Ugh, please forgive - I seem to have overextended myself in a big way between family and beady obligations. I should be able to dig myself out by the end of the year (touch wood), but I'm snowed under at the moment and don't have a lot of time to blog. I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday (we certainly did), and I will be back in a few days. In the meantime, here's the usual set of lovely bead and jewelry links for your perusal.
The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton Art Bead Scene's December prompt is, "Puttin' On the Glitz!" See how Andrew addressed the challenge with his crystalline creations. (Two of which moved on to become KGI Worldwide Design Contest Semi-finalists!)
Strands of Beads Melissa shows off a simple snowflake necklace for her final seasonal piece of the year.
Here's my final Ornament Thursday project for 2008. A little rough-cut chrysophase, faceted aquamarine, snowy white pearls and white seed beads (along with my snowflake pendant, again) for a simple statement on the season. Please visit the other OT participants for other great ways to conclude the holiday season:
For myself, to be perfectly frank, I've seen enough snowflakes in the past two days to last the rest of the winter (it took my father two days to fly in, due to wintry conditions). Our family is now all together for the holiday, and the Short One is happy as a clam (although, admittedly, the first thing he said to his grandfather when he arrived this afternoon was, "Did you bring my checkers?!?" The SO has been quite keen to acquire a set of checkers ever since watching Elmo play the game a couple months ago and, between you and me, he has already figured out that his grandparents are a soft touch for this kind of thing). H. and I are looking forward to trying to assemble various items and then collapsing in bed for the night. (And since the SO doesn't really know what's going to hit him tomorrow, we are hoping for a late start to the morning, too.)
I hope this finds you likewise with loved ones for whatever seasonal celebrations in which you may partake. Thanks so much for reading!
ps. I ended up being too disorganized to hold a sale before Christmas, but I have marked down everything in the store by 25% through the end of the year. Should anyone be interested, that is.
Well, I actually haven't received my copies for this yet, but I was in my local bead shop yesterday, and the Jan/Feb 2009 issue of Step by Step Beads was already on the stands. My necklace, "Java Jive", is in this issue, and it's one of my favorite pieces. It's been at the publisher's office for almost a year, and I am really looking forward to getting it back. It incorporates my silver and fabulous beads by Jenn Kelly of CaliGirl Art Glass and Kristine Dery of Krissy Beads.
On other fronts, I've recently discovered my alter-ego. Mild-mannered mommy by day, once the Short One is in bed I turn into...the Cookie Monster! We've been decorating Danish butter cookies in the house, and I'm afraid I've found them irresistible. The SO took out the cookie tin today, looked in and said "Cookies gone!!" My mother, who is here for the holiday, tsks, tsks and says I should be ashamed of myself (making nooo mention of the fact that she kept eating the candy for the gingerbread house before we could use it, of course). I don't know what the SO and I will do once the holiday is over. Or, at least, I don't know what the SO will do. I'll be going on a diet...
Two more days! Everyone ready? I must confess that I'm still working on my Christmas cards for the year...
We made "gingerbread" houses for the last session of the Short One's Mom and tot cooking class. The SO, who still has not yet been introduced to c-a-n-d-y and who is naturally suspicious of any foodstuff that he has not already vetted personally at least a dozen times, made no attempt to eat the decorations during class, but I did have a hard time keeping him from gobbling down the graham crackers (of which he is inordinately fond). Hansel and Gretel have nothing to it, and we all know what happened to them.
Anyway, the SO did a good deal of this on his own, including the chic, modernist-looking Necco wafer roof, the elegant Christmas tree and the urbane landscaped gumdrops. I have a feeling we are going to be making this project again next year, on our own. What a great class.
I hope everyone is having a fun not-too-snowy weekend (once again, we had a huge snow dump here while the Husband was out of town - I think this has happened once too often to be called mere chance, let me tell you. Having grown up in Oklahoma, I'm not terribly good at the whole shoveling thing). Here are your intriguing bead and jewelry links for the week:
The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton Despite his aversion to snow and the cold, Andrew finds appreciation for the winter whiteness and creates a buying guide for snowflake themed jewelry components.
Strands of Beads Need a last minute gift idea? Don't panic! Melissa has a quick, easy and inexpensive snowball pendant project for you.
Greetings. CAN YOU BELIEVE CHRISTMAS IS ONLY ONE WEEK AWAY?!?! Ack. Rationally, this shouldn't bother me, as I believe I have all of my shopping done. However, for whatever reason (possibly because I am anal) the closeness of the holiday still makes my palms sweat, my heart palpitate and my mind wake me up at 3am wondering if there's anyone on my list for whom I forgot to buy a present.
It could happen, right? If you find yourself in this situation, my Ornament Thursday project may be just the thing for you. Turn a plain mother-of-pearl lentil bead into a cute snowball pendant by adding a couple small red beads and two green Czech glass leaves. It's simple, it's extremely quick, and it won't break the bank. I attached my version, above, to a cute chain and turned it into a nice seasonal necklace, but this pendant is small and light enough for earrings or could be worn as a charm on a charm bracelet. Versatile, eh?
Meanwhile, the Short One is somehow convinced that Santa (of whom he had not previously heard) is going to bring him a purple pop-up book "tomorrow" (the SO has held the belief that Santa will arrive "tomorrow" for the past month). In the interest of getting a decent night's sleep, the Husband and I have decided NOT to inform the SO when Christmas Eve actually rolls around. Maybe it's a little Grinchy of us, but we figure that we have the next 7 years or so years to be woken up at 4am on Christmas, so we might as well get our rest while we can.
This is both a beginning and an end for me - my first appearance in Stringing and my last appearance in print for 2008. The Winter 2008 Stringing goes on sale December 30th and contains my Dragon Hearted necklace project. Thank you so much to the editors of Stringing!
I've said this so many times already, but I have to say it once more - this was my first year in print, and I'm really grateful to everyone with whom I worked for taking a chance on my freshman work. I have certainly enjoyed designing for the magazines. Maybe the time will come when I feel so blase about the process that I will no longer even mention it on the blog, but I must (embarrassingly) admit that I still get as excited as a kid in a candy store whenever I have a new piece coming out. Professionalism, shmufessionalism.
And now that I'm through (for the moment) being shameless, I'll return you to your regularly-scheduled programming. Thanks for dropping in.
My mother-in-law very kindly took this shot for me back in October, when we were visiting the zoo with the Short One. (Over Thanksgiving, his teachers created an "I am Thankful For" statement for each student. The SO was apparently thankful for his stuffed monkey, the color green and "when Grandma and Grandpa take me to the zoo", so the trip clearly made a deep impression on him. But I digress.)
The shot was meant to inspire me to create a new winter-themed piece, and, like so much else recently, I just never found the time this year to do it. Despite the fact that I'm working at even more of a snail's pace now than I ever have (sigh), I thought I'd at least share this photo, which I think came out quite nicely. I wonder if there's any chance that Santa will bring me that extra hour in the day that I've been wanting for Christmas...
On more enlightening fronts, here are your bead and jewelry links for the week:
I can't decided if this is just another example of how my creative process works or if it means I need to get out more. I was playing with the Short One as usual yesterday afternoon, when I finally noticed that several pieces in his miniature cooking set (he loooves to cook - it was my little short-legged toddler and a bunch of elementary school aged girls at the doll furniture section of FAO Shwarz when we were in NYC last) had holes at the end. "Yes!" I thought, "No drilling required!"
Lo and behold, they make a pretty cute necklace, right? Right? I think they'd also look good with big, colorful lucite beads, but I couldn't resist pairing them with pearls, here. (Okay, okay, this is just a mock-up, as I can't even begin to imagine the complaints from management if I took these and used them as jewelry components right now. One of these days, maybe...)
Anyway, at the very least, I offer this necklace as another illustration of the fact that you really often don't have to look very far to come up with a simple, original - if not downright kitschy - piece of jewelry.
Here's another extremely simple and quick idea for holiday adornment. This project is based on one I made back in October for Terrorific Tuesday, entitled Gothic Pink. I'm still rather in love with the vintage pink lucite rose beads I purchased several months ago, so I thought I'd use them again for a similar, albeit slightly more feminine, project.
For some reason, I've always been intrigued by the idea of winter roses, so I combined these with faceted white quartz and one of my snowflake pendants. I strung the beads simply on stretchy Magic Cord. It's gone over well in this house. The Short One took it over and spent the afternoon playing with it - nothing like stretchy beaded thingies for hours of fun (and it's still in one piece, even).
I'm off to coerce my husband into finalizing gift selections for his side of the family. He's the only person I know who starts hyperventilating when forced to shop on-line. (Or maybe it's just a guy thing?)
Here's more otaku goodness from me. Last month when the SO and I were suffering from cabin fever, the Husband very kindly took us to Rotofugi to play with all of the Japanese import toys. The SO came home with a cute Wish Come True toy that he calls his "snowman", and I came home with this green Mini-Trexi Voodoo Kong, that started out life as part of a key chain.
Some women shop for the perfect black pumps to go with their new dress - I spent several days searching for the perfect tacky plastic banana charms to go with Kong-san (actually, I believe the Trexis are made by a Singapore-based company, but still). I wanted charms that looked like true bunches of bananas and, by golly, I found them. Woo-hoo. Throw in some hot pink vintage lucite and you have a bracelet that makes a Statement (in my humble opinion).
I love this bracelet - I really do. Sometimes you just have to throw subtlety out the window.
Thanks for visiting!
ps. I solved the whole problem with the Christmas cards. While the SO was occupied with decorating Christmas cookies (his current favorite pastime), I shoved the holiday hat I knit for him on his head and snapped away with the camera. The photos came out lovely - he even looked up and smiled for me on occasion. I must remember this trick next year...
I'm currently engaged in the holiday tradition of trying to take a cute photo of the Short One for Christmas cards - it's been very uphill going (also a tradition). While I was flipping through old photos, desperately looking for one I could use instead of the gazillion I took this weekend that came out blurry (the SO is quite fast on his feet these days), I came across this photo. It won't do for holiday cards, of course, but I still find it kind of appealing. The SO was playing with his little Playmobil figures right after we had our new windows installed. I'm still not sure if the people are admiring our windows or trying to see out of them, but I thought the whole installation had a lot of character.
So, everyone have their Christmas shopping done yet? Should we change the subject?
How about a few intriguing bead and jewelry links?
Naughty Secretary Club Jen is in the midst of a 4 day jewelry display extravaganza with this post that gives you a glimpse into the jewelry boxes of the ladies behind Felt Club, Crafty Chica, Handmade Detroit, 31 Corn Lane and More!
Strands of Beads Melissa makes very simple Christmas tree earrings to kick off the holiday season.
We're getting back to basics with Ornament Thursday this month, to celebrate the season. Ornament Thursday was originally created last year as a craft round-up to celebrate the holidays. In honor of the group's history, every Thursday this month we will have seasonal projects to show off and, hopefully, to inspire you with your own holiday crafts.
I love the holidays, and I love holiday-themed jewelry (the cuter - or tackier, depending on your perspective - the better). I love colorful Christmas ball earrings and candy cane necklaces - you name it! Yay for the holidays! (The only thing preventing me from wearing a lot of this jewelry nowadays is the less-than-three-foot-tall person running around the house tugging on and getting into everything. We already have arguments on who owns the cool beads in the house - no need to fan the flames, I say!)
I have a very simple earring design for you today, something that you can likely make out of what you already have in your stash. I like cones, not just for finishing up multi-strand necklaces but also for use in sculptural pieces. They remind me of, well, Christmas trees, for example. Add a Venetian glass star on top and a circular or square glass bead on the bottom, and you have a super-quick and easy gift for holiday giving. I had a hard time photographing these well, so here's a second photo of the pair I whipped up today (during the SO's naptime):
As a bonus, the glass bead at the bottom acts as sort of a clapper, so the earrings make a nice jingly noise when worn, like small bells.
Please visit these links for the other cute OT projects (and look forward to more next week!):
Hi there. I'm back from my trip and trying to get organized. I hope everyone had a happy Thanksgiving. We had a nice time, but the Husband sprained his ankle the day before Thanksgiving (it wasn't a bad sprain, luckily), which meant he was laid up for a couple days. We did take the Short One to see the balloons being blown up for the Macy's parade before the accident, which is always fun.
I did not have as much access to the Internet while I was away as I was expecting, so I am terribly, terribly late with these, but here are the week's bead and jewelry links. I will be back later tonight with my Ornament Thursday project - a cute set of Christmas tree earrings. Ornament Thursday will be running weekly this month in honor of the season, so look forward to a lot of holiday projects.
I am an intellectual property lawyer by training and have a background in English Renaissance literature. I love science fiction. I primarily watch Sesame Street these days and find myself humming "Pop Goes the Weasel" at odd moments (guess why). I can happily eat ice cream in the middle of winter when the wind chill is 20 below 0. I have been making beads and designing jewelry since 2007.
2010 - Winner, First Place, British Bead Awards, Other Finished Bead Jewellery 2010 - Winner, Second Place, British Bead Awards, Metal Clay Jewellery 2010 - Winner, Second Place, Bead Dreams, Metal Clay
2010 - Grand Prize, Gold Medal Winner, Fire Mountain Gems and Beads, Metal Clay, Metal Beads, Wirework and Chain Jewelry-Making Contest
2010 - Finalist, Bead Star, Stones, Plastics and Designs with Heart Categories
2009 - Winner, First Place, British Bead Awards, Metal Clay
2009 - Winner, Second Place, British Bead Awards, Beyond Glass, Handmade Beads and Components
2009 - Winner, Second Place, Bead Arts Awards, Necklace
2009 - Finalist, Bead Dreams, Metal Clay
2008 - Finalist Fire Mountain Gems and Beads Beading Contest, Metal Clay
2008 - Finalist, Bead Star, Pearls
A quick note
Welcome to my blog (my "virtual home") and thanks for visiting. I love to hear from people, so please do feel free to leave comments. I'm also quite open to friendly discussions and even constructive criticism. Please note, however, that I will not approve of any rudeness or profanity here and any comments containing same will be deleted. Thank you!
A word about copyright
As indicated in the copyright notice, the contents of this blog are copyright by me. To the extent that instructions to make jewelry, beads, knit items or other instructions are included in this blog, they are free for you to use to make the projects for personal use. They should not be used for commercial purposes, ie, to make items for resale.