal with myself. Above is a compilation of images from my studio. Keep in mind that this is AFTER almost a year of organizing and sorting. It feels like Sisyphus' boulder or the many-headed hydra. It's true that there are some parts of the studio that are shaping up (not shown), but this is the yoke on my back... this is the canon ball around my ankle.

It's my goal to break the chain and have a clean, organized place to create.


I've noticed that quite a few people are cleaning their studios lately. Marcia DeCoster deep cleaned her's. Jean Campbell moved and used it as an opportunity to organize her stash. John Dearden of Willo Wire made strides to overcome being organizationally challenged. Lorelei reorganized and rearranged her studio. Cindy Gimbrone had a "Manic Monday" and did some serious cleaning. Lynn Davis up and moved and started unpacking her studio.

I hopscotched over piles of papers, beads, boxes and tools, cleared a small spot in the middle of my studio and asked myself, "Why the heck can't I get my act together and clean my studio? I've been here a year for crying out loud!"

Really, it's a nightmare in there. I'd take a picture of monstrous mess, but I'm embarrassed. I tried to be in denial about it and say that it was still in progress, but to be frank and honest – the only progress is the growth and accumulation of MORE stuff.

Now, don't get me wrong... that "stuff" isn't "bad stuff". In fact, there's a lot of "good stuff". Just with a quick shuffling around, I found a bag of rubies and tourmalines. I had been looking for those for MONTHS! I've got a lot of great things, waiting for me. I was chatting with Lorelei last week about how I have so many beads that I could make something every day for the next ten years and still have plenty to spare. I have so much stuff that I'm beginning to forget where I got what and who made it.

So here's what I'm going to do. For the next two weeks I'm going to have a sale. I'm going to be ruthless. I'm going just grab handfuls, take a picture, put a lot number and assign a ridiculously low price. It's going to be quick and dirty. I need to make room. I need to make space. I need to clear stuff. And not just physically. I need to purge mentally and emotionally. I'll have to let go of a lot of things that I still like, but know I'll never use. It's going to hurt, but it's necessary. I'm a hoarder at heart... it's going to REALLY hurt.

And guess what? I don't have enough room in my Shop, so I'm setting up a new shop... just for this purpose. I'm going to start posting things tonight. If you see something you want, grab it while you can. I'll refund multiple shipping charges AND each customer will receive a generous goodie bag to say THANK YOU for helping me with my illness organizational efforts.


Saturday, August 21, 2010


Lately, I've been receiving more and more requests for me to remove the word verification feature on my comments. Apparently several frustrated readers tried to leave comments different times on the Thursday Giveaway posts without success.

So... here goes!

I had done a test earlier with disastrous results. I ended up getting spammed like crazy and spent many tedious hours removing the insidious comments carrying potentially dangerous links. My fingers are crossed that this test will be different.

Just Relaxing...

I should take a page out of Paulo's book. He plays when he wants. He naps when he likes and lounges about casually.

Often times I get tied up in all the things that I think I should be doing. When everything is said and done, I ask myself, "Was that really necessary or was I just making more work for myself?" Usually it's a rhetorical question, because I am indeed someone who creates more work than need be. Perhaps one day I'll have a personal assistant who can streamline my schedule and allow me to have some free time for myself, away from that horrible overworking slave driver – me.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Gaea By the Sea...

I call this bracelet, "Gaea By the Sea". I was inspired by the beautiful ceramic beads with the blue-green glaze from Gaea Ceramic Beads. I paired the ceramic beads with faceted teal-colored pearls, tortoiseshell Czech glass rondelles, and Swarovski crystals. I selected the satin indicolite and the ABx2 aqua colored crystals to add a little sparkle and enhance the oceanic colors. To pull everything together, I used a sterling silver toggle from my family.

I love how all the dangles really add movement and life to this piece. I think the ceramic beads really make this bracelet come together. While Gaea is on my mind, don't forget to drop by her Etsy shop for her HUGE summer sale! You can also stop by this week's Thursday Giveaway and enter to win your own ceramic bead set. Michelle Mach is also hosting a giveaway on her blog in conjunction with the participants of the NEW fall Stringing issue.

Self-Portrait Friday...

Lately, the self-portraits have become somewhat of an illustrated dream journal. I've been trying to embody the surreal symbolically in these photographs. Not an easy feat. Especially trying to translate last night's dream. It was a semi-lucid dream, where I was partially conscious that it was in fact a dream. It felt so real though and started off so ordinary. I woke up and got out bed. I headed to the shower like any other day. As I washed myself and drifted off into the euphoria of a hot shower, the droplets and spray of water became diamonds. The soap suds became crystalline bubbles. One would think that it would hurt being pelted with precious gemstones, but it felt like a slow and steady shower of rice or running your fingers through dry lentils. It felt absolutely luxurious, like thousands of tiny massages. I was also excited and thrilled to be ankle deep in diamonds, surely worth many, many, many millions...

Setting up this shot and taking it on my own was not the easiest. I did have some antique chandelier crystals that I thought would be a suitable substitutions for diamonds, which helped. I thought about going in the shower and taking the picture there, but the lighting in the shower is not the best, I didn't want to get my camera wet, and I didn't want the lens to fog up (nor did I want to take a cold shower). So I settled on greasing myself down with oil and spritzing myself with a water-bottle. Problem solved, right? Unfortunately the carefully placed strands of leaded glass crystal started slipping and sliding. I also don't have a tripod, so I had to jerry rig a stack of boxes to get the camera at the right height. Considering all the challenges, I think the shot turned out quite well and captured the essence of the dream perfectly.

Lunchtime Treat...

I love pork. I admit freely that I have dreams about pulled pork sandwiches and bacon rice. When I left New York, one of my going away parties was Pork themed and every dish included in some form or fashion of the ingredient of honor: pork! I fantasize about barbeque and pork chops. (I distinctly remember a trip to Charleston and a wonderful little restaurant filled with paintings called Sermet's Corner. They had these fabulous pork chops in a honey lavender glaze. My mouth waters just thinking about them!)

For lunch today, I decided to make a cabbage "slaw" salad with slow-roasted pork and a honey mustard dressing. It's a spin on a sandwich that 'Wichcraft makes. I substituted the red cabbage for the cabbage growing in my garden and left out the jalapeno peppers. To make the dressing, I mixed 1 part Spicy Brown Mustard, 1 part Stone Ground Mustard, 1 part Honey, 1 part Apple Cider Vinegar, 1 dash of Balsamic Vinegar, and 1 teaspoon of Coleman's Mustard Powder, and a dash of Smoked Paprika and Cayenne Pepper. The result was a surprising light salad, but totally satisfying. The sweetness of the cabbage and the dressing paired well with the spicy mustard dressing. The pork was supremely tender and went well with the crunch of the cabbage. It was a totally decadent lunch. Usually my lunches consist of a cup of coffee and a few baby carrots.

If I Had a Million Dollars: Figurative Women Sculptors...

When I was a kid, my friend Jenni and I used to imagine what we'd do if we had trash bags full of money. I sometimes still play this game. What would I do if I had inexhaustible bank accounts? Of course, there's a lot of good that could be done in the world and there are so many people in need that money could help. But... if I had to spend the money on things for myself, ART would definitely be one of the things that I would purchase.

Here's a (short) list of six of some of the figurative women sculptors that I would collect:

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Banana Spice Cookies...

A tractor trailer filled with bananas ended up crashing not far from me a few weeks ago. Sadly, the driver was killed in the crash. You can read the news brief HERE. The seal on the storage unit was broken and apparently the gases used to keep the bananas from turning escaped. As a result, they could not sell them to the grocery stores and ended up dividing up the bananas amongst the neighbors and local charities. I ended up with a BOX of bananas. I've been making banana pudding, banana bread, banana muffins, banana foster, a recipe I invented called "banana foster cake", banana smoothies, banana daiquiris, frozen bananas dipped in chocolate, banana ice cubes, banana pancakes, banana creme burlee, and now... banana cookies. I got the recipe HERE. These were a real hit! They are more "soft baked" and have an almost cake-like quality. The spice reminds me a lot of Christmas cookies.

I think for my next batch, I'll substitute cardamom for cloves and use some almond flour in the recipe. I might even make some "whoopie pies" with them and puree some banana fosters and combine it with cream cheese for the filling.

Thursday Giveaway...

This week, TWO lucky winners will claim prizes! The prizes are sets of ceramic beads! The art beads come courtesy of California-based artist and jewelry-maker, Gaea Cannaday of Gaea Ceramic Beads. Each bead is lovingly hand-made from start to finish and is conveniently paired with complimentary beads to create the sets. I adore the earthy colors and subtle textures, and I appreciate the hard work that went into crafting them. Gaea is having a MASSIVE summer sale in her Etsy shop that is not to be missed! CLICK HERE to visit her Etsy shop.

To enter to win these lovely beads is super easy! All you have to do is leave a comment on this blog post WITH your favorite item from Gaea's Etsy shop. There are a lot to choose from!

Two lucky winners will be randomly selected from the comment section on this post on Monday (August 23rd) at midnight EST. Make sure to leave your name if it's not next to your comment already. Leaving your name facilitates easy verification. Don't forget to say what your FAVORITE item in her Etsy shop is. This giveaway is open to all participants, including international readers.

Bonus Points: Want another shot at winning? All you have to do is blog about, update your Facebook page and/or Twitter about this Thursday Giveaway. Leave a SEPARATE comment with what you did for an additional opportunity at winning.

Extra Bonus Points: Become a follower of Gaea's blog and leave a SEPARATE comment afterwards. Becoming a follower is simple. Find the widget on the sidebar to the right and click, "Follow". Don't forget to add an additional comment for your extra chance at winning these beautiful beads!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

BeadFest and Bob Burkett...

It doesn't look like I'll be attending BeadFest in Philly this year. (Not unless a small miracle occurs.) It's a bit sad, because this is a really fantastic show and I always look forward to seeing everyone there.

Just because I won't be going this year doesn't mean that my family won't be there. In fact, Green Girl Studios will proudly be represented and will have some of the infamous texture tools! These are wonderful sculpting and texturing tools; they allow you to get in every nook and cranny. I used to joke around that you can pay $15 for a tool and skip the four years of art school (at $40,000 a year) and have comparable results. Some of you might remember them from ages past. They've recently been resurrected and are finally being manufactured once again.

This year, Green Girl Studios will have a special guest! Bob Burkett is a special friend of the family, who is an amazingly talented bead-maker and a master metalsmith. He and his fabulous work will be present at the show. This is an important show for Bob. He's working to help defray the costs of the medical expenses from his daughter's diagnosis of breast cancer. If you see him, help him and his daughter out by considering one of his pieces.

My family will also be giving away $3 for every Texture Tool sold. If you're lucky enough to attend the show this weekend, please support Bob's efforts in helping his daughter in whatever capacity you can.

Fall Stringing Blog Carnival...

Have you seen the latest issue of Stringing magazine? It's absolutely lovely. I think that the photography in this issue is simply stunning. I really like the direction that the magazine is going. Unfortunately, I was unable to participate this issue, but I still think that it's full of inspiration and some drop dead gorgeous designs. Some of my favorite designers have created pieces for this magazine.

To celebrate the debut of the magazine, some of the designers are participating in a blog carnival. Michelle Mach is hosting a giveaway on her blog. CLICK HERE to visit her blog and participate. You have until Monday at noon Mountain time to get your entry in to potentially win some fabulous beads from Gaea Ceramic Beads and Rings & Things. Also up for grabs is a copy of the new issue of Stringing!

Here are the 24 designers participating in the blog carnival:

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Thursday Giveaway Winner...

The winner for this past week's Thursday Giveaway is Debbie of Mosaic Magpie. Congrats! Please email me with your contact information and I'll put your prize in the post. Be on the look out next Thursday for two chances to win!

Monday, August 16, 2010

The Name Game...

What's in a name? If you're the winner of the renaming of the relaunch of the Beadaholique blog, it's $100 worth of merchandise! Beadholique is currently holding a call for suggestions on their Facebook Fan Page. All you have to do is comment with what you think the new Beadaholique blog should be called and you'll be entered to win! You have until August 26th to participate. CLICK HERE to visit their Facebook Fan Page.

Lorelei Eurto Interview...

Lark Jewelry & Beading just posted a really great Blogger Profile on my friend and fellow jewelry designer, Lorelei Eurto. In the interview, she answers five questions that give a peek into her world and her blog. (She even names me as one of her inspirations!) CLICK HERE to check out the interview in its entirety.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Beaded Links...

About.com Jewelry Making
Tammy found some inspiration by way of some very cool clasps!

Art Bead Scene
Get your inspiration on for the August Art Bead Scene Monthly Challenge. Think "Sunrise."

Beading Arts
Do you like art charms? Visit Beading Arts and sign up to win a copy of a brand new book on making them!

Carmi's Art/Life World
Carmi pulls out her buttons to make a jeweled attachment for sweaters.

Cindy Gimbrone aka Lampwork Diva
Cindy previews an upcoming newsletter series, Happy HalloweenMas. Sign up for her newsletter to find out what it's all about.

Earthenwood Studio Chronicles
Melanie joins some up with some hacker friends to play with LEDs and Ice Resin

Snap Out of It, Jean! There's Beading to be Done!
Jean continues her analysis of the jewelry designers whom she admires--wait!!!--loves! with some of her favorite seed beaders and weavers on "The Jean's List"!
Strands of Beads
Melissa puts a new twist on her skully charm by pairing it with a new cutlass design.

The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton
Do you have a collection of lampwork beads nobody ever sees? Embrace simple, easy designs to showcase your glass treasures! Andrew shares five quick projects to inspire you to finally wear them!

Jill MacKay on Scrapblog.com...

Jill MacKay, artist and jewelry-designer extraordinaire, has teamed up with Scrapblog.com to offer her jewelry components and her father's collection of vintage ephemera online. In a digital format, her content can be easily incorporated into things like greeting cards, calendars and scrapbooks. To check out this recent creative partnership, CLICK HERE.

The Tucson Workshops...

I've been thinking a lot about the desert recently. Part of me will always belong to the sand, stone and endless sky of the Southwest. I was born there. The desert is apart of me. I'm looking forward to spending part of my winter in the desert. Not only because I'll be escaping the mountains of snow and ice, but I always enjoy my time there. We have a lot in common and I deeply respect and admire her and her work. While in Tucson, we'll be co-teaching workshops. This is very exciting! The details are coming to fruition and it promises to be a most excellent time. I've got a lot to share.

Friday, August 13, 2010

The Creative Room...

Did you know that the fine folks at Fusion Beads now have their own blog? It's called The Creative Room and spotlights artisan bead-makers, various techniques, and includes jewelry designs. (Be sure to check out the post about my family including an interview with my sister, Cynthia.) I am so happy that one of my favorite online retailers (and some of the most darling people in the bead world) now have a place to hang their shingle in the blogosphere!

Self-Portrait Friday...

I'm a bit crunched for time this week. So I decided to put up an older self-portrait of myself. This is from the "Pre-Shorn" era, when I still had lots of hair. The painting is rather large, about 4 feet by 3 feet. The background is made up of old paintings of mine (from a stretch of five years) that I cut up and sewed together, creating a quilt of memory and canvas. Fragments remain, peeking out through the ghostly image of my face. I like how where the overlaying paint is thicker and more opaque, a tracery of scars can be seen from the underlaying stitches... almost as if they refuse to be forgotten.

Stuffed Peppers...

The garden has been very generous with peppers this summer. I've had to be creative with what to do with them. I found a recipe for Stuffed Peppers and tried my hand at it. They're clever, because they are hearty enough to be a meal-in-one and don't require additional side-dishes. This is particularly helpful when you're on deadline and need something quick. The recipe was fairly straightforward – core the peppers, fill the peppers with a meat, tomato and rice mixture, and then bake the peppers until they are soft. I made an obscene number of them. (Two dozen!) The recipe, that I loosely followed and added my own flourishes to, promised that they hold up nicely in the freezer and will be even better upon reheating. I'm excited about having these ready to go!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

24 Hour Sale...

I'm inches away from finishing the long awaited product update to my shop. The only snag is that there is a 100 item limit. This means that I need to clear some serious room if I ever hope to finish. To help you, help me free up some space, I'm hosting a 24 Hour Sale on EVERYTHING in the shop starting at 4 PM today! That's right, you've got a day to save some serious dollars. Just use the coupon code, "twentyfour" when you check out to receive your 24% off discount. CLICK HERE to visit my shop.