A chronicle of the meanderings, false starts (which in retrospect, while sort of embarrassing turned out to be highly instructive), epiphanies, selective apathy (still evolving), wild mood swings, opinions (subject to frequent change), and life lessons of an inveterate dabbler (and her latest dabblings).

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Cat is Out of the Bag

I think I can share this with you now because I saw it on the Interweave site.

My turquoise disc necklace is on the cover of the Oct/Nov issue of Step by Step Wire! They even spelled my name right. I think I have finally overcome High School.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Washerwoman

Sounds like something from a Nicole Kidman horror movie, doesn't it? "You'd better be good little boys and girls, or the WASHERWOMAN will get you!!!" And then she does, one by one popping the unruly little biters into a steaming vat of laundry after which they reappear, the very soul of obedience. (But are they really? Hmmm...) Vaguely sinister. Or perhaps the name of a Seinfeld episode. The whole episode takes place in Jerry's apartment and the dry cleaner's. And Jerry's convinced the Washerwoman is taking his underwear, one pair at a time because he's positive there were 12 pairs of tighty whities in there, and now there's only 11 (somehow I can't imagine Jerry  Seinfeld wearing boxers. Actually I can't picture him in his underwear at all. It's upsetting. I can however, picture Mark Wahlberg in his underwear. In fact I'm doing it right now.). Or better yet, the Washerwoman is a crackerjack assassin, whose face no one has ever seen, in one of those confusing, slow-moving spy movies where you keep waiting for something to happen but nothing ever does and at the end you say, "Wait--what?". With Michael Caine and Matt Damon or something. And the Washerwoman turns out to be Helen Mirren or Tilda Swinton. The Washerwoman. Because she rubs you out. Like a stain. Ha ha. I watch too much television.

Unfortunately, I'm not nearly that lethal. (Which I guess I don't really consider a virtue. So let's say "fortunately," although there's something sort of lame and sad about being "harmless." Let's split the difference and call me dangerous. Like, I might maim you but I probably wouldn't kill you. On purpose.) And I suppose I'm more accurately The Washer Woman. Two words. As in Woman Who Uses Washers. Of the hardware variety. (As opposed to Kenmore. I have like 40 pairs of underwear so I hardly ever use a clothes washer. In fact, my boyfriend washes my underwear. Every 40 days. He's a gem.)

Copper washers, to be more specific. I've been texturing them with a brass texture plate and large hammer, as I mentioned in a previous post. I did up a bunch, antiqued and tumbled them, and then dipped them in Permalac for a high gloss and lasting good looks. That was some time ago, and I decided to use them this weekend for earrings. Which was my original intent as I had made them in matched pairs. I have one set to go that just needs earwires, so I won't show you those yet.

With cobalt blue pearls and glass:
With fuchsia pearls and glass, and some little upside-down beadcaps and daisy spacers:
And lastly, with iolite and amber glass seed beads:

Well I suppose I should go to bed so I can seem all alert and competent for my day job tomorrow. I shall probably dream about Tilda Swinton stirring a vat of Mark Wahlberg's underwear while ghostly little Stepford children swan around chanting nursery rhymes about a Soup Nazi in English accents.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

A Little Southwest Something

I know it must seem as if I've gone into witness protection. If motorists and law enforcement gave a jot about flagrant traffic violations (sailing through stop signs, blazing through red lights, driving the wrong way up a one way street, driving while deeply inebriated), or crimes against fashion, I would have all kinds of dirt on thousands of Americans and might indeed have to request official protection. But that is not the case so I am, in fact, at large and completely unprotected.

Well, what the hell then?, you may ask. I have indeed been productive, and I have indeed been sharing thoughts and opinions (both invited and uninvited) in other venues. Just not this one.

I did some custom work that I'm choosing not to share (that is more typical of a style I used to embrace, but no longer, so I'd just as soon nobody saw it), and I've been creating some pieces that I'm hoarding to be released in mid-September when I think there might be a publicity opportunity coming my way that I'd like to take full advantage of--I don't want to be caught with my pants down, because I haven't bought new underwear in a really, really long time.

That said, this below is the first non-custom, for-the-shop-today piece that I've created in a while. I've had it on a list to do, and hemmed and hawed about stringing vs. knotting, and finally went with my gut instinct, which was to knot it. Which was contrary to my leisure instinct, because it took forfriggingever. But I think the waxy little brown knots add just the right touch to the beads. I wanted it to feel rustic, old and kind of southwestern.

Oh, show you the damn picture already?

A Southwest Neckpiece
I was at first just going to do a bracelet, but I've been doing a lot of bracelets and haven't made a necklace in forever. But I am going to do a bracelet next, with those same buttons probably. And probably some funky earrings. Or you could wear these earrings with it.

Here's another picture:

Matte finish Indonesian glass beads in "burnt clay" (i.e., orange), cocoa brown, striped brown, and striped orange from Happy Mango Beads; silver heishi from Kenya, and little pewter sun-type bead, also from Happy Mango Beads; metal buttons from Lyanwood; turquoise lampwork glass spacers from Meital; some carnelian and etched red agate Dzi-style beads; and some other stuff. Nifty dotted cube beads in pewter from Monsterslayer. (My new favorite beads--they remind me of a Borg cube. It's a Star Trek thing.)

This picture almost looks Egyptian to me. They liked their turquoise.

Well, that's all for now. I'm off to witness some, oh, probably crimes against nature, genetic travesties, and crimes against common sense. If you don't hear from me for several months, it will be because America has gone fascist, adopting some long-needed public attire legislation, and an I'm-wearing-my-8-year-old-daughter's-sweatpants-even-though-I-weigh-more-than-my-husband woman (my apologies to anyone who raids their pre-pubescent children's closets) caught me gaping at Walmart and put me in cement boots and dropped me in the Flathead River.

Friday, August 5, 2011

More Show, Less Tell

Goodness, it's been a month since I had anything worth showing you, or telling you. Actually, I still don't have anything worth telling you, but I do have some nice, sweaty bead pictures for you. (And I'll probably break down and put some mundane babbling in here, just for filler.)

Here is the mundane babbling part. July has been a month of artistic constipation--not so much that creative juices aren't flowing, I just don't have time to stop and let them out. Not healthy at all. I think I'm getting septic. We had a family reunion for a week, see below:

This is one afternoon after a thunderstorm on Flathead Lake. Big waves! We stayed at a friend's house there for our reunion. So that week I didn't accomplish much. But I did sell a lot of stuff to family. Made room for more stuff in the shop, that I don't have time to make. And then later in the month I socialized a few times with old high school friends and girlfriends. And then I discovered that I was low on pretty much every component I make myself so I had to make more. And then I had some custom work that I didn't show you. It's kind of in the same vein of what I've been doing and I didn't want to bore you. I was on a bead diet for a long time too, but I just broke that the other day so I'll show you that. How about we get to that right now?

Bracelet bars by CapturedMoments--these are FABULOUS. They're big! Perfect for bracelets. I like the little ones too. My favorites are the brown ones (the big one is called "Treasure Chest"--it's ceramic but it looks like leather).

More groovy buttons from Lyanwood--these ones are metal! Too cool. The smallest ones are itty bitty, like about 1/4" across.

 And these lampwork beads from BeadAbundant, one of my favorite lampwork sellers:

I did make these items in the last month:

Lampwork Sampler Bangle
The bracelet above includes lampwork by BebesGlassBeads (the big one in the center), BeingBeads (the two flanking that), KelleysBeads (the ivory ones with the "lily pad" design), and Meital (the teensy turquoise spacers on the ends). Trying some fancier wrapping on my underbars.

I also made this one the other day, with some hook and ring clasps I've been making. They're a little different than the typical hook clasp. I was sort of thinking of those hook and eye sets you get for sewing.

I listed these earrings last week. The "mango raku" are by Kelley Wenzel--they remind me of the most exotic, poisonous berries you've ever seen! Or a Klimt painting. The turquoise spacers are by Meital again (I got 50 of them!!) Leafy sterling silver beadcaps.
Don't touch those berries!!! Your skin will fall off or something.
I did a couple custom bangles:

I made this one below for someone I "met" on Flickr--the whole thing happened on Flickr! (Customer: "Hey can you make me one of those in colors X, Y and Z?" Me: "Sure.") Flickr is a very powerful marketing tool. If you have the time to post your work there, I would highly recommend it! The center beads are by BeingBeads, and the little ones are from TheSpacerQueen.

I think I'll stop there before Blogger tells me I can't post any more photos. I should probably make something anyway.