Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Another Project Is Eating My Worktable

If you've been dropping into this blog for a while, you may know that I tend to take on large projects.  Big, worktable eating projects that initially seem like a great idea but soon have me wondering what the heck I was thinking.

After a few thousand nights hours and hours of working at these table-eaters, I'm usually pleased with the results.  But holy crap, they do suck up some hours.

And darned if I didn't do it again.  Here's a peek at the latest project that's devouring my worktable.

Still not entirely sure what this will become.  I have had several ideas along the way, but the ideas keep shifting and changing.

So it's back to step by step progress, do a little bit and then set it aside.  The project has moved forward a bit beyond the stage in the photo, but I think it's time for it to sit and marinate for a while.

I'll keep you posted...

Monday, October 29, 2012

Under the Alabama Pines - Old Friends and New

Y'all, I've been terribly remiss in posting about one of the best weekends I've had in a long, long time. 

A couple of weekends ago, I was part of the Kentuck Festival, a fabulous art show outside Tuscaloosa, Alabama, where my family and I lived for nearly 15 years.  Pat and I went down a day early so we'd have time to visit old friends and co-workers, eat in some of our favorite restaurants, drive by our old house (several times), wander around the University of Alabama campus, and generally soak up the atmosphere of the town we raised our kids in.

Here's Pat, getting ready to satisfy a culinary craving.
Seriously, I have dreams about this restaurant's sausage and roasted peppers.
Here's a glimpse of the view from my booth shortly before we opened on Saturday -- there were about 280 artists in all.  See the beautiful tall pine trees?  I had nearly forgotten the aroma of a pine forest in the autumn.  Fantastic.

The visit back "home" was great.  The show was great.  I saw people I hadn't seen in seven years.  I hugged more people and caught up on more news than I could have imagined.  And one of the highlights was getting to meet Therese of Therese's Treasures!

Funny coincidence -- I knew Therese's brother when I lived in Alabama.  Realized the connection by accident in an online conversation with Therese here on the beading blogs.  Wild, huh?

Anyway, not only did Therese gift me with a lovely visit, she slipped me a sweet little gift...

yes, the beautiful ribbon wrapped around the box
will find its way into a piece of jewelry

A beautiful Therese-woven pendant, earrings with beads by (I'm guessing)
JulsBeads, and a couple of lovely cabochons.  She spoiled me!!

And I'm here to tell you that not only is Therese a wonderful and generous lady who always has a kind comment here on the blogs, but she's magic -- as soon as she came to my booth, customers started crowding in, trying things on and making purchases.  She was my good luck charm that day.  Thanks for everything, Therese!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Visiting One of My "Babies"

Yesterday I volunteered at an art show about two hours away.  It was a guild I'm a member of, and since I couldn't be there all weekend as an exhibitor, I agreed to help out on Sunday.

On the way back home, I stopped by the Kentucky Artisans Center in Berea, where one of my necklaces is in their current exhibition, to see how my "baby" looked in the show.

With apologies for the quality of the photo (I was trying to be stealthy with my phone camera so I wouldn't get yelled at by the show police for taking pictures), here's the necklace.

It's a combination of ndebele, stringing, and needle weaving in the style of Helen Banes and Diane Fitzgerald, with the ndebele section serving as the heart of the centerpiece.

The exhibition is titled The Threads That Bind: Textiles by Kentucky Artisans.  Now I certainly don't consider myself a fiber artist (as you may know, I'd rather smack myself in the face with a flounder than hem a pair of pants), but it was a treat to see my little necklace alongside the beautiful quilts and fiber wallpieces that were also part of the show.  It's kind of amazing how much fancier a piece looks when you slap it up under a glass cover!

Here's a better picture, one taken by a professional who wasn't worried about getting thrown out of the room for having a camera.  You can get a much better idea of the bead weaving from this:

Thursday, October 11, 2012

I Promised I Wouldn't Do This...

...but apparently I lied.  Or was easily tempted to change my mind.  Or had a bead that was too perfect to ignore.

Let's go with #3.

I swore I wouldn't do another challenge until after the holidays, but the other night I heard a little voice saying "Psst, hey, I'd be perfect for this month's Art Bead Scene Challenge."

What, you don't hear your beads talking to you?  Okay, maybe it's partially the fever I've been fighting for a couple of days, but I'll let you be the judge.  Here's the inspiration artwork this month, Revolving by Kirt Schwitters.

Revolving by Kirt Schwitters 1919
Assemblage-Wood, metal, cord, cardboard, wool, wire, leather, and oil on canvas
48 3/8" x 35" (122.7 x 88.7 cm)
Museum of Modern Art, New York

And on the work table, just begging to answer this challenge, was a lovely lampwork swirl focal by Nikki Thornburg-Lanigan.  So here's what it became:

Okay, I admit it.  I'm weak and give into the beady temptation too easily.  Can you blame me?

Thursday, October 4, 2012

The Excavation, Part 2

The discoveries as part of the studio relocation continue!

Here are some simple peyote rings that were hiding at the back of a shelf.  A little dusty, but not really any the worse for wear.

And here's a fun cocktail ring with vintage rhinestone chain.  Also buried under layers of studio crap, a little fuzzy and in need of cleaning up, waiting to be rediscovered.

In my next life, maybe I'll be an archaeologist.  Then again, I'd have to bury all the stuff for myself to discover, so that doesn't seem to hold much potential...

Okay, I'll stick with jewelry making.  And for the foreseeable future, studio moving.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The Excavation, Part 1

Moving the studio is an enlightening process.

Okay, it's also a giant pain in the butt, but I'm a "glass half full" kinda gal.

Anyway, in the process, I've found a couple of interesting things -- half-completed projects, forgotten pieces,      etc, etc, etc...

Here's one piece I found that had been lying around, waiting for its clasp to be fabricated and woven on.

"Swirl", the newly rediscovered and completed necklace

I remember buying the focal bead in D.C. about, oh, three years ago, and working the necklace up pretty quickly after I got home again.  Why it sat unfinished for so long is one of those archaeological mysteries best left for the ages.

Anyway, it's done and completed, and ready to go to Alabama for my next show in a few weeks.

Can't wait to see what else turns up during this studio move!