Friday, August 29, 2008

"The New Face of Polymer Clay"

It's the end of August and my blog has been missing one last post. Where did this month go? I couldn't let the month go by without mentioning this month's August issue of Simply Beads. It has been on the stands for a while now. I'm finally getting around to blogging about a particular article. It's called "The New Face of Polymer Clay". It's written by Heather Powers and Molly Schaller (former editor of Simply Beads,). Anyway, Heather had highlighted one of my beads in her blog and Molly spotted it and contacted me about the article. They showcased 8 polymer clay artists along with their work and I was fortunate to be among this talented group. So, if you haven't gotten yourself a copy yet, check it out and see what they had to say about "The New Face of Polymer Clay!"

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Jewels of the Land and Sea

Honestly, I was just looking for shawls. My friend wants to take a class on how to make a "thread lace scarf". She actually wants to use the technique to make a shawl. They're really quite beautiful. It's like a smorgasbord of yarn, ribbon, fiber, trim and I guess anything that your own creativity dictates. They seem like they're somehow fused together (but I suspect there might be some sewing involved). Here are a few examples.

But, per usual, I wanted to do a bit more research, so I did a search on Flickr - and as fate would have it, the first colorful "shawl" that caught my eye was this one called the "Spanish Shawl". Once I clicked on it, the whole title was then visible. It read "Spanish Shawl Nudibranch". Of course, I had to see more of this members photostream. That's what led me to all these jewels of the sea! I swear the colors are alive! Feast your eyes on these jewels of the sea: Fish Sunflower Sea Star Lionfish (think polymer clay skinner blends done in narrow strips next to pure white - what a punch! Besides, it's turquoise and orange - how can you go wrong???) kelp, kelp in sunlight (pure beauty), and my favorite: blue-ring top snail.

Before I ended this post, I thought I would do one more search. This time, I'll try to be a little more focused :o) I'm glad I did as I found a forum that was discussing these thread lace scarves. If the following picture of this scarf excites you (as it has me) - you might want to see the directions here.

And guess what tomorrow is . . . BACK TO SCHOOL!!! Hurray!

Monday, August 25, 2008

BAO Item of the Week August 25 - August 31

It's that time of the week again. Here are all the wonderful IOTW. As you can see, there is nothing from me :o( I've been playing a lot of catch-up with all that's been going on in the homefront. My daughter is now at college and so far, so good. She's enjoying her roommates - hopefully this will continue. She's made a few other friends and had her first class today. It was at 4:00 - that was good because that meant she had to wake up by 3:00 :o) She managed to even get there early. And that's certainly not something she's known for!
I am going to give my best effort to put a couple things up in my shop tonight. Actually, I'm even going to try to put up some seed beads in my de-stash shop. That's been on my "to do" list way too long! I have some gorgeous size 8 miyuki beads - so if you're into beading, stop back every now and then! But in the meantime, check out these listings. It's a real nice selection!

Marvelous Monday and Donna Kato

This etsy seller (Matte Stephens - just another successful artist on Etsy) caught me eye. Gone are the days of the beehive hairdo - thank goodness! I love his abstract shapes and compositions. Can you see them in polymer . . . possibly in some wall art? Here are some of my favorites. Sit back and have a marvelous Monday!

Gadzukes, she's done it again! Go to her site and see her new bracelets!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Today is Your Day

"Congratulations. Today is your day. You're off to Great Places! You're off and away! You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the guy who'll decide where to go . . . " These are very happy words of a bright future from our friend Dr. Seuss. Today I'm left with many mixed emotions as I prepare to take my daughter to her new home for the next 4 years. I know I'm going to miss her terribly. But, this is all part of the process. For the past month or two, I've been living in the mess of "shopping" for college. Julienne's bags and bags of stuff had landed pretty much everywhere in our house. Today, those bags are now in larger bags and getting closer to our door. We'll be staying at my sister's who lives 20 minutes from the college. Knowing that she has family close by is very comforting!
And soon Lily will be back at school, the dust will settle, and we'll be back in our old rythm again. See you Monday!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

A Great Giveaway by Etsy Seller SandFibers

One of my bao team members is close to hitting her 300th sale. In lieu of that, Carol Dean of SandFibers (love her stuff!!!) is offering a beautiful cuff bracelet as a token of appreciation. And it's not just one she's giving away. She's also offering that to her 299th and 301st sale as well. Besides that - you can pick your own colors! You can read about it here. What are you waiting for . . . her 302nd? Actually, that last comment was more for me than you (smacking my head now). I'll be bummed if I miss this opportunity! She even has Request Custom Item in her shop section area. So many choices, so much to see (9 pages to be exact). I'm going in to take a deeper look . . . be still my heart! The possibilities are endless. If you don't hear from me in a few days - call for help (I might have got lost in her shop) :o)

Here's just a few of my choices. Kind of hard to make a decision . . .

I'm giving my readers a head's up. At 12:00 noon E.S.T. I will be purchasing two items. If you love her work as much as me, it would be a good idea to watch for her 298th and 299th purchase go through. Have your fingers on those buttons - it's a dog eat dog world out there. That's my plan anyway. I hope noone else has this same idea!!!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Falmouth Show, Marvelous Monday

I got in last night after a successful show in Cape Cod. It's a great feeling when you set a goal (or an intention) for a particular show and it is met 2 hours into the show. This was a two day show and I had 11 hours to go. Needless to say, it turned out better than I would have expected! But, something happened that was rather disconcerting. A customer (Beth) had purchased $160 worth of jewelry/beads. About 1/2 hour after she made the purchase, she came back to my table very upset. She had been shopping for beads with another vendor and had put her bag down on the bead table she was perusing in order to free up her hands. Unfortunately, when she went to get it, it was gone. You can imagine how she felt. She came back to me to let me know if someone found them, to direct them to her. I had her go to the show host (Joanne) to report the theft. I truly felt her pain, and if she's anything like me, she would be beating herself up for this for many days to come! Today I got a phone call for someone looking for me. Her name was Marilyn and she explained she had inadvertently picked up someone else's bag. I was so thrilled to have heard from her. It renewed my faith in the human spirit! She had found my business card in the bag. I always try to make it a habit to insert my card into the bag with the customer's purchase. That was the only link she had in contacting the owner of these items. I called Joanne to let her know the bag has been found and to get Beth's phone number. I just assumed she would have left it with her, but apparently had not. The sale was a charge so I had her name. I called information and tried 4 or 5 numbers in the Cape Cod area. No luck. But then I got another call. Another customer from the show just happened to contact Joanne today and somehow the conversation led to this story. A true serendipitous moment. This woman has taken classes with Beth. I called the store where she took the classes to get Beth's phone number (thinking it's in their customer data base) but they were closed. I'm praying tomorrow, we'll be able to resolve this. But that's not the end of the story. . . Marilyn called me back a few minutes after the first phone call. She said something to the effect that she was looking at Beth's purchases and would really love to own something similar to what Beth purchased. . . oh what a marvelous Monday! :o)

And speaking of which, I thought I would do something a little different today. I took a macro picture from flickr of a flower (first photo). I uploaded that picture into Kaleidoscope Kreator 2.0 (where you can get a free trial evaluation). But because this is a free trial, there is a watermark on all the pictures I've created. The first picture I used the circle template.

The next two pictures I used the star template and the sun template. The program has a number of other patterns you can choose from. You can then flip them vertically and horizontally as well.

Here's another example. This time, I used one of my beads. The next photo is the result of using the lotus (16) template.

The following photo is the quilter's star (16) vertically flipped and the last is the sun rays (16) vertically flipped. Cool, huh? Lots of options - go ahead, play!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Cape Cod's 11th Annual Bead Show

Just a short post to let you know that I'll be at Cape Cod's 11th Annual Bead Show this weekend. I'll have my latest beads, earrings, necklaces and maybe even a bracelet! The show is held at the Gus Canty Recreation Center, 790 Main Street in Falmouth, MA. It runs Saturday 8/16 from 10-5 and Sunday 8/17 from 10-4. If you're in the area (or want an excuse to come to Cape Cod!), please stop by!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Toybreaker's Ties that Don't Suck

Bethany Shorb is an artist living in Detroit, Michigan. Her art has ranged from sculpture, fashion, graphic design, photography and even music! But in 2006, she started the TieLab after noticing a void in creative yet sophisticated neckwear. Her shop name is "Toybreaker". There, she has an abundant selection of ties as well as offering custom work. Her graphics are crisp, beautiful and sometimes, they carry a clear message. Like this one:

"Neck Noose - Tired of being a corporate slave? At the end of your rope with boring office attire? Show your true feelings! Don't be "A Frayed Knot" to."

Monday, August 11, 2008

Treasuries, Marvelous Monday, and BAO IOTW

This past weekend brought two new treasuries for Naftali - thanks go out to SandFibers and SmadarsTreasure!

This week, my free shipping Item Of The Week is a necklace I call "Snow Geese". For more information, click here.

I came across this next artist through Flickr. Her work is whimsical, bold & colorful, and just downright happy! Have a marvelous Monday!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Happy Etsy-versary thejadedog!

I see thejadedog is celebrating her two year anniversary with Etsy. Congratulations Darcy!!! To celebrate this anniversary, here's what's going on in her shop today:

"It's my two year Etsy-versary. Wow!In celebration, I'd first like to thank all the great buyers and sellers I've met and second, offer free shipping on any and all purchases made today when you use PayPal. If you paying with PayPal, I'll refund the shipping charge after payment has cleared. I'll also be throwing in a little fun something into each package. Surprise!"

Here's a tease of what's in her shop!

So, don't you want to see more? Me too - that's why I clicked here!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Etsy Storque

The other day I heard through a few forums that I was in Storque. What is the Storque? The Storque is Etsy's superblog. It provides information and announcements for buyers and sellers about the site and the handmade lifestyle. Articles are written by Etsy's staff, special guests and members of the Etsy community. It's updated several times daily with new content. Readers can also leave comments and pitch ideas for new articles. So, there was an article called "Team Tip: Card Swap" and with the article was the picture below. To see the whole article, click here.

I don't know if you've noticed or not, by I have yet another addition to my sidebar. I am now officially a member of the BAO team on Etsy. Here's what the BAO is about:

"The Bead Art Originals (BAO) street team has been created to promote the art of its invited members. BAO includes both creators of art beads and creators of beadwoven art. The team's focus is on the business and artistic growth of its members through on and off-Etsy promotion of the team, its activities, and individual members' achievements."

My invitation to this group came from SandFibers (was I thrilled)! I have always been a fan of her work as well as a number of others in the group. So for me, it was a no-brainer. They have many things in store for the days to come including a newsletter. There is a BAO website as well as a blog. I'm sure you'll recognize a number of artists! Here's a quick list.

AKDlampwork (Amy)
AnotherCountry (Morwyn)
ARoseByName (Anna)
BeadJewelryShopgirl (Regina)
CieloDesign (Miriam)
DawnChastain (Dawn)
dumauvobleu (Cathy)
FabulousFrippery (Sera)
FrucciDesign (Fru)
giapet (Karen)
ginnovations (Ginny)
JenMaestre (Jen)
juiceglass (Carli)
LisaPetersArt (Lisa)
MAKUstudio (Mak)
malodora (Dee)
MistyRidgeBeads (Swanee)
Naftali (Janice)
SalamanderHouse (Melody)
SandFibers (Carol Dean)
SmadarsTreasure (Smadar)
TheBeadedLily (Sarah)
TheJadeDog (Darcy)
time2cre8 (MaryLou)
tqbdesigns (Lisa)
triz (Triz)

So visit the sights often to see what these talented group of artists are up to!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Out of the Studio

I thought I would post a couple photos of what came out of my studio this past week. The first photo is my most recent "framed" necklace. I'm starting a special of the week - each week I'll be posting an item that will come with free shipping. This necklace is my first offer!

And, if you've noticed there hasn't been many listings lately, you'll understand why. I was contacted by someone interested in purchasing a custom bracelet. After communicating via email, a design was selected. She had seen one of my beads and wanted a similar pattern. My first snag was the re-formulation of the clay. I'd never had a problem crackling before, and finally realized I needed to leach the clay. So, once that was resolved, I started the project. Here's the result. The polymer clay "tiles" were formed each as puzzle pieces.

Here's a little bit of the process. First I formed the base and then the middle layer. The holes were made with knitting needles using Gwen Gibson's technique. Two sheets had to be done separately due to pasta machine limitations. I laid my template over the "inside", marked with a sharpie, and cut with a jeweler's saw.

Because each one needed to be shaped like a cabachon (domed), I needed to separate them. Again, using a sharpie, I drew directly on the inside layer with a sharpie.

Again, using my jeweler's saw, I separated

each piece. Notice the markings and numbering I used. I knew I'd be in trouble if I mixed up any piece. I didn't want to have to figure out where each piece was supposed to go (and I'd be smacking myself on the head!). Then I added a dome to each piece and filed at an angle. The side of the bracelet touching her arm needed to be narrower than the top layer so it would sit properly and curve with her wrist. So using a nice wax file, I filed each tile so that it would fit perfectly next to it's neighbor. Here's a shot of that. I've lined up all the pieces once they were cured. Notice the difference is depth of some of the tiles. I took
some heavy duty sand paper and filed.

And that was it. The top veneers were added, sanded, and strung!

That's So Raven!

I was exploring again - this time deep down on the ocean floor. I came across these on flickr and thought of my friend Raven (Melanie West). You'll understand why. Have a marvelous Monday!