Wednesday, August 29, 2012

An Art Fair, A New Old Friend, and A Camera Failure

If you're looking for the Bead Soup Blog Hop reveal, go here!

Sometimes the Universe lines up just right and brings you something serendipitous and terrific.

Sometime in the middle of Sunday afternoon at the art fair I was in this past weekend, three lovely women come into the booth.  And of course, I do what any beader does -- I glance at their chests to scope out any jewelry they might be wearing.

(Random side thought -- thank goodness other beaders understand this tendency, and 
non-beaders probably don't notice, or else we'd all be in trouble...)

Anyhow, my first thought was, "they're wearing some beautiful necklaces!"  Then to my delight, one of these beautifully-bedecked ladies introduced herself as Karin Slaton of Backstory Beads.

What a treat!  Karin was (is) in town helping out with her grandsons in the week between her daughter going back to work and the boys going back to school.  I first encountered her beautiful work during the One Crayon Challenge, and have been following her blog, enjoying her creations and her writing, ever since.

It is a rare and special treat to meet in person someone you feel you've "known" for a while in cyberspace.  Karin was every bit as fun and friendly in person as she is online.  The down side was that I couldn't spend as much time just hanging out and chatting as I really would have liked.

And the camera failure mentioned in this post's title?  Karin's sister was sweet enough to take a picture of us, but something heinous happened with my phone, and the picture didn't get saved.  I'm hoping that it's user error and the photo is living somewhere unexpected on my phone, but I fear it's an "oh *#&$%" moment.

But I have a picture in my mind of this lovely new friend, her daughter, and her sister.  And that is the best thing that could have happened to me this weekend!

If you don't know Backstory Beads, go check it out.  Seriously, go now!  You'll thank me later...(although I will warn you that she has a picture from this same meeting that looks a bit like I'm mildly addled from the heat -- as accurate as it is, it could be alarming to the unprepared.  And the fully prepared.)

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Stirring Up Some Soup!

It's here!  It's here!  It's the final reveal day for the sixth Bead Soup Blog Hop, hosted by the oh-so-spectacular Lori Anderson.

My fabulous swap partner is the lovely Alice Peterson of Alice Dreaming.  She went deep in her personal collection and pulled together a generous collection of artisan beads and gemstones.  I was so excited, because the soup she sent included work by artisans whose creations I had been wanting to work with.  Here's what Alice sent me:

And here's what I made:

Here's the beadwoven piece for this swap -- I surrounded the gorgeous Twinstar lampwork with  turquoise jasper, a spiral rope with the jasper, and the rest of the necklace including the dyed jade.  I wish the photo captured the beautiful flashes of iridescence in the lampwork!

The seed beads and pressed glass are from my stash, and I fabricated the sterling clasp.

And a matching pair of earrings:

And then with the beads that were in a more orange colorway:

For this necklace, I used the gorgeous copper clasp from Melinda Orr, the Dianne Hawkey ceramic "wisdom" bead, and lampwork by Libby Liu (hugging the ceramic bead) and Two Sisters Designs (the orange lovely on the left).  I fabricated the chain from copper to echo the clasp, and added fiber from my stash.

Here's a better view of the construction around the Hawkey bead:

I had some beads left, so I made a couple of pairs of earrings - first using these super-fun polka dot disks suspended on links like those in the necklace.

And then some mismatched earrings using more of the delicious Twinstar lampwork.

There are a couple of leftover beads that I didn't work into a completed piece, but I've got some ideas percolating for them.

Thank you Alice, for the fantastic beads!  And thank you, Lori, for throwing the best darned beady party in the known universe!

Go check out the rest of the participants:

Hostess, Lori Anderson, Pretty Things

Agi Kiss, Moonsafari Beads
Alice Peterson, Alice Dreaming (my swap partner!)
Alison Sachs, Beads by Earthtones
Amanda Dittloff, Passion Smashin'
Andra Marasteanu, Bijoux de Monanage
Angie Szlovak, SweetBeads
Anitra Gordy, Leelu Creations
Ann Sherwood, Ann's Blog
Arlene Dean, A Glass Bash
Audrey Belanger, Dreams of an Absolution
Barb Solem, Vivi Magoo Presents
Barbara Blaszczyk, laboratorim Flory
Bianca Odenthal, Zydies Glasperlen
Birgit Klughardt, GitesBeads
Bobbie Rafferty, Beadsong Jewelry (you are here!)
Bonnie Coursolle,  Jasper Gems
Cece Cormier, The Beading Yogini
Charlene Jacka, Clay Space
Cherrie Fick, En La Lumie're
Cheryl Foiles, Get Your Bead On
Christie Murrow, Charis Designs Jewelry

Christina Miles, Wings n Scales
Christina Stofmeel, Feng Beads
Christine Stonefield, Sweet Girl Design
Cindy Cima Edwards, Live to Design
CJ Bauschka, 4 His Glory Creations
Claire Smith, Embergrass Jewelry
Cynthia Riggs, Cynth's Blog
Dana Fowler, Trunk Full of Treasure
Dawn Pierro, Turtle Moon Designs
Dee Elgie, Cherry Obsidia
Donetta Farrington, Simply Gorgeous

Dot Lewallwn, Speedie Beadie
Eileen Snyder, Dorset Hill Beads
Elizabeth Bunn, Elizabeth Beads
Eva Kovacs, Ewa gyongyos vilaga!
Evelyn Duberry, Sheba Makeda
Fay Wolfenden, Torch Fairy
Fen Li, Bead Flora Jewels
Gail Zwang, Angel Moose Enterprises
Geneva Collins, Torque Story
Grace Dorsey, Fan of the Flame
Gretchen Nation,  Art Food Lodging

Hannah Annear, Squintessential
Hajer Waheed, My Beaded World
Heather Goldsmith, As I Bead It
Heather Otto, The Craft Hopper
Heidi Kingman, My Bead Therapy
Hope Smitherman, Crafty Hope
Isolina Perez, Isolina Perez
Jacqueline Keller, CreARTelier
Jane Haag, Did You Make Something Today?
Janeen Sorensen, Wild Vanilla Designs
Jean Peter, Jean P. Designs

Jennifer Judd, Jen Judd Rocks
Jennifer L Justman, Soul's Fire Designs
Joanna Matuszczyk, Bizuteria z filcu
Joanne Brown, Jo's Jewels
Joanne Lockwood, Jo Bunkum
Joyce Becker, Joyce's Joyful Gems
Judy Riley, Three Red Beads
Karen Mitchell, Over the Moon Design
Karen Williams, Baublicious
Karin von Hoeren, Creative Ideen

Karla Morgan, Texas Pepper Jams
Kashmira Patel, Sadafule .. always in bloom!
Kate Richbourg, We Can Make That at Home

Katrin Lembke, AllesPerle
Kathy Combs, Torched in Texas
Kathy Lindemer, Bay Moon Design
Kay Thomerson, Kayz Kreationz
Kelley Fogle, My Life, One Bead at at Time
Kelly Hosford Patterson, Traveling Side Show

Klaudette Koon, Only Road
Lara Lutrick, Lampwork Beads by Lara
Laura Guenther, Blue Antiquities

Laurie Lalonde, Simply Mod Jewelry
Lilik Kristiani, Soul of My Embodiment
Linda Younkman, Lindy's Designs
Lisa Chapman, Beach Cat Beads
Lisa Lodge, Pine Ridge Treasures
Loretta Carstensen, Designs by Loretta
Lori Bergmann, Lori Bergmann Design
Lori Dorrington, Lori's Adventures in Etsy Land
Lupe Meter, Gem's PC Corner
Lynn Davis, LLYYNN

Malin de Koning, Beading by Malin
Mandi Effron, Craft-o-licious
Mandy Williamson, Mimi's Beading
Margot Potter, The Impatient Crafter
Maria Rosa Sharrow, Willow Street Shops
Marianne Baxter, Simply Seablime Jewelry
Marina Dobrynina, Savon Feutre
Marjolein Trewavas, Room for Change
Marelene Cupo, Amazing Designs
Marsha Neal, Marsha Neal Studio

Marta Kaczerowska, uhuhu
Mary Govaars, MLH Jewelry Designs
Melissa Trudinger, Bead Recipes
Menka Gupta, Menka's Jewelry Blog
Michelle Burnett, Reverie and Revival
Michelle Escano-Caballero, The Cabby Crafter
Miko Wiropati, Uniquely Yunikua
Milla Hope,  LB Creative Arts and Crafts
Mimi Gardner, Other Curiosities
Miranda Ackerley, MirandackArts
Natalie McKenna, grubbi

Noemi Baena, fuego, metal, y color
Pam Ferrari, Ferrari Originals
Pam Sears, Crazy Creative Corner
Penny Neville, Copper Penny
Rachel Baron, R. Baron Designs
Rachel Myers, Rockabead Jewelry
Rana Wilson, Definitive Designs by R. Wilson
Rebecca Anderson, Song Beads
Rebecca Sirevaag, Becca's Place
Riki Schumacher, Riki Jewelry 

Rose Binoya, Ahtee's Blog
Rossana De Gaspari, Rdegas Blog

Sandi James, Do Be Do Bead Do
Sandi Volpe, Sandi Volpe
Sandra Wollberg, City of Brass Stories
Sarah Goode, Pookledo

Sarah Small, blog by salla
Shai Williams, Shaiha's Ramblings
Shawn Mills, Shawn Marie Designs with Bent Wire
Sheila Davis, Stone Designs by Sheila

Sheryl Stephens, Babble Bead
Shiraz Biggie, Secret Song Designs

Solange Collin,  Ahowin Handcrafted Jewelry
Sonya Stille, Dreamin' of Beads
Stephanie Dixon, The Dixon Chick
Susan Kennedy, Sue Beads
Susan Sheehan, Strands of Thought
Suzann Sladcik Wilson, Beadphoria
Sweet Freedom, Sweet Freedom Designs
Tabatha Dinger, Modernly Created
Tania Hagen, Pelima Jewellery Design

Tanya Boden, Fusion Muse
Terri Gauthier, Blooming Ideas
Terry Carter, Tapping Flamingo 
Tracy Stillman, Tracy Stillman Designs

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Strawberry Stains, Cicada Attacks, and Breastplate-Wearing Women

This weekend was the first of my shows for the fall, and y'all, I'm still grinning about it.

The weather was gorgeous, the crowds were HUGE, and people were very responsive to my jewelry. A lady came into the booth wearing an amazing breastplate (really, the only way to describe the construction of found objects and wires that had been fashioned together -- this piece would be the dictionary illustration of "statement necklace"), and I thought "oh, goodie, a woman who enjoys showing off her style."  Sure enough, she bought two of my more exuberant pieces, this necklace from the A Time To Stitch challenge:

and a green freeform peyote necklace that I'm not sure I have a picture of.  Bless her heart, I loved that lady!

Of course, it would not have been a story from my life if there hadn't been moments of wierdness and klutziness.  I made my way over to the artists' breakfast on Sunday morning, got a cupful of luscious looking strawberries, and headed back to my tent.  On the way, I passed a small tree and was thinking how loud the cicadas in it were, when a huge thing (it was either a mutant cicada or a B-52 - this thing was BIG) flew right into my neck next to my ear.  Imagine, if you will, me jumping up and down, waving my arms and whooping, while all the strawberries in my cup go flying around the park.  I slinked (slunk?) back to the bandstand, refilled my cup with new berries, and went back to my tent via a path that was far from the Tree of the Killer Cicadas.  Back in the tent, I bite into the first strawberry, marvel at how juicy it is, and then realize that I now have a big strawberry juice stain down the front of my shirt.  Yep.  Fortunately I had some water, so I started the second day of the show with a big ol' wet spot on my chest.  Classy, huh?

Anyway, here are a pictures of some of the earrings that went home with folks this past weekend. 


Another show this weekend -- I'll be at the worktable every night until then, working to get ready.  And this time, I'll steer clear of cicada-bearing trees...

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Wherein Good Fortune Freaks Me Out And I Go On A Challenge Hiatus

Have you ever heard the expression, "be careful what you wish for"?  Because I will be the walking, talking embodiment of it for the next four months.

This is going to sound like the stupidest, "shut up until you have something real to worry about" post in the world, but y'all, I looked at my calendar the other day and nearly panicked.

And yes-I-know-I'm-an-idiot thing about it is that IT'S ALL GOOD STUFF.  But I'm still in low grade panic mode.

See, I applied to a bunch of shows this fall, and I got into most of them.  Fabulous, right?  Yes!  I'm thrilled! Especially since three of them are new for me.

(This is last year's poster - oops - but here's the info)

A great little show just a few miles up the road from me
They call this "Indiana's Nicest Day" - who could resist?
An indoor show, which is nice in November!

Of all of these fabulous opportunities, the one I'm truly, utterly, speechlessly excited about is the final one shown above, the Kentuck Festival.  It's in a town I lived in for fourteen years, it's a show I loved as a patron, and it's a show I've been applying to for years.  Seriously, YEARS.  It got to the point that everytime I'd send off my application I'd tell the kids "Mommy's just had her annual exercise in futility."  So you can imagine how excited I was to get the notice of acceptance!  (Actually, I scared the crap out of my poor husband, who thought something horrible had happened when I opened the email and screamed...)

So with all of this happening on top of my busiest time of year at my job, the next few months are going to be, um, interesting!

And as many exciting challenges are out there (I'm looking at you, Saturday Sequins, ArtBead Scene, etc...), once my reveal in the third part of the Bead Soup Challenge is over, I'm putting myself on a strict no-challenge diet!