Friday, October 30, 2009

BAO Item of the Week

This week's BAO Item of the Week snuck up on my so fast that I missed the deadline for entering my special. So, if you happen to read this post, and would like the reversible beads below, I am offerring free shipping if purchased between October 30 and November 5th! Just mention "procrastinators unite" in the notes from buyer section.

And here's the BAO Item of the week mosaic. Click on the photo or here for details.

Have a great weekend!

Feeling the Love Friday

This colorful fall treasury, appropriately titled "Autum Glow" was made by Triz. My Autumn reversible necklace was included here. It looks like there were a number of us inspired by the season's glorious colors. Personally, I'm having a hard time breaking away from using them. Can you ever have too much fall?

I went to Triz's shop and am sending the love back at her. I found a Primeval Forest Collar that would have looked exquisite in this treasury. I loved how she used one of Mak's cabachons as the focal piece.

Triz - thanks for making my week a little brighter!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Trick or Treat

In lieu of Halloween, I thought I'd share a trick (or rather a tip) from my studio. I know many of you work in silver. You might even having it hanging around long enough for it to oxidize a bit before you have a chance to use it. For various reasons, sometimes I need to clean my spools of silver wire. It's rather simple. You take a glass pan, lay aluminum foil across the bottom and up the sides a little. Fill the foil with hot water, a little dish detergent and some iodized salt (1/4 tsp. or so). I stir it up a little, then give the silver a bath. I usually let it sit a while (maybe a half hour or so). It comes out nice and clean!

And for the treat, I thought I'd share a phote of some treats I'm sending off to my daughter. It was a recipe shared by a friend and used for many years. Kids love this (as well as adults). They're called spider cookies and they're really easy to make.

You need: 12 oz. chocolate bits, 10 oz. butterscotch bits, 7 oz. dry roasted peanuts, and 10 oz. chow mein noodles.

Melt the bits in a large microwaveable bowl on high for 3 minutes. They don't look melted when removed but they are! Stir the chocolate up till smooth, stir in nuts and noodles. Coat thoroughly. Spoon onto waxed paper to cool. Store in airtight container. Enjoy!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Marvelous Monday

Harold O'Connor is a practicing goldsmith/teacher and has been making jewelry for over forty years. His work is exhibited in many fine galleries and museums across the world. For anyone who has ever worked in metal, you've probably heard this name. He works in diverse materials and uses traditional metalsmithing techniques in a contemporary style. To see more of his work, go to his page on Mobilia Gallery. Enjoy and have a marvelous Monday!

Friday, October 23, 2009

BAO Item of the Week

This week, I thought I'd do something a little different for my item of the week. I'm have a sale on some of my "vintage" beads. These beads have never been seen anywhere, except at shows. And there's free shipping, as well!

And here's what other BAO members are offering this week. Be sure to go here for details!

Time for a Change

Notice anything different? This is just another one of those things that's been on my "to do" list. They make it so easy to change a template . . . how come it took me a half hour? Did I really need to preview all those templates? I made a list, and gradually knocked them off one by one and came to this. A little Type A maybe? It wasn't like I was getting a haircut or anything . . . and what ever happened to the idea that you could go into a hair salon, describe what you want, and they hit some buttons on some computer with r e a l l y cool software, and bam - there you go. The finished product. At that point, you can say yeah or no way. Noooooo. Not yet. Come on, what are we waiting for? I swear, I got my haircut 16 weeks ago and my bangs are still way too short to be cut again. Kind of reminds me of my 3rd grade picture . . . bangs almost up to the crown of my head, and a short bob. What a look!

Rather than continuing to rant, I thought I'd share the glass art of Kevin O'Grady. His designs are lampworked Pyrex glass and set into a precious metal hinge and clasp. I particularly love the animal print bracelets. And the metal elements make the bracelets pretty spectacular. Makes me just want to touch one!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

It's Just a Dream Away

Rather than writing an Out of the Studio Wednesday post, I figure I'd report on my show this past weekend. First of all, the weather forecast was not good. It was supposed to rain pretty hard on Saturday. I was so grateful when it turned out to be a pretty good day weather wise. No rain during set-up or departure. I had visions of torential downpours so anything short of that would be a blessing. The Beadesigner International group always makes a really nice show. They run various demos during the day, and they have a great assortment of art beads for your beading needs. The doors open at 10:00, and there's always a line outside waiting to get in.

This year, I did a mailing and sent a newsletter out previous to the show to inform customers that I would be in a different location. I hadn't done the mailing last year and it's a good practice to get in the habit of doing. This show, again, I noticed people were using a lot more cash than they had prior to the crash of October 2008. They're also do a lot less impulse spending. They're doing a walk-around first and planning where they will be spending that cash. My sales this year were up by 100% from last year. But, there was one little item that kind of tilted that scale. A very unexpected sale.

At one of my shows in CT. I bumped into Lynne Ann Schwarzenberg. We were talking and she happened to mention that when she does a show, she wears the piece which she entered in Bead Dreams that year. I hadn't done that. (I usually wear my bead changer w/reversible bead). I used to have postcards on my table with the photo of previous bead entries. Then I realized I hadn't even made postcards of the "Tuscany Dreams" necklace this year. My solution was to bring the necklace and display it on a shelf with lighting. It caught a woman's eye on Saturday and she told me she had seen it out at the Bead and Button show this year and asked if I would part with it. The rest, as they say, is history. She was very sweet in offering to take a picture with me and her wearing her new necklace. The camera that was used was not digital, so I hope to get the negative someday soon.

But until then, I'll always have my photo . . .

Monday, October 19, 2009

Marvelous Monday

Elaine Hyde is one of the few women working in the male dominated field of blown glass. After graduating with a BFA from the Brooks Institute of Fine Arts in California, she worked and trained at the Pilchuk Glass Center (in its second year of operation) under the direction of Dale Chihuly. Her resume reads like a Who's Who in glass and her work can be found in many galleries across the U.S. Her recent work contains wearable jewelry elements that are incorporated into the design. It also contains precious metal, precious and semi-precious stones. I found her teapots to be quite extraordinary. I'm cravin' of a cup of chai right about now in this blustery New England weather. Have a marvelous Monday!

Friday, October 16, 2009

BAO Item of the Week

It wouldn't be Friday unless I blogged about the BAO item(s) of the week. Twelve members of the BAO team have specials all related to their items. Click here for details!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Feeling the Love Friday, Out of the Studio

The universe must be aligned with the sun and stars as this was a lucky week for me in the way of treasuries. This first treasury was titled "Inspiration" by riskodesign. My "Chosen Path" bead was featured here. I went to Risko's fun shop to view some of his creations. I thought his "Sun Pendant" would have glowed in this treasury!

The next treasury was titled "Golden Touch" by SmadarsTreasure. My "Green and Gold Abstract Landscape" bead was featured here.

I didn't have to look much further than this "Bronze and Sand Sparkling Bracelet with Swarovski Crystals". It would have sparkled in this treasury.

This next treasury was titled "Hope" and was curated by ligiarocha. My "Purples Reversible Bead" was featured here.
I headed over to ligiarocha's shop and found that her "Patina Brooch" would have shined in this treasury.

Thanks to these Etsy artists for making my week a little brighter!

This weekend, I have a show in Waterown, MA (Bead Affaire) that's put on by Beaddesigner's International. This is my third year doing the show. So here's a few pictures to share what's been happening in the studio. I had wanted to get back to working with purples and oranges (with a touch of green). I was using pictures of beads I had previously made as a starting point.

And the last two photos are what evolved. Not quite the same by any stretch, but sometimes it just happens that way! Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Artist on Etsy

Today, I thought I would blog about an artist on Etsy. I first saw a pair of her earrings on Etsy's front page. Her shop name is AmberSky. Not only is her work beautiful, but her pictures are gorgeous as well. It looks like she layers bead caps together, and uses resin to add color. I'm sure you'll agree, they're exquisite!

I'd like to thank "S and O Productions" for including one of Smadars treasuries in her "Treasury Tuesday the Elite Eight" blog. On Tuesdays, she selects and blogs about eight treasuries that caught her eye. You can see Smadars live today!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Marvelous Monday

Marla Ziegler has some beautiful clay wall sculptures on her website. In addition to clay, she uses many other materials including graphite, ink, color pencils, and metal. I enjoy looking at the patterns and shapes she creates. Some even look like beautiful lentil beads. She has a number of photos in her recent work as well as in her archive. Enjoy and have a marvelous Monday!

Friday, October 9, 2009

And the Winner is . . .

Rose E. of Oregon was the winner of my Chestnut bead - congratulations Rose!

Have a wonderful weekend

Autumn Inspiration

This week, my "Fields and Centipedes" reversible bead was selected to be part of a a treasury by chrdesigns. It was titled "Autumnal Days". And it's still live before noon on Friday should you choose to peruse!

It was a tough decision selecting just one item from chrdesigns shop. But there's something special about gold and pearls. A perfect addition to any wardrobe!

So, after seeing this treasury, I just happened to need to spend some time in the studio preparing for my show next weekend. Go figure - look what evolved!

And speaking of autumn - Macoun apples have hit the grocery store! Yay! I love them stuffed with Skippy peanut butter!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

New Website Announcement!

It's official - I have a new website. . . . This project has been in the back of my mind for around 2 years or so. When I finished installing the shopping cart on my other website, I swore I would never do that again . . . ever. To make the shopping cart, I had to delve into html coding, cpanel files and all that computer work I had no interest whatsoever in doing. It took me away from the studio too many hours. And the support for the website is all done via email. So there was a lot of waiting. But, over the past couple years, I'd been networking and keeping my ears open to others who have had good experiences using website builders. I was not ready to commit until I knew exactly what I needed and the easiest way to get there. I decided on using Pappashop. I cannot say enough good things about this company. Anyone can build a website through Pappashop! They did such a great job in making it so easy for the user. But if you do come across any problems, you can actually call for technical help. I would highly recommend this site! In fact, I have a link to them in my sidebar. If you're in the process of this search, take a tour and test drive the demo.

So, what are my plans? Beads, what else? I wanted to have a shop other than Etsy that sold my polymer clay work. Here, you'll find a line of beads that you can order 1, 2, or as many as you would like. I am also offering wholesale to bead designers and bead shops. And, there is a jewelry section. I will be adding more finished jewelry after my next show.

Another really nice feature of the website is that you have the ability to offer an affiliate program. So, for those who don't necessarily want to carry the inventory, but want to "spread the love", can sign up for my affiliate program. The only thing you need is a tax i.d.

FREE BEAD GIVEAWAY: Sign up for on my mailing list and your name will be put in tomorrow's drawing for this bead!

So, visit my site, browse around and please sign the guest book!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Marvelous Monday - the Work of Chihiro Makio

I came upon the work of Chihiro Makio initially on Crafthaus. Her work is so beautiful and unique. She works in sterling silver, rhodium, rose gold plate, 24 gold plate, seed beads, pearls, and even sequins. This is one of those moments when I abolutely lost myself in the internet universe. I'm telling you, I was kvelling! Her work is not only on Crafthaus and her personal website (314 Studio), but her can also be seen at the Artful home (where I discovered she was a 2008 Niche Award winner), Paradise City, and many stores and galleries throughout the U.S. She's part of any exhibit at the Luke and Elroy Gallery in Pittsburgh, PA. If you've already seen her work, you'll understand. If you haven't, you're in for a visual treat. I hope it's the perfect beginning to a marvelous Monday!