Tuesday, June 26, 2012

500 Beaded Jewelry Promo

I am getting so excited as the new Lark Craft book 500 Beaded Jewelry has been printed and is about ready to hit the mailboxes for those who have ordered early and to the book stores for those who need to look at all this lovely work to have to NEED this book.  I can't wait...oh wait, did I say that already?  Why?  Well, because I want to see all the beautiful jewelry and this book has already gotten rave reviews from Publisher's Weekly, the definitive trade magazine for publishers.  Would you like to see what was written?  Here is just a sample of the review:

On opening this gorgeous hunk of a book is like walking into a high-end
jewelry gallery. There are 500 full-color photographs of beaded jewelry --
necklaces, rings, bracelets, pins and earrings -- created by 275 artists
with beads, wire, filament, and fiber. Some of the artists are well-known to
beaders, like Carol Wilcox Wells and Diane Fitzgerald, and some
not-so-well-known, with their work published for the first time. This makes
for a heady blend of inspiration, ideas, and expression. Editor Hemachandra
selected the 500 beaded objects from submissions by 360 artists from 30
countries. To his credit, no single style -- bead weaving, bead embroidery,
bead stringing -- gets short shrift. The photography is of high professional
standards, no Instagram shots by amateurs posted to Facebook, and is also
instructively illustrative of the beadwork, offering close-up shots that
will help the aspiring bead worker reproduce some of the techniques. One
quibble: it would have been nice to include the artists’ countries of origin
just below the photo of their work instead of in the index, saving the
reader a lot of flipping back and forth. A list of artists’ Web sites would
have been nice, too.’ - Publishers Weekly

And would you like to win a copy of this fantastic new book?  Well, you better hurry as the deadline for submitting a comment and answering a question of which bead designer inspires you the most and how?  Go to this link by June 27th 9pm EST to have a chance to win this book.  

And while I am at it, would you please go to this link and click on the like button on the Amazon site to boost the exposure of this great new book.  And possibly get yourself a copy.  PLUS, I think this would be a wonderful Christmas gift for someone special who just can't get enough of beaded jewelry

Monday, June 25, 2012

Finished piece from Sherry Serafini's book

Yesterday, I announced a big Summer give away of not ONE but TWO of Sherry Serafini's books.  Well, I was very obsessed yesterday to finish the piece.  I chose her project "Black Widow Collar".  I used the template she provided in the book and even completed the project as written.  She has you trace the template onto beading fabric before cutting it out.  Good idea, but I am so use to cutting it out first that to me the finish piece didn't look right as I like beading all the way to the edge.  It did help with handling the piece giving it more stability, but I believe that with my next project from her book, I am going to cut out part of the template so that at least I have total coverage around the edges without having to embellish it too much.

I decided to really deck out the bottom portion of the piece by using the glass pearls I bought at Stoney Creek Beads while up in Michigan.  I had to do it about three times before I got the beads to lay just right.  I had to also do the edging on one side, and then the other side so that the glass pearls aligned just right. 

And yes!  This is one of the dress forms that I bought at the Worthington Rectory Yard Sale.  It is perfect for displaying jewelry or taking pictures.  I did buy another one, but I am letting my friend Larissa have that one for her corset business.  You have got to look at her site WildeHunt Corsetry.  Your eyes are going to pop out with all the luscious work she does.

So in case you didn't see my post from yesterday, you can click HERE to get to the post about the give away.  Please read the rules and leave a comment if you wish to win one of Sherry's fabulous books.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

BIG Summer Give Away-Serafini

I cannot believe that somewhere between here and there, I had not picked up or seen this book.  Where have I been?  For my second big Summer give away thanks to the folks at Sterling Publishing and Lark Craft, I have TWO COPIES of of Sherry Serafini's Sensational Bead Embroidery: 25 inspiring jewelry projects.  How exciting is that? 

First for the rules on how you can win one of these marvelous books from one of the Master Bead Embroiderers.  First off, you must be over 18, live in the continental US or Canada, either are or become a follower of my blog, and you need to leave a comment on this posting. I will draw TWO names on July 4thAlso, please make sure there is some way that I can contact you either through your profile or leave me an e-mail address.  For fun, please let me know if you already know Bead Embroidery and what your passion is.  Also, did I mention that these two books are signed?

If you have never taken a class with Sherry, then this is one teacher you must put on your "I've got to take a class with this Person" list.  She is a marvelous patient teacher who spends as much time helping her students with design, color matching, and techniques.  I didn't know this about her, but in her book she states that she has a "degree in graphic design and studied fine arts in college".  Then she got the bug for beads.   She states also that bead embroidery "is wonderful if you desire spontaneity in your designs.  While bead embroidery can start from specific pattern with specific bead placements, there's also the option of being completely impromptu with beads".  I cannot agree with her more.  Bead embroidery allows the arts to sit down with paper and pen drawing intricate patterns on your beading material or just go all wild placing bead after bead onto your canvass in pleasing patterns. 

This book is mainly intended for the more intermediate to advanced person who already has the beginning techniques down, but that should not stop anyone wanting to learn this fabulous technique from passing on this book. Each project has a detailed supply list for those who wish to complete the project and have it look like that which is photographed in the book, or you can just chose your own beads and color palette.  The very first project " Spiked Angel Brooch"  is easy enough for the beginner to start.   Between each project are also photos of some of Sherry's most breath taking designs and pieces of jewelry.  The whole book's project ends with the amazing "Perfect Union Neck piece".  Every single one of the 23 projects give you detailed knowledge on how to begin, but more importantly how to finish each design from putting the encrusted front to backing, sewing them all together, embellishing the ends, to the clasp.  AND there are patterns in this book for you to use in your own step into the pathway of Bead Embroidery.

To celebrate this Big Summer give Away to win one of two books, I've decided to take one of Sherry's projects and share with you how I complete it.  I started working on "Black Widow Collar" from Chapter 4: Natural Wonders.  I started it about a week ago, and am documenting my progress with pictures taken with my iPhone.  Now remember my blog name as I have indeed speeded my way through this fantastic project.  It all started out with a piece of glass that I got at the Bead Unique Tahoe Retreat.  I wish I could remember who gave it to me as the colors are just amazing.  Then I took a few small pieces of glass given to me by my Synergy partner, Cyndy Gohsman.  I have been using Nicole's Bead Backing for my past projects and wanted to experiment to see if it was durable enough for a bigger project.  I chose gray for the color as I wanted the beads to dominate the color pathway.  I've got most of it done by this posting, and will post more of my completion and finished project in future postings.  I must say that Sherry's book has really made my Muse dance with pleasure with each project and the luscious gallery of Sherry Serafini and other artist's work. 

I had to go back to work, so my progress on this project might be a little slower than it was last week while I was on vacation, but it makes me so excited to work on this that I just can't help myself and might spend time that should be used to rest and sleep to finish up.

Disclosure...As a reviewer of  products from Lark Books, I receive the book above free of charge. I have been asked to review these products and give my honest opinion of the products...positive or negative. I am not being compensated by Lark Books for my endorsement as it pertains to the products received and reviewed.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Vacation winding down

Today is the last day of my stay at home vacation. Did I enjoy it?  Parts of it I really like, but   Chris has been sick since Sunday.  Don't know if he has a bad Summer cold or bronchitis.  Because of this, we haven't been able to do some of the things I'd planned.  I've mainly stayed around home just to keep tabs on him and to make sure the dogs didn't bother him when he was resting.  I did go out to buy dog food (Frodo is picky and of course after buying 6 cans of Gravy Train he's decided not to eat it), special food for my poor sick husband, trips to the post office, and even went to Average Joes with my sister and her friends for music trivia.  I also got to spend more time playing with resin and molds and beading.  This week, I got all kinds of new molds in, and just yesterday Cynthia sent me some great skull molds that I want to pour today.  The weather is outrageously hot for the first part of June so we are already prisoners of air conditioning.  I think Ohio really only has about 3 months out of the year where we can have the windows open with fresh air and do something fun outdoors. 

Dinosaur molds curing

I also have been working on a necklace from Sherry Serafini's book.  Last night, I worked on it more and will have another give away starting soon of not one but two of Sherry's books.  Keep watching as everyone needs one of these for their beading library

Beads, wine, and Sherry's book for a fun evening
Synergy project has been coming along great too.  I got the turtle stand done and mounted the doll on it.  I have a little tweaking to do to finish it up.  I also want to mount it onto some foam core board with distressed Tyvek to simulate water.  And I do have a few pearls and beads to add to that.  Then it all goes to my Synergy partner to put her lamp work beads onto it and then off it goes to the competition.  I have a feeling it is going to be a hit.

Belle Island Aquarium piece for "Bead Detroit"

Cyndy Goshman's lampwork flowers

Monday, June 18, 2012

Review of Gordon k. Uyehara

 Vacation is rapidly coming to a close.  Chris has a bad Summer cold, so we are all staying inside today which is perfect time for me to go through some of the books that Lark Craft has sent me to review.  Today, I decided to jump in and read the book with a technique I hardly know a thing about.  I have taken one precious metal clay class when Byzantium was still open.  I did enjoy it, but never went beyond that class.  My best friend, Cynthia, is an absolutely wonder with PMC.  Not only has she studied with Gordon Uyehara, but also has created some breath taking pieces which involve days and weeks of carving.  I have been lucky to have gotten some of her pieces as gifts which I will treasure always.

The book I am reviewing for today is from Lark Jewely &Beading Metal Clay Master class selection.  The book is by Gordon K. Uyehara- Metal Clay Fusion: Diverse Clays, Detailed Techniques, Artful Projects. 

Gordon begins the book by stating that he found an advertisement in the alternative newspaper offering a class in silver clay which transpired him into an extremely talented artist.  Gordon is the recipient of the Saul Bell Award.  Each chapter takes the reader into another aspect of creating using different metal clays building upon each previous exercise.  This book is not for beginners in my opinion.  I feel that you need to have some experience with the medium and techniques before you can attempt the projects in the book.  Gordon discusses how to do parts individual but then gives many helpful hints on how to construct and incorporate the pieces together.

As I have said, much of this book is beyond my understanding. Yet, one chapter really caught my attention and it can be used by any and all artist.  He calls it "Artiquette".  He gives these sets of principles of conduct expanding on each concept.  First off he calls for an artist to "Be Professional: just do the work, who up when you say you will, and don't promise what you can't deliver".  Next he says to "Be Original: if it looks like someone else work, don't publish it or sell it as your own...also step up and credit the designer".  He encourages an artist to "Adapt, Evolve &Experiment: you don't want to be a one-trick pony".  Also "Build Skills: develop new skills either by learning them yourself or by taking classes, and put whatever you've learned into practice".  And especially "Work Hard: you must do it because simply talking about it doesn't cut it.  They more you do it the better you will be at it".  Next to "Be Your Own Critic: there is nothing wrong with asking the advice of those with aesthetics you admire, but ultimately you have to develop trust in your own judgement".  And lastly, "Have Fun!: Play is helpful to the creative mind".  These declarations should be carved in Metal Clay and given as tokens to each artist to help them "decide how you want to be defined".

The many illustrations of Gordon and other artist's work in the book is pure enjoyment for the eye.  I won't be taking any clay classes in the future, so I have decided to send this book to my friend Cynthia who I know will enjoy it immensely and use it to further her skill in sculpting and creating in PMC.

Disclosure...As a reviewer of  products from Lark Books, I receive the book above free of charge. I have been asked to review these products and give my honest opinion of the products...positive or negative. I am not being compensated by Lark Books for my endorsement as it pertains to the products received and reviewed.

Giveaway: Merry Mermaid from We Make Dolls « Lark Crafts Lark Crafts

Giveaway: Merry Mermaid from We Make Dolls « Lark Crafts Lark Crafts

Though I've missed the deadline for this give away, Lark has two pdfs you can download to make the mermaid.  A great book for beginning doll makers or someone who just likes fabric and beads.

New Artist found

Saturday, we got up bright and early (okay so Fiona woke us up but we like to think it was for a reason) and went out down to the Worthington Art Festival on the Green.  Both quadrants on High and Rt. 161 will filled with tons of artist selling their wares to crowds of very well behaved folks.  It was warm and Sunny, but everyone was just enjoying walking among the tents and looking at all the great pieces of Art for sell.  We found a new artist that we kept going back to trying to decided what to pick out as we just knew we wanted one of his pieces.  His name is Randal Spangler.  If you have time you must check out his website.  His pieces are whimsical and just beyond darling.  His dragons are cute and all his paintings have a sense of humor that will even enchant children.  I bought one of his prints on canvas to hang in my studio.  I also saw on his website that he has counted cross stitch patterns for sale for those wanting to make his art their own.

Randall Spangler

The Old Worthington Rectory was also having a yard sale.  The women of the Worthington Historical Society have this occasionally, and sometimes we get something.  But when I was only half a block away, I saw these torsos standing there wanting me to get them.  I wasn't sure what the price would be, but when I got there and looked at them, I immediately bought one of them.  By the time we went back to get the car and pick it up, one of the other two was purchased.  I asked the woman if the third was available and was so happy when she not only told me it was available but cut the price for me.  They originally came from Talbot's in the Worthington Mall.  They are perfect to hang some of my necklaces from.  Now I not only have something to help me while designing jewelry but the perfect mounting for pictures.  I was indeed very happy.

Yesterday, Chris was ill all day long, and I think he's feeling poorly again today.  I got tons of beading done on my Synergy project while watching lots of HBO On Demand.  He's not feeling well again today, so I'm just going to hang around the house.  My sister is trying to get me to come over to Average Joes in New Albany tonight for Trivia.  I might go depending on how Chris feels.

Example of Randall's work
Three more days of vacation before I got back to work.  My replacement was hired, but it is now going to take two to three months to train her before I get to go on evening shift and say a farewell to night shift.  I'll be so happy to leave third shift and working when everyone else is fast asleep.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Day 7 of vacation and winners

This time I used an Internet generator to pick the two winners of the first set of Summer Give away and came up with

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:
Timestamp: 2012-06-16 21:04:53 UTC
while looking at the comments I see that the winners are
Cody and Charley.  Please contact me with you mailing information so I can send one of the books out to you.
Day seven of my vacation started out with our sleeping in which a rarity around here with Fiona wanting to eat around 6 AM every morning.  It was lovely, but we really only slept an extra hour.  After having a nice breakfast, we picked up the threesome  from the Vet and were they ever happy to see us.  Fiona about broke her tail when she felt my hand on her head.  Frodo and Arwen were happy but they didn't have time for greetings as they wanted "out of here!".  It didn't take them long to investigate the whole house, drink two bowls of water and then crash out in their favorite sleeping places.

Frodo on his favorite pillow
Arwen crashed out on the tile
I spent the early part of the morning playing with new molds I had gotten in the mail.  This time my experiment was adding Pearl-X powder to the actual resin before it would set up.  It did color the resin, but only a faint tint.  I also got two more ice cube tray molds to play with.  Today the molds were little fish and the cutest dinosaurs you've ever seen.

New trays to play with

My friend Cyndy Sieving who is the most busy woman in the world since she is deep in her Artistic Figures in Cloth and Clay preparation for next year.  If you want to met THE QUEEN of organization then you must met  Cyndy.  She singularly picks the teachers, organizes the schedule, works on the website (with help from Mike), contacts students, takes all the orders for classes, deals with the hotel, send notifications to all the students and teachers, and organizes all the events including a wonderful closing event that I think will make everyone happy.  On top of all that, she works full time, helps out with the Guilded Lilies along with being in the Winter Fair committee/Ohio State Fair committee/High Road Show committee, has a booth at the Columbus Christmas Fair, and I am sure there are dozens of other things she does.  So between her busy schedule and my work schedule we rarely get time to get together.  We were able to have a late lunch and do some junk shopping where I found some great things for Chris to use for his robots and a jumper to use in a future class of face painting through the Guild.

I decided to head out to Club Bead at 1 Stop Bead Shop in the evening.  I hadn't been able to attend since the Winter.  It was so fun to walk in and instantly find friends who made a place for me to sit and bead.  We all got caught up on what was happening in our lives that we don't want to talk about on Facebook.  Every single one of us does something different, but we all are together in our love of beads.  I brought my turtle stand for the Synergy project.  Many people walking by our table while shopping for Bead and Button treasure Lisa brought from Milwaukee, stopped to see my doll.  I think I might have gotten some people actually interested in doing beaded dolls or animals for future classes.  Lisa also told me that she wanted me to teach the Tila Window Pane class in the Fall.  This is the class I had to cancel because of work conflicts.  AND I am counting down the days until Marcia Decoster comes to Columbus. There are still spaces left for her two classes

Before I went to Club Bead, I had to stop by Dick Blick on Sawmill Road.  I cannot tell you how great this store is.  You walk in and get greeted no matter how busy the store is. And there has never been a time when someone does ask me what they can help me with. This time I had a young woman help me try to figure out how to color the molded plastic resin faces. She went online to find products but nothing really showed up.  So she gave me a couple ideas.  Have spray paint will make art!  Maybe Sunday...maybe Sunday.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Day Six Staycation

Day six started out with the dogs waking me up very early.  I gave everyone dinner, then feel back to sleep.  Woke up and did a few chores before it was time to head out to get my hair dyed.  I usually do it myself, but my new hairdresser talked me into getting a deep shade of red instead of the boring brown I had been doing. When there, I decided to get a streak of lighter colored red.  It is perfect as I can hide it if I need to (ie, like at work) or let it out to announce to the world...hey world!  I like being different.

boring brown before
dark auburn with a red streak after

Got home and loaded up all the dog stuff into a bag as they were going to spend the night at the boarders at my Vets.  We got tickets to go see Tecumseh! in Chillicothe Ohio.  The show has been going non stop for almost 40 years. They started in 1973.  We'd never gone in all these years, but decided it was time.  We didn't want to leave the dogs too long alone as we knew we wouldn't get home until around midnight, so they stayed with the girls at Dr. Millers.

We got the buffet at the show which is total Southern Ohio cooking.  Fried chicken, mashed potatoes with gravy, corn, beans, slaw, potato salad with apple cobbler.  Chris even had his fill of chicken legs which are his absolute favorite. 

typical Southern Ohio meal

Chris enjoying his chicken legs and potatoes

The whole place had a homey atmosphere with all the locals doing the concessions and the catering.  Most of the actors were regulars or younger people who were either still in college or just getting out.  The main actor (Stevyn Carmona) who played Tecumseh was excellent.  Some of the other actors were a little stiff, but this is their first week opening.  The original play was written by Allan W. Eckert.  He has written many books set in this time period.  And if you are old enough to remember this then you are probably my age or older, but he also wrote over 200 scripts for the television series "Wild Kingdom".  His most famous book is The Frontiersman.  Dr. Eckert passed away in 2011.  I'm not sure how accurate the storyline was as I don't remember Tecumseh falling in love with a white pioneer girl, but it might be true.  Now I want to find out more about this period of time.  I actually know nothing about the settling of this area or the Indian wars.  I am very intrigued now as my Father's family (The Noel's) were one of the founding families in Portsmouth Ohio which was actually one of the first towns settled in the Ohio Valley. 

Sugarloaf Mountain Amphithreatre

The play had horses and enough loud gun fire and cannons that every kid in the place was jumping out of their seats with excitement.  The tickets for the shows were very cheap compared to those live shows presented here in Columbus, and ALL the concessions were very economical.  But the best part was sitting outside in this theater bowl watching the night slip in.  During the pivotal parts of the drama the stars sparking in the clear sky was the only thing that threaten to keep my eyes off the action on the natural stage.  After the show all the actors came out into the receiving area to let young theater goers get their pictures taken with the characters.  They were all just having a great time.

It was so strange to get back home so late. We decided to drive straight up High Street through town.  It was exciting to see all the entertainment and people enjoying themselves in the Short North area.  Sometimes I think Columbus is pretty dull, but go to the Short North area during any time of day or night and the whole place hums with excitement and an active night life.  We got home and no dogs were there to greet us.  Not a normal experience for us, but we were both so tired that we climbed into bed around 1AM.  And then, our normal body alarms woke both of us up at 6am today because that is always when Fiona wants to get up and eat.

 Today is my 7th day of vacation.  I have a few plans, but at this point I'm just going to let things happen as they do.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Day 5 of StayCation

I woke up in Michigan to a Sunny but cool morning.  Cyndy took me out to breakfast at Cheryl's place in Brighton.  It was delicious with fried potato slices instead of the usually luke warm hash browns.  I drank cup after cup of coffee as we kept talking and sharing stories.  I so wish Cyndy only lived 50 miles away instead of 200.  I can't imagine the trouble we would get into.  Plus, she told me she would teach me how to mold glass...that would be trouble double!

Tray of lovely pendents from local artist

On the way home, I promised Sue that I'd come to visit her over at Stoney Creek Beads in Ypsilanti.  Her daughter owns the store, and Sue works there.  And does she work!  She told me that sometimes she puts in 60 hours a week.  Talk about a dedicated employee!  Stoney Creek Beads is off of I-94 and is a lovely area.  The shop for those who get lost easy (like me) is in the Kroger's shopping plaza.  You can't miss the sign over the shop, and once inside you just can't miss the smiles of Sue greeting you.  The store is very well lit with walls and walls of yummy treasures to look at.  One wall is of just unusual czech glass, fire polish, and hand made poly clay beads made from a local artist.  The center aisles are well laid out with tables of single stones and bead findings.  Books are every where enticing those with enough time to browse leisurely through the place.  And every where is lots of beautiful finished jewelry.  The wall of beads is enough to make a person feel faint.  All the 6-11 seed beads are in large tubes all arranged by color.  They also have a fantastic selection of 15s, cubes, drops, magatomas, and every other thing you can imagine.

Then the case of special items is right to the side with items made by local artist.  I have to especially give you a glimpse of these fabulous owl pendents made by an artist in Port Huron.  They are absolutely the finest ceramic birds I have ever seen.  I could not resist and bought several of these.  I did leave you some if you are interested.  And you should as they were only $15 each.  What a steal!  Here is the phone number to the store if you want to grab some of these owl pendents made by Collins (866-799-2588).  Tell Sue I sent you there.  The best part is that the artist said he could make more of these so buy one, buy two, buy MORE!  I also purchased some other ceramic pieces along with a delicious poly clay flower pendent and some pumpkins that I know will wind up in a Halloween themed piece. 

Sue welcomes the customer

I took a box of dolls and assemblage pieces I had made to show Sue, as it was so crazy at Bead Daze in Farmington Hills that we didn't get a chance to really chat and get to know each other better.  While there many customers came in and wanted to see what I had made.  Fantasty Swim from Bead International 2006 made a big hit.  I could have stayed for hours, but I had to get home by 5 to made sure the girls got all their medications.

Fiona dreaming of food...delicious food
I would like to say that Fiona waited at the door for me all the time I was gone, but I have a feeling that deep in her canine heart she loves the refrigerator more than me. 

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Day Four of Vacation

Benjamin reminded me to keep my speed down on I-75

 I never thought I'd enjoy this "stay-cation" so much.  I'm so use to flying someplace or driving someplace that this is very relaxing.  Yesterday, I did get up bright and early to make a trip UP NORTH to Michigan. Benjamin decided I just couldn't go all by myself so he sneaked into the car and positioned himself so that I couldn't say no.   I went up to work on my Synergy Project with my partner.  The Synergy project is a collaboration between the members of the Great Lakes Beadworker Guild and the Southern Michigan Glass workers Guild.  We are have been put into teams of two with one being a bead weaver and the other a glass maker and challenged to come up with a project using both member's skills.  The theme for this year is "Yeah! Bead Detroit."  Cyndy & I had met before when I went up to Farmington Hills for Bead Daze and discussed what our project should be. This is the first time since February that I've had time to go up to Michigan to work with her. 

Cyndy's lamp work beads make a lovely bouquet
I got to sort through all her beads she's made.  FUN!
A few of the fish she made for our combined project

You ever met a person and instantly know you are going to be good friends? It was that way with Cyndy and I.  I got up to her beautiful home yesterday around noonish.  We chatted, ate lunch and began to start working on our project in her studio.  She was working on the bouquet of flowers the doll I made will be holding while I worked on the turtle stand.  The hours whisked by so that when we went downstairs to get a drink of water, it was already dinner time.  We ate, walked around looking at all her goodies (that girl has tools to envy anyone!), then back to work until we were both too tired to look at another bead.  This morning we both got up and went out for a lovely breakfast.  I really hated to go, but I had to get back home.  I know I'll be heading up North again to just play play play with my new found friend.  Cyndy just told me that she is now the President of the Glass Maker's Guild...wooohooo!  Congrats to her.

Cyndy holding the doll with the bouquet

Our doll for the Synergy project