Monday, March 28, 2011

Test Driving and Tweaking

The weekend show is over. There have been busier shows, but heaven knows, there have been some that were MUCH slower. (One day, I'll tell the story of the show in Mobile during the approach of a hurricane. Not great for attracting great crowds of shoppers!)

So this weekend was a great opportunity to meet some new customers, promote the next show I'll be doing, and get to know some fellow artists I hadn't had the chance to hang out with before. During a few extra-quiet moments, I managed to finish a little beadweaving project.

And I test drove some new elements in my booth. And tweaked. And documented so that I could obsess, um, reflect on it in the calm of my home.

The main change was new table covers, changed from purple to a sage green. As is painfully obvious, they need a bit more tailoring to fit. (There will be measuring. There will be pinning. There will be sewing. There will be probably also be some swearing and seam ripping involved, but I digress).

I also tested a new way of displaying some of my simpler, strung necklaces on my shoji screens. The basic concept is pretty good. It will be tweaked and revisited. I'm happy to identify some other real estate for necklaces so that I can free up some space on my tables. I feel like the spacing and arrangement of the holders can be improved, but it's a start.

So all in all, a good weekend!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Silver Linings in a Quiet Show

I'm usually a glass half full, silver linings kinda girl.

So while the first day of this weekend's show was a little slower than all of the artists might have hoped, I figured that tomorrow's bound to be busier. After all, there was a big 10k run this morning in town, and a local college played for the NCAA Division II men's basketball national championship (they won!) There was a little competition for people's attention today.

The folks who did come to the show were lovely, warm, and complimentary (here's hoping I spelled that the way that means "generous with compliments" rather than "free of charge, like a mint on the hotel room pillow"). Sadly, there were not many of them, so it's nice that the ones who were, were so pleasant.

Where's the silver lining? The slow traffic gave me some time throughout the day to finish a bracelet I'd been working on. Better pictures later, but here's a little preview (forgive the poor lighting and the obvious fact that I should have used a little lotion before using my palm as a background...)

Ah, well, here's to huge crowds with bulging wallets and spectacular taste in beaded jewelry tomorrow!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Puffy Peyote Triangles in Search of Loving Home

This weekend is my local artisans' guild spring show (ironic, since it's supposed to snow tonight...)

This is one of the pieces I'd love to send home with someone. I think it would look fabulous with an Easter dress. Or a rocking pair of jeans. Or a great, floaty, linen blouse.

Amazonite is such a delicious gemstone. This color would have been one of the crayons I wore down to the nub first out of every fresh box of Crayolas. It reminds me of the glorious color of the Gulf Coast water in the early morning sunshine. It makes me warm and happy. And since it's supposed to be 40 degrees outside tomorrow, warm is good.

The sculptural peyote triangles are puffy and so tactile, they feel spectacular against your skin. Silky, slinky, and seriously seductive. In the most proper, ladylike way, of course.

I've gone some changing up on my booth setup, too, so tomorrow I'll have some pictures of the new incarnation.

Y'all have a great weekend!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Mailbox Surprise!

You know how it is. You have a long day, the weather turns icky, the laundry's piled up like your own personal Alpine range. And then, something comes along to make things look a little brighter. Look what was in my mailbox to brighten my day!!

Deci from Gem Trails made these lovely earrings for me as part of the Pay It Forward exchange. Aren't they fun? I love the girly sparkle and the tough edge of the metal.

Thanks, Deci! Can't wait to rock these!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Forty-Nine Days and Counting

In different parts of the country, different things signal spring.

Daffodils. Cherry blossoms. Shadowy groundhogs. Peach orchards bursting into bloom. Snow birds heading back north.

Here in Louisville, the surest harbinger of spring is when people start making their plans for the Kentucky Derby. What the rest of the world knows as "the most exciting two minutes in sports," those of us who live here know it as the culmination of weeks of festivities, bourbon, parades, bourbon, parties, epic crowds of tourists, hair curling traffic, mint juleps (with bourbon), and the best darned excuse in the world to buy a fancy hat like this:

or this (you can tell she was at Derby by the commemorative cup she's holding. How would you like to have been sitting behind her in the grandstand?)

or this (yep, those are the famous Twin Spires of Churchill Downs behind her):

Or these:
And Derby is only seven weeks away -- forty-nine days and counting!

So in the spirit of all things Louisville, Derby, and spring, here's a pair of earrings of luscious blue faceted glass the color of a beautiful cloudless sky, suspended from gold plated pewter fleur de lis (the symbol of our fair city). Derby on, y'all!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Wherein the Old Dog Learns a New Trick and Links Abound

Okay, y'all can call me pathetic. Go ahead. I've been sitting here slapping myself in the forehead so much that anyone who sees me must think I'm practicing for a V8 commercial.

But I finally figured out how to imbed a link.

If you're from the South, this is where you say, "Bless her heart." If you're not, this is where you say, "What the heck took her so long?!"

What can I tell you? I'm over 30, and everyone who lives in my house under the age of 25 is off at college, so I had to figure this one out myself.

So anyway, there are still a couple chances left to Pay It Forward. Check it out -- leave a comment, and I'll be sending you something handmade fresh from my worktable to your mailbox!

Folks, I'm gonna be a linking MONSTER!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Bead Lust-ette, and a Pay It Forward Invitation

In my last post, I mentioned that I had gotten five, count them, five postcard notifications about a bead show last weekend.

Not being one to ignore what was obviously a message from the bead gods, I went.

And oddly, I behaved myself, purchasing only a few things. Not that the lovely lampwork on display didn't sing a siren song. And there were enough seed beads to make a rainbow blush by comparison. But I behaved. Thus, we have not a full-fledged, all-out, unbridled bead lust moment, but more a lust-ette.

So allow me to introduce the lovelies that came home with me -- lovely faceted fire agate, smoky quartz, and some fun crystals, luscious and delicate coral roses and zinnias, and ooh shiny silver.

And there's still a chance to Pay It Forward -- make a comment on my blog post that's here, and I'll send you something handmade by me (fun!)

All you have to do is post information about the Pay It Forward idea on your blog and promise to pass along treasures that you've handcrafted to the first five people who post to your blog.

Come on - play along!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Wherein I Commune With Fleas, Fall in Love, Heed a Call From the Universe, and Pay It Forward

First, you should know that I don't go to flea markets too often. I enjoy them and I absolutely love antique stores, but the time needed to pore through the mounds of treasures (while avoiding the less than fabulous junk that really may carry fleas), is not usually abundant in my weekends.

Today, though, the time was right, and there was a flea market at the fair grounds. I casually mentioned it to my husband, and he agreed to go with me.

Okay, this was a sign from heaven. The fact that my husband was willing to give up a portion of a rare free weekend to go digging through flea market goodies was either a sign that hell was freezing over or that I might, just might, find something wonderful.

So we went. We browsed. We communed with the fleas and their marketers. It was all pretty disappointing, frankly. Until on our way out to the parking lot when I glanced over and noticed a table that seemed to call my name.

And I fell in love. With a lovely, lovely face. A watch face. And here she is.

Squeee!! Can you see the beautiful little garland of flowers where the hands were? And the tiny, tiny, dots of silver that look like dew drops? I didn't even bother to haggle too hard with the vendor. Seriously, I flunked Haggle 101 on this transaction.

I've been doing some work with watch faces recently (and I'll post some pictures of a work in progress soon), so I was kind of keeping an eye out for more. This is so delicate, so ladylike, such a breath of spring -- she'll have to live on my bead table for a while until she tells me how she wants to be dressed.

When I came home, I found not one, not two, but FIVE postcards, reminding me about a bead show in town this weekend. I figured this was a sign from the universe that I needed to heed. So tomorrow, I'm going SHOPPING.

After all, who am I to ignore a sign from the Universe like that?!?

And while you're here, check out my last post and find out how you can Pay It Forward and get a handmade goodie from me! (If I knew html coding, I'd have a nifty link to take you right to the post. That's next on my bucket list....until then, just scroll to the next post down and don't forget to leave a comment so that you can play along!)

Friday, March 11, 2011

Pay It Forward - Leave A Comment, Get A Goodie!

I'm taking part in a great idea in blog world called Pay It Forward 2011. I read about it on Deci's blog,, and now I'm lucky enough to get to continue the fun here.

So here's the idea: be one of the first five people to leave a comment on this post, and I'll send you something made by my own busy hands. Fun!

Then you share the idea of Pay It Forward on your blog, and promise to send the first five people who make a comment on your post a handmade goodie that you've created. More fun!

You don't have to send something the very next day, but to play fair, you do need to send something as soon as you can. It's not the size of the item that's important -- it's that it comes from you and carries a bit of your creative spirit on to five people somewhere across the world.

It's the spirit of sharing a good thing by paying it forward. And seriously, who couldn't use a little extra joy and beauty brightening their world?

One act of random creativity can have a great ripple effect. I did a happy dance when I found out I had been one of the first five to respond to Deci - come on and join the dance!

So leave a post!
I look forward to sharing the fun with you!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Drunk on Soup

Have you been Bead Soup-ing?

Do you know what Bead Soup is?

If you do, then you know exactly what I mean. I've spent many happy hours over the past week, getting bleary eyed and incredibly inspired, enjoying the beading creativity of 210 artists. The list of blogs I'm following has exploded.

And if you don't know what I'm talking about, get thee to Lori Anderson's Pretty Things blog, and check it out. You'll be glad you did.
What a fabulous idea. What a great way to spend several hours, filling up on eye candy (watch me mix those food metaphors!), reading blogs, finding new artists to enjoy.
It sent me back to the bead table with a renewed sense of fun and possibility. Last night, I tackled a project that's been sitting, partially done and taunting me, for weeks.
So if you were part of the Bead Soup Blog Party, thank you for sharing your artistry, your creativity, and your sense of humor.
And look for me in August, when I hope to be swimming in the soup with everyone else!