My mother-in-law, who is an artist, tipped me off to this beautiful, beautiful documentary on the art of paper folding, after she found out that the Short One and I have been having fun with origami. This is a gorgeous film. I'm only able to embed the trailer, above, but you can watch the whole thing at PBS through their "Independent Lens" page here.
The sheer visual drama of watching the transformation of a single sheet of paper into something beyond the reach of imagination (my imagination, at least) is fascinating. I know, I know, I'm such a geek. But even if you have no interest in origami, mathematics or engineering, you're going to love this film. Trust me.
In my mind, I've sort of had this pledge to myself that I'd share the good, the bad and the ugly on this blog. Here's some of The Ugly.
I was flipping through my photo log this morning and came across this masterpiece. Seriously, what was I thinking? Perfectly beautiful pieces of faceted solar quartz with bunches of...Stuff. I even submitted this to a couple magazines (I received politer responses than I deserved).
It's sort of like those photos of myself from the 80s - I wince at the clothes (hot pink spandex mini-skirts, anyone?), I avert my eyes, I move on.
Still, we all have those moments, right? I think it's important to remember that we each have our own personal, er, design troughs - and we all get over them, eventually. It's all part of the process.
Anyone else have Hall of Shame stories they'd like to share?
Batman and Wolverine! Er, I mean, skygrazer/Christy! Christy, please email me at melissa[at]melissajlee.com with your contact details, and I will mail out your pendant. Congratulations!
Thanks so much to everyone who played - the Short One had a great time selecting the winner. Actually, it was hard to restrain him from selecting 5-6 more winners, he had such a good time, but unfortunately I only have one prize!
In the meantime, we've moved on at our house from the Super Friends to the Teen Titans (under a bit of parental supervision - I find some of those shows a touch violent for the SO's age) and Batman, the Brave and the Bold. The SO can now recognize the Atom, Martian Manhunter, Booster Gold and Green Arrow on sight. Now, if only he'd apply this enthusiasm to learning to read...
I thought I'd show off something from my stash today. This Crabby Owl on Branch pendant is part of my personal collection of exquisite Kate pieces. I can't get over how beautifully balanced this thing is. It nestles perfectly comfortably, and upright, on the wearer's breastbone. I believe it's a featured project in one of Kate's upcoming books - have you pre-ordered your copies yet?
(By the way, the incredibly cute but crabby owl bead is by Karen Elmquist. You can purchase her work here.)
This week, Kate is running a new web sale here. It's her practice to continue to add new inventory to her sales, so be sure to check it out periodically. She currently has one of her amazingly cool cocktail rings up in her shop:
With spring around the corner, I've decided to start going through my stash of cotton yarns and artisan novelty yarns (much, much smaller than the winter yarns, but still) and list a few things on eBay. One of the items included is a kit to make the above sweater. It's by Prism Yarns, that high-end purveyor of all things "Stuff". As with Koigu kits, I think with Prism Yarn you either love it or hate it, and I love it. I still think this jacket is really attractive. However, even though it's an easy knit, given the circumstances at home, I doubt I'll get around to knitting it up (and it's already been sitting in my closet for several years). Plus, to be brutally honest, do I go anywhere anymore where this type of jacket would be appropriate (and would survive being climbed up by an active toddler)? Err, no. Anyway, if you'd like more information about the kit or other things I have up (including a few leftovers from the last time I destashed), please go here.
Happy Pi Day! I know you know it's Pi Day today, right? Go on, admit it - it's your favorite holiday - you can't hide it from me. March 14, which here in the US is noted 3/14 or 3.14 - or pi taken out to 2 decimal places (which always makes me wonder - is Pi Day celebrated in countries where March 14th is annotated as 14.3? Just curious).
March 14th is also White Day in places such as Japan, South Korea and I believe one or two other countries. It's one month after Valentine's Day - the day when the boys respond to the girls (traditionally, only girls give out chocolate on Valentine's Day where White Day is also celebrated). So Happy White Day to you, too.
Thanks for all of the kind comments and interesting entries for the Short One's Superhero Giveaway. For those of you who inquired, any superhero is fine! (I love Underdog, myself.)
Without further ado, here are your bead & jewelry links for the week:
The Super Friends, courtesy of The Short One (and Daddy). This was completely rendered using the touchpad on our MacBook - not bad, eh? I'm particularly fond of Wonder Woman. (The skinny dude next to her is Aquaman, in case you were wondering.)
It's been so long since the Short One's actual birthday, I decided to change the theme of the annual giveaway (plus, I think the SO would be insulted if anyone were to suggest that he just turned four - he's been four for a long time now, practically forever, thank you very much).
Superheroes are a big theme here right now, and, to tell you the truth, we're in need of superheroes at the moment. I've been sort of debating all along what to say and not to say about our circumstances right now. This blog is technically part of my home, and of course, I routinely share family stories here. However, this one is rather personal, and it's not really my story to tell - it belongs to my son. That being said, I think I can at least share this much.
The SO ended up having an unwelcome birthday surprise this year. Shortly after he turned four, I took him to his pediatrician for what I thought was going to be a routine physical. However, within a few hours of that visit he had to be admitted to the hospital and by that night he was definitively diagnosed with juvenile diabetes.
The SO was Not Happy in the hospital, to put it mildly (and who can blame him?), but the Peds Ward had a lending library of videos to distract the patients. I ended up grabbing every Scooby-Doo movie he hadn't already seen - and I also found a copy of a Super Friends video containing a selection of episodes from one of the original versions of the show (the Legion of Doom series) from the mid-70s.
To say that the SO - who up to that point had not so much as heard the word "superhero" - became immediately obsessed with all things Super Friends-related would be an understatement. We live and breathe superheroes night and day right now. We have serious conversations about the fact that "Lex Luthor is Superman's anemone" and its implications. We discuss in intricate detail options for this year's Halloween costume (curiously enough, Robin seems to be winning so far). We develop long and involved hypotheses concerning what kind of pet accompanies Aquaman (since Superman has Krypto and Batman has Ace the Bathound, after all).
And we love it. Despite the irony, I can't think of anything better in which to have the SO's imagination wrapped up than strong characters who are always brave in the face of adversity (even if they do wear their undergarments on the outside) as he goes through this major life change.
Which brings us to this giveaway. Here's the prize:
As you can see, my floating box pendant has no relation to superheroes, sadly (although I suppose you could say that the sea glass is sort of a kryptonite green, eh?). I had this in mind from last year as the prize for the SO's giveaway - mostly because I designed this pendant originally for my mother, who wanted something reminiscent of a locket that could contain the SO's photo. This version has a shallow square bezel on the back in which you can paste a photo.
Now the SO always gets a kick out of selecting the winner of these contests, so I thought that, to make it more fun for him, I'd have a new rule for this year. In order to enter, you must let the SO know who your favorite superhero (or supervillain, we are equal opportunity on this point) is in your comment below this post. Comments which do not meet this requirement will not be entered in the giveaway. I'm sure he will be tickled to see which hero (or villain) wins the contest. (Me, I'm rooting for Batman.)
My other usual rules apply. If you leave a comment using the "Anonymous" option (ie, if you are not registered with Blogger), be sure to write your name at the bottom so I know who entered. You must return to the blog at the end of the contest to see if you won - I will not contact the winner by email.
The contest will end on Saturday, March 20th. I will post the name of the winner at that time with instructions on how to claim the prize.
Thanks for continuing to check in with me - I appreciate it.
Not many things have been able to make me laugh these past couple weeks, but this video did. If you have any passing interest in Rube Goldberg machines at all, you should take a look at this video. It doesn't hurt that OK Go is one of my and my husband's favorite bands.
Things are settling down over here into a new normal. I should be back on the blog wagon next week. I hope everything has been going well in your lives. I miss you guys.
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.