Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Dream Keeper success

Well the first four dream keeper rings didn't have any dreams...just the idea of a dream. Yesterday after experimenting with shape and size I wrote my dream on the shrink plastic, used the heat gun to shrink it, colored the edges in gold and placed it inside the vessel for a perfect fit. It gives the ring nice body. I was unhappy with the previous band however. I wasn't sure it would stand up to the now heavier top, so I re-designed it to be 3 units wide and layered it to give it substantially more strength.

I typically make at least two and preferably three of a design before I commit to directions. I am fine-tuning during that time, hopefully making a sturdier and more aesthetically pleasing design.

I like this design a lot. It's nice when you feel that way, when you're inspired to keep making them. It's an easy bead once the details are worked out. It still takes multiple hours, it is seed beads, and tiny ones at that, after all. But since they stack well together and it's a fun place to experiment with color I expect to make more soon.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Ringlet kits

Just in time for Bead and Button, I've kitted up some Ringlets!

The bright fun colors were inspired by Heather Trimlett's glass. The true value of this kit is the five Heather Trimlett beads you'll receive. Of course the coordinating seed beads and crystals to make your matching ringlets are included as well, and a simple ball chain necklace to show off your completed rings.

Here is the black and white set minus the drama of the new black background photographs.

I leave Thursday morning so I won't be shipping any of these pre-show, but if I have any left you'll be the first to know! I'm now out of the glass rings and not sure if there will be more or not, but I have other new things I'll be showing you like the brand new colorway for Crystal Collage, and a very pretty soft Romantica, and there is a new Victoria in the works.

It's hard deciding if I should go backwards in the history of my designs and refresh a color, but Victoria has always been such a good project. Worn by many a Mother of the Bride and so I think a new color may be welcomed. We'll see.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Miss Maya

in her comfort zone

Home with wings

Look what I made!

and look what I photographed on my new black acrylic. I will need to find a soft brush for removing dust without scratching it. Even put away face down it was covered in dust. A paper towel moving around the dust added a small scratch already.

How did I come to be doing shrink plastic?

This year on Mother's day my daughter and I wandered through an art fair at the Rancho Bernardo winery where met and admired the work of Susan. Susan used shrink plastic to create some really endearing earrings. I bought a pair and stashed her card for a later look.

So then when the Dream Keeper Vessel ring showed up in my new creations, and I needed a way to collect that dream and keep it safe, I thought of this as a possible medium. It was easy enough to do, hugely customizable, and would hold up to wet hands. A quick look and I found out she was teaching her techniques at Stamping Details in Poway.

The timing turned out to be bad, the last weekend before Bead and Button, but I wanted to go and I am so glad I made the time. The classroom was large and well lit and the class was well attended. Susan brought every supply required to share and imparted her knowledge easily, including technique and sources. I decided on a pair of earrings which are entirely of Susan's design, I just followed along. But it gave me the basics and taught me that this is indeed the right medium for the Dream Keeper Vessel series so I will be experimenting more. Just after Bead and Button, well unless I find a few free minutes that is.

Friday, May 27, 2011


It's one of the hardest things for me. If the show were nearby and I was taking a car display would be much easier. But when you travel by plane or ship your things ahead, adding to the already heavy load is tough.

I've been staging to see what works. You would think after many years of attending shows I would have this down. But unfortunately no....Although based on a suggestion from my friend Val, I have decided to arrange per color this year and not by style. And while we are on the topic of Val, she's having a giveaway of her adorable pin cushions so you may want to head over there and have a look.

Some simple earring holders make a nice hanger for small necklaces

and this acrylic hand works well to add some interest to a bracelet.

I think I will need one more trip to the fixture store, and then some work with cardboard boxes that will be taped together at the show, light and compact but lending height and interest to the table. They will be edged with black corrugated cardboard, also easy to travel with and topped with fabric covered foam core.

Just a few more days until Bead and Button 2011!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Continuing the learning curve

Taken with my new sparkler light, the crystals sparkle nicely don't you think?

I'm always looking to improve....my beadwork, illustrations, photography, workflow, beading....so with this in mind I decided to change from Corel Draw to Adobe Illustrator. My theory being that as I prepare to create the illustrations for two upcoming books, that I would find more available help with Adobe Illustrator.

Given that change I decided to move to a MAC platform for the first time as well. And while I'm at it I might as well use In Design for layout. Oh and if I'm going to put photos in my documents, I might as well get some new lights, and so it goes.

The only thing making this remotely possible is the friends who have gone before me and can provide advice and knowledge and the amazing amount of internet resources available to me.

At the recommendation of two who have gone before me I signed up for Lynda.com, a software tutorial site. I have found it to be well organized with targeted bits of digestible information. I try to watch 2 or 3 a day and digest what I have learned. I'm going in order at the moment, checking off each video I've watched, but you can also search on particulars and watch as you need it. There is a whole section on digital photography as well which I want to add to the viewing schedule.

Back to the lights however, while looking for a source of the black acrylic that was recommended to me by yet another friend, thanks Teresa (I love having accomplished friends willing to share) I found this site for Table Top photography. Admittedly they are in the business of selling product, and their site layout will link you to products that they recommend, however it is well done and there is a lot of very good information. I decided that a sparkler light would really help to photograph the often crystal studded jewelry I create. I ordered one along with some black acrylic. Since the company is in California and they shipped the day I ordered it, I had my light the very next day! And I do like instant gratification.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

rings and more rings

I have more ideas for making rings, it seems to be a trend at the moment. I notice both Sabine Lippert and Linda Roberts making statement rings and I wonder if I was subliminally influenced to make rings.

Sabine's and Linda's are both fanciful affairs, much more whimsical then what I've done here.

Mine all started with the funnel shape I beaded in Tucson at the Bead Summit and have gone on from there. I'd like to make another with a square shape and steep embellished sides and a stone in top. However for the time being I need to do a few different things.

I'd also like to get out a different palette and play with it for a bit. I love this soft pastel pallet but I think they'd be great fun in a nice bright set of colors. Suzanne Golden colors or Jeannette Cook colors.

I find small pieces like this are a great place to play with the interaction of color. This palette is destined to become a new Victoria. There is a lot of what I refer to as color complexity when you have so many layers in such a small area. The choice of embellishment bead changes things up a lot as well. In the far back ring the top is broader because I embellished the row below it with 11's instead of 15's which caused the shape to pillow out more then on the first one.

Three of these get mailed off to the Beading Frenzy in San Mateo today where I will be teaching them in August. The other two will go with me to Bead and Button and hopefully one or two more.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


In the past I have decided against black as a pallet for kits, but there are times I can't resist, and this year Abrege, The Rising Sun and Bird of Paradise all have a black option. I'm hoping to have time to kit up some of the black bird of paradise. I love the cyclamen opal loch rosen and the way the matte black bead sets off it's purple luminescent spine.

In general black is never the favorite colorway, but a recent trip to Florida proved me wrong on that, as this Rising Sun did end up being the favorite kit.

Speaking of Rising Sun's I decided at the eleventh hour to use a different, larger button. Since the orange and teal sample is up at Fusion beads, I was only able to physically re bead the center part, but through the miracle of photoshop, the new directions will have the changed button in them.



I think re beading the sample may have been easier, but I did learn a lot (thanks MIchelle!)

Sunday, May 22, 2011

If only

I weren't going to be at Bead and Button on June 3rd, I'd definitely be at Creative Castle in Newbury Park

Taking this set of classes with Teresa Sullivan.

You probably recall I had the opportunity to spend three days with Teresa at our recent Bead Summit in Tucson. I can tell you that not only is she a delight but she has such an innovative bead mind, you would do well to expose yourself to her way of thinking about beads.

Here she is looking beautiful with her whimsical earrings peeking out from her hair.

I learned an incredible amount from her in the short time we had and would welcome an opportunity to spend more time together. So if you live anywhere near Southern California and you have any of these days free, you would do well to sign up for a class with Teresa AND if you haven't been, Creative Castle is one of the most welcoming bead stores, where you are always graciously taken care of while you bead.

Thank you!

A few weeks back I wrote this post, asking you to consider taking the time to write an Amazon review for Sherry's new book and in general for any book which you enjoy. It means a lot to the artists. I noticed yesterday that indeed many of you did just that, for not only Sherry's book but mine as well, and presumably others. For this I thank you!

Wayne Robbins

It's a rare third Saturday that I'm in town and able to attend the Bead Society of San Diego meeting. However I was there last month for Kate and the Glitterganza, and this month was Wayne Robbins and sweetie (as he endearingly calls her) Judie Mountain

I have always loved the work from both of these artists and marvel at the way they collaborate with their art. Each compliments the other so beautifully.

I loved hearing the story of Wayne's journey, which surprisingly to me has only been 15 years of glass making. He has mastered his craft so beautifully, always pushing the boundaries and learning more. He described the process of making one of his frogs sitting on a bead. A three hour process during which there can be no interruptions or the bead will fail! I have a new found appreciation for his sculptural work. Both Judie and Wayne are the type of artist I so admire with their willingness to constantly explore new mediums in order to create their vision.

Wayne was making totem heads (unbeknownst to him at the time) and not knowing what to do with them, they were collecting in a drawer. When Judie discovered the draw, they were brought out and mixed with steel and polymer and fashioned with jewelry and spears. The finished totems stand two feet tall and are incredible.

Typically at shows, we will see smaller beads and jewelry, all exceptional, but it was wonderful to see slides of the large pieces, wall mounted shadow boxes with glass sculptures and beautifully fashioned stands to support the large glass pieces. Wayne's photography was also brilliant capturing each piece in beautiful light.

I did buy a lovely pair of earrings,

and ahem....a 4th frog.

But this one is smaller and I am working on a ring base for it.

Also in the presentation Wayne showed several pieces that other artists created using his glass as a focus. There were incredible felted animals from Kim Antwerp, and beautiful pieces of jewelry from Cynthia Lohry (the current President of the Bead Society) and my friend Ms. Rachel.

I'm so glad I took the time to go to the meeting and had the opportunity to see both Wayne and Judie and visit with many friends! We followed up the meeting with lunch at the Prado before I headed back to the studio for more Bead and Button preparations.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Amulet purses

Sadly I can't yet show you the purses I'm working on. They belong to other people, entrusted to me for a little while, each one requiring something different of me.

It's my first round robin and I'm having a grand time. The job is to make a beaded amulet and send it on it's way to the next person in your group. Each purse will travel to 3 different people, receiving embellishment, fringe and finally a strap. And each person will receive 3 purses, one of which they will embellish, one they will fringe and one they will add a necklace.

My first job was embellishment and I loved both the purse I received from Laura Zeiner and the embellishments I added.

Yesterday I received the purse beaded by Nancy Dale. My job on this one is add fringe. If you know Nancy, then you also know her own fringing capabilities are stellar. So I worried about being able to come up with a unique fringe that would suit the bag.

I laid the purse on an 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of white paper and with pencil sketched some possible fringe choices. I have a plan! I'll be beading it this weekend, so I can get the purse on it's way.

It is going to be so fun to see the finished purses. My start was a bronzy right angle weave small purse which tapered to a point. I can't wait to see how it's been enhanced. Thanks to Darcy for organizing this event and inviting me to be part of it.

And now I'm off to a bead society meeting featuring glass artist Wayne Robbins. Full report tomorrow!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Teresa Sullivan

An excellent photo of Teresa Sullivan during last week's bead summit.

Gone Knitting

In the interest of sanity I am choosing to leave the studio today and go knit. You see, 3 very tall pepper trees are coming down and making way for a citrus orchard instead. Did you know they cut trees down with chain saws? Noisy chain saws....I guess I should have figured out it wouldn't be quiet, but somehow that thought escaped me until the men with chainsaws arrived yesterday.

I'll see you tomorrow, and Malayna's baby sweater will be showing progress no doubt.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Gary Wilson!

Much of this weekend, heck all of this past weekend was amazing, but a major highlight was our trip to Gary Wilson's home in Tucson. Gary carves rocks, and drills them for beads and makes matched cabochon sets for bead embroidery.

It all started out with Mark asking where he might find some turquoise and Kate saying I could call Gary. Dustin came up with Gary's card and phone number, Kate called, Gary was in and we were welcome to come by. Wow! If you don't know Gary's work, he is sought after by the bead artist (and I'm sure rock enthusiasts as well, I can only speak to the bead artists) for his unusual stones. He sells his work at two venues in Tucson during the gem and jewelry show and at Bead and Button, but.....since he has a huge following, it's hard to see everything up close and personal, and hard to come by Gary's time to explain the finer points of a stone since he tends to be so busy.

A chance to go to his home, see his own vast collection, hear him give the history of any stone you can point to, mindboggling.

Being the sparkly girl of the bunch I was after drusies to put in my new crystal ring, but as happens with Gary's stones, I found a few other things as well.

Gary was so gracious, while the lot of us selected our individual finds and exclaimed over our good fortune. Thank you Gary, I loved it!

Here are Teresa and Jean, don't they look like happy girls? And Gary head down unfortunately, writing up our purchases, we kept him busy.

Here is one of the several drusie's I purchased for my new ring series
and a few of things I picked up including a cone shape of petrified wood and a copper infused brick from an old copper factory (I believe in Michigan, but then I don't have Gary's encyclopedic knowledge and no retention)
This was the open ring that was closed up for the dream keeper series, but I made a second for the drusie above
On Sunday Mark and I departed and I was touched after hugs and goodbyes all around the group all came out for a last good bye.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

I'm making rings

like crazy.....

Here is the first

It started out at the Bead Summit while we all explored the funnel shapes of Dustin's bowls. I, as you may have guessed, decided to try my hand at making the funnel shape with right angle weave. It was round, but then, I added a band which pulled it into the oval shape, so I went with it and closed up the bottom with a few extra beads, preserving the oval. It was pretty, but then...I decided to close the top as well. Now I have to go back and explore leaving one open, with perhaps a surprise in the bottom, and closing another up with the dream captured inside. And then....

Oh yeah, and then there is Bead and Button. Well I can play for the rest of today at least!

cross medium inspiration

As I scroll through my photos in Iphoto, I'm coming across some forgotten images. While shooting video this weekend at Kate's one of the questions asked by the illustrious panel of bead summit attendees, was 'What inspires you?' It was a better version of the question but I just can't remember the exact wording.

I am often influenced by works in other artistic mediums, including glass and metal. Something about a shape will draw me in and make me ponder how I might create it using seed beads. Here is an example of the Gail Crosman Moore bead which led to the urchin bead.

And went on from there...

What I neglected to say at the time was that I often design through play. I encourage people to pick up their beadwork, to twist it and fold it and see what shows up. While making an urchin bead I decided to fold it the long way and see what would happen. What happened was this bangle.

Each piece of design work is an opportunity to take it further or in another direction. Another urchin start resulted in Pharaoh's Daughter.

While working the first few rows I picked up the beadwork fabric and shaped it into a gentle curve. I decided to keep beading to see where that curve would lead. I increased the ribs as I approached the front and decreased them around the other side. I added a crystal between each of the beads on the top of the ribs to accentuate the curve and added a clasp.

I'm sure you can see some similarities, but the urchin bead, the bangle and Pharaoh's Daughter are all distinctly different pieces based on the same arrangement of beads.

So go play with your beads!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Bead Summit 2011

The first of what I hope will become an annual event. The weekend was full of laughter, learning, support, friendship, and beautiful beadwork of course.

The breadth of beadwork styles and knowledge was huge, and everyone shared. Days were spent around a large dining room table, everyone using their own style of beadmat, mine and Kate's a velvet lined tray, Dustin's a wooden bowl, Velux pads for others, and Teresa using a white ceramic plate.

Evening we relaxed over meals around the pool or in the back forty under twinkly lights enjoying the desert air.

My friend Gabriella who attended with husband Jeroen. I love spending time with her. We first met at a beading class in Atlanta and have thankfully managed a visit or two each year.

And here is Dustin with one of his many spectacularly embroidered ties.

We compared techniques and materials, collaborated, problem solved, talked excitedly about new design ideas. Speaking of which I have one, a new design. It will be called the dream keeper vessel ring and it will hold your dreams close at hand.

Dustin read Tarot cards, and as a result (with a some input from Ellen) I will be creating myself a 'dream' bead tray for those projects that I want to explore independently of those that I teach. I have a vision for the first one and it may get beaded slowly but with the dream tray close by it will be realized.

I had never met Teresa Sullivan before and I wonder how that could have been. She is so delightful, with a quirky sense of humor, a huge volume of music trivia, and an absolutely stunning body of work. I've commissioned her to create my very own pair of flame cuffs, and although we haven't discussed it yet, I'm hoping to throw the occasional crystal into the mix.

I had the best time getting to know Jean Power, who is crazy fun and super talented. I remember 5 years ago admiring a piece of geometric triangles in the case at Bead and Buttons Bead Dreams and completely enamored, wondered about the person who created such an artistically arranged and colorful piece. I did have the rare for me opportunity to take a class with Jean in New York last year where I made the famous Jean Power star. But spending a whole 3 days with her was incredible. She is full of surprises and has an amazing ring collection.

Kate was a gracious hostess making beautiful food seem to appear effortlessly, although I know of course there was effort. She also made bronze beads appear when I needed them, made everyone comfortable, and provided the beautiful space.

So, time to admit, I'm a tad challenged with the IMAC learning curve and so this post is not as full of the the pictures that I would like to include.....more later, including our visit to Gary Wilson's!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Cafe Poca Cosa

Great beginnings!

Bead summit!

A picturesque ride through Arizona, arriving at Tucson midday in time to join the group in Kate's B40. It's hard to believe the years of work that I've admired from, Kate McKinnon, Jean Powers, Teresa Sullivan, and Dustin and now I'm spending an entire weekend with them.

I love that Kate imagines an event and makes it happen. Jean flew in from London, Teresa from Olympia Oregon, and Kate and Dustin were here. Add Jeroen, And Gabriella previous friends of mine and Ellen from South Carolina, it's a bead party.

We are all sharing technique, beads, stories, magic. Yesterday Teresa showed us beaded heads AND a Joyce Scott spiral with endless possibility.
Here's mine

Currently I'm beading a right angle weave funnel, time to carry on.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Tucson bound

One more day to pack some warm weather clothes, pick some beadwork to share techniques, send a few boxes off to Bead and Button, and then I'm off.

The studio has come along way in two days, well it is really a moderate change, but it was all accomplished. I did manage to clean out two file cabinets and turn them into one, and install two drawers in their stead. But I have yet to unload the contents of three plasticy draws.

However the plasticy drawers are going to be a good receptacle for all things 'emergency' in the bomb shelter. I'm not expecting a bomb, but last years Easter time earthquakes rattled me. Obviously not quite enough to get totally on top of things, but now that I have receptacles, I plan on a first aid kit, some food, some flashlights, some batteries, some canned goods, in case I should ever find the house crumbling about me and require the accommodations. With a 6 inch cement surround I expect the bomb shelter to remain standing.

Wednesday night will be the third Adobe Illustrator class and the delivery of the imac to the apple store for the data transfer. I could do it, but I find I don't really want to. I'll deliver it, pre-Tucson and pick it up post-Tucson and then I will really be ready to adopt it full throttle.

I've gotten lots of wonderful Apple advice and I'll be ready to fully embrace the change next week when I pick up the computer that will now have all my life's data.

Stay posted, the weekend in Tucson is going to be amazing!

It all takes time

I would have loved to show you pictures of the new studio arrangement, but we are still mid way. Maybe more as we have a plan, which is really the hard part.

Previously I had a large curved table space which formed an L in the corner of the studio. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but in reality it used up a lot of floor space and everything behind the monitor was dead space.

And the summer sun was blinding starting around 4:00 p.m. which is a little too early to call it a day most of the time around here. The printer also lived in this space to the left of the monitor so I could reach it. Turns out it doesn't like the heavier stock of card printing, so it jams unless I feed it one at a time.

I refuse to have my nice new sleek Imac with a big old clunky printer. So....the circular board has come out and a new 24 inch straight has been installed in it's place. The file cabinet has been moved to under where all the plastic drawers were, but now I need drawers. The second file cabinet will get drawers today, the plastic will be emptied, the old files will be shredded, and a new platform under the desk will hold the printer. I still need leg room however, so a small curved lip will be added the front, and installed a few inches lower to hold the trackpad, keyboard and a piece of paper or two.

I look forward to a really comfortable, ergonomic, refreshing, light filled space where I will begin to learn my new hardware and software and eventually begin to write two new books!

Monday, May 9, 2011


The day ahead

taken with photo booth, serious fun, but not what I should be doing.

The studio is half re-arranged, but until data is moved to the imac the pc and imac must coexist. And there is stuff to be returned to IKEA that didn't quite meet my in store vision once I re-arranged.

Such funny little nuances to the learning curve as well. I am sure I will stop using ctrl z, x, v or whatever and learn to use the command key and that I will remember the delete key deletes like a backspace but the delete key on the number pad deletes forward.

Saturday I received the first amulet purse in a round robin I am participating in. Funny to be returning to amulets. That is the very first thing I ever beaded. I wish I had one left to show you the primitive nature of my learning. The last one whose whereabouts I knew was in my mother's things and I sent it to my sister.

The amulet I received was beautiful and not a style I would have done myself. I wonder if I'm in a style rut? I wasn't sure I would know what to do to someone else's piece and I did immediately. Last night I sat down and added my embellishments, my job on this first purse I received. When we are done I will have photos, no spoiling the surprise of the finished purse along the way. I however forgot to take before pictures on this one. I'm sad, but not sad enough to undo what I did just for a photo op.

I'm leaving for Tucson in three days! I'll spend 4 days of bead play which I'm pretty sure is going to be amazing! Until then I have much to do to get ready for Bead and Button, which is a mere three or so weeks away, but who's counting.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

I'm on an adventure

Can I keep up? I have a new imac, command key, I think equals ctrl key, finder equals explorer, safari is my browser......but really it's kind of a lot. Should I have done this when I was younger? Maybe, but I didn't. I love the 27 inch monitor and all it's real estate.

I have given away my pc, but it won't be delivered until mid June during which time if I should absolutely panic at having to do illustrations with illustrator when I already know how with Corel Draw, when I can't find a contact, or make a cd label or....well I'll always have the pc handy.

It's a fair amount of learning curve, but I had a career in IT for a reason. I have a certain affinity for systems, even still.....I'm a wee bit nervous.

The first book I wrote I was totally unprepared to do the illustration (don't read this part Ray) but I took it on and with Bonnie's help (thank you Bonnie, forever) I did ok.

Mostly I'm loving the new screen, key board, trackpad, interface.....but it is still just a tad bit nerve wracking.

I can relate to my mother who in the 90's asked me if the dot in aol.com was light should she add ink (to the monitor) and how did you get to the next line. She was used to carriage returns, the enter key confounded her, but still she checked her bank balance and read my blog until the day she fell, the beginning of the end. I missed her today, mothers days are like that. But I enjoyed my daughters and granddaughters.

Wish me luck, this blog was done on the IMAC. No pictures yet, another interface to learn, but I'm sure it will be apparent, once I try.

En Pointe Finished

I am absolutely enamored with the structure of this necklace. It's strong geometry, yet graceful curves, the subtle sparkle of the joins, the way it hugs the neck so perfectly and the wonderful matte gold chain.

It was worth the wait, well I hope it was. Mark loves it and it is not that often that he is moved to comment so strongly. He loved the Rising Sun and he loves En Pointe. He didn't get to name this one though, my friend Susan (Grove Susan...as Mark points out I have a lot of Susan's in my life, so he's always asking which one). It was parading around with the rather plain name of points. We've reviewed this before, naming....not my strong suit. I think I should come up with a naming convention, mdbracelet1gold, mdnecklace7blue....it would simplify the whole naming thing.

Here is a closeup of the 2 mm crystal join. You could alternately join with a size 15 or a size 11 in a contrasting color, but if you happened to have 2 mm crystal, it adds a nice touch. The yellow ringlets are unrelated, just happened to be on the same mannequin and I liked the wonderful contrast. Which suggests that the next En Pointe may play with color a little more.

I'm not sure you can quite get the dimensionality of it from the photo. The joins are raised up off the beadwork and create meandering waves throughout the necklace.

I'll wear it today, out for a mother's day afternoon with my daughter. After which it will be on it's way to the Beading Frenzy where I will be teaching it in August. As with the majority of my component design there are a million and one variations I can think of doing. And who knows you may find another million. You will however want to be well practiced in right angle weave.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Studio re-arrangement

That's what I'm thinking. I feel a need to change things up a bit in the studio. Gain a fresh perspective. Move some furniture around, re-situate my work areas. The new Mac with wireless keyboards and all in one computer and monitor will require only one plug, making it pretty much portable (well except that it weighs in excess of twenty pounds).

My current computer sites in a corner, but I'm thinking of having the white table serve as the computer desk. The view will be nicer and the sun won't blare in my face at 4:00 in the summertime, but I also won't be able to put my hands on the labels for printing, or the file drawers for filing.

Now if I could research a wireless, high volume, automatic dual sided printing, printer/scanner with a small footprint and good design aesthetic I'd be set. Well almost I still need to outfit the desk in question with a lowered keyboard tray but that should be easy enough.

Of course when you get into these things you have to clean and organize and generally make things less messy and it all takes time, but I think it might be time well spent. If only 'En Pointe' were complete I could take this on....but sigh, I really must bead first, tomorrow perhaps.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Welcome May Gray

I wondered where you'd been. The last several days have been bright sunshine and hot temperatures, decidedly unlike our weather fondly referred to as May Gray. It's followed by June Gloom. At the moment I welcome the coolness of the day, with early morning fog giving way to perfect, not too hot temperatures.

I'm beading of course, with 'En Pointe' progressing daily. It's a lot of beading this one. Beading which requires you to pay attention to placement, but also fairly repetitive. I love the result, the little points which undulate and the beautiful little seam, optionally done in 2 mm crystal. It's a design where I have to consider teachability and lovability together. Will people love it enough to want to make the 21 required components? Is there enough to keep it interesting?

I have one complete 'En Pointe' but I wasn't entirely happy with it's centerpiece, so I'm in re-design mode. Even with deadlines it's hard to let a piece slip away from you before you're entirely happy with the result. These pieces live on at my teaching venues and I need to love them.

It's fussier then it looks, creating that lip of internal color.

Standing up that little line at the join. I don't mean fussy in a bad way. I like to be able to have something to offer the accomplished beader. Something that makes them say, that was clever.

As always I have some options to share. It will be easy enough to change up, do it size 11's, make it a bracelet, in fact I want to do that option next, size 11's and a bracelet. And I have an idea for a beaded bauble using the same shape in combination with a diamond.

In the meantime I would like to finish this one, take some stunning photos and wear it out for it's marketing debut before sending it off to the Beading Frenzy.

Do you do that, a marketing review? It's often where I can first tell how others respond to a piece. I have a simple pair of earrings for the next book. Everytime I wear them they get multiple comments, from beaders, from store clerks from friends and acquaintances. I like them, but it wasn't the piece of beadwork I expected to get the most comments on. Funny.

En Pointe is coming Susan, really it is.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Morning Quiet

Morning light,

Update - I neglected to point out the lovely bowl, made by Devin Somerville.

I love the start of a new day, fresh with possibility. I woke up early this morning, compliments of my East Coast trip and time zone change. I tiptoed out of bed, made the first coffee of the day and settled into bead a little more on 'En Pointe'.

It's coming along. I'm changing up the design a bit. I was never settled on the previous center, so this time around I've made it different. All while poor Susan waits for a photo for my August class at the Beading Frenzy.

I hope for more progress today, we'll see.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


There's two signed copies of my book at the Barnes and Noble at City Place in West Palm Beach!

Abrege Bracelet

This morning I am putting together the supply list for both colors of the Abrege bracelet I will teach at Bead and Button. I couldn't seem to find a good photo of it, so I set up the photo tent, attached the camera to the tripod, flipped on the lights and took this.

I'm reasonably happy with the result, but realize that I still need to apply some attention to a better permanent set up. So many things to focus on....

Next up on the focus list is learning Adobe Illustrator. I signed up for a class last week, but since I don't own the software yet, I can't practice, or flail as the case may be. It's been a tough decision to change software since I know how to do many of the necessary bead illustration tasks with CorelDraw, but....when I do get stuck I have no other bead illustrators to ask. There is just not as much assistance to be had with CorelDraw as there is with Adobe Illustrator.

Like so many decisions there were dependent decisions, would I finally make the switch to Apple? It's been the cost of software that has kept me from doing that for so long, but I've now decided to go ahead and make it happen. After waffling over laptop vs desktop I've chosen, desktop it is. I have the ipad which serves me for travel, I don't really need to have mobile access, if I'm going to illustrate or photoshop or do layout my studio is where I'm going to do it.

So I'll be busy with both an IMAC and Illustrator learning curve, throw in some mobile me, and possibly some InDesign, and up the skill level on Photoshop, I think that will keep me occupied.

You may have read the post where I've committed to two more books, the first of which has a first deadline of December, so my plan is to be fully up to speed by the fall.

Sunday, May 1, 2011