So, at last, I've created a new bracelet. It uses 11/0 rounds, 8/0 rounds, 15/0s and daggers and I'm in love. It undulates, it has movement, and even with the same daggers, when I change up the base beads, it looks so very different.
I provide a single picture, since I'm still learning how to use the new camera. When I've got it nailed, it'll be brilliant, but until then, I'm limited in what I shoot and HOW I shoot. Please forgive some color that isn't quite as bright as it is in reality.....
HELP ME NAME THIS GOODY! Obviously, it's part of the "Under the Sea" collection....but WHAT is it?? ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS COMMENT HERE .? No prize to the winner other than basking in the glow of a title that will be credited both in this blog and on my website.
I think it's a winner item; what do YOU think???
my picture-not theirs; mine's better?
So, there I was, minding my own business, editing a newsletter and checking my e-mail. Got an invitation from the American Craft Council to apply for the 2013 season.....ok....nothing to jump up and down about, just something to which I need to pay attention.BUT THEN.......I clicked on the following attachment, the prospectus for 2013 proposed exhibitorshttp://craftcouncil.org/sites/default/files/2013-Exhibitor-Prospectus.pdfWell, you need to go there and turn to page 4!!!!!! THEA FINE, BEADING DESIGN is in the prospectus! OMG, OMG, OMG.
While I do like MY picture of the necklace better than the one taken gratis by the ACC folks, this is SOOOOOO cool. WHADDA YA THINK????
Well, the annual case of "it's almost summer" malaise has hit. My creativity has shriveled to a nub of its former self; I repeat previous designs in limited edition while I await the muses to regroup and rejoin the community of art and color that populates my studio.
In the meantime, projects already in the midst of completion are receiving attention, but no new work is being incubated. Much of my one-of-a-kind work takes weeks, if not months to gestate and then come to fruition. So when NOTHING is in the containers that incubate the work -- beads come and go along with add-ons to the focal piece--I get seriously worried. Of course, that only serves to amplify the angst and worry that go along with the dearth of creative thinking...
To jog the mind and jumpstart the vision, I've taken to looking at nudibranches (see picture above). They're sea slugs, if you can believe it. According to Wikipedia, they begin life nude and plain and evolve over time -- much like my jewelry. Their colors are remarkable and, at times, absolutely surprising (such as the case of these two). I've been pinning them to my Pinterest page as creative juice, along with some other visuals that I've found online in an effort to energize the synapses that extend beyond the replicative movement of the hands to bead mindlessly....
The other thing I'm doing is writing up directions for the sea urchin bracelet. It will be offered in classes for those nearby who learn best in a class environment; it also will be available on my website in kit format (in a limited assortment of colors only).
Stay tuned....We WILL jumpstart the muses -- I'm working on food as a means of luring them back home for the summer season.
NEW SHOW ON THE WEBSITE CALENDAR: Check it out! October 19-21, 2012. I'll be at the National Guard Armory in Morristown,New Jersey for the 36th annual Morristown Craft Mart. Don't know the booth number yet,but stay tuned. Check out the website for further updates on this and other upcoming 2012-2013 shows.
I'm on the WAITING LIST for Fall Paradise City shows (Massachusetts) and WAITING LIST for One-of-a-Kind Show in Chicago (December). Let the show organizers know you want to see me there if you can!!!
When a friend handed me a bag of small bugle beads that she inherited in a button bag from a relative, I wondered immediately how I could create something from a type of bead that I generally have not used, particularly considering my penchant for peyote stitch, flat, circular, and otherwise. She told me to "play" and come up with something she'd like, and she named a vey healthy price range.
Lesson #1: NEVER, but NEVER allow a client to walk away until you've gotten a very, very, very clear sense of just what she (or he) wants created. Even a little hint of length, style, things liked in the past, things hated currently, etc., can be a wonderful guide to design. BUT NO, I broke lesson #1 this time....Ultimately it did pay off...and ultimately, it produced a series of "possibles" as well as a final. Here's what happened: I thought and played, and played and thought. First, I created a series of beaded beads from the bugles. They could have become elements of a necklace or bracelet. Nice, but not for my customer (but perhaps for something later consideration using bugles of my own).
Then I used the bugles to create a fringe to circle a cabochon. Too fussy for my customer. (Again, an idea for the future).
Finally, she told me she wanted something long and "drape-y" Well, at last, some direction! The helix that you see hit me immediately. It's a long necklace; just what she wanted. Next time, if I do something like it in lighter colors, I'll consider suspending some dark-colored swarovski crystals or perhaps some dark pearls within the tube. Could that be a great idea?
In the meantime, I've created some sea-dwelling creature that undulates like a jellyfish found in the depths of the depths that recently were plumbed by James Cameron in his miniature submersible. It's an "under the sea" creature, particularly in those wonderful shades of green.
My customer is happy as a clam. What do you think?
Blog to return on topic later this week...Just flew back from a long weekend in Grand Rapids Michigan, home of Gerald Ford and known once for its furniture, more lately for its Amway.....a corporate entity that seems to own the majority of the town or, at least, have its name on many of its edifices. What isn't named after Ford (airport, major highways, etc., etc.) seems to be the province of Amway (including the hotel in which we stayed and were feted at a family wedding for one of the Szabo clan nieces).
The so-called rapids are pictured to the left. Apparently, when the weather turns wet, the water rises and, indeed, it flows very rapidly and has been known to flood both sides of downtown. Mercifully, while overcast, there was no rain while we were there.
This first and likely only trip to Grand Rapids was fun, but it's now time to get back to the work of beading and blogging about it.
There is news on the show front.....stay tuned!
Just in time for summer: Under the Sea: turquoise and coral seaweed --pricing/sizing available through www.theafine.com
The good news is that the shows this spring ultimately were successful. The contacts were great, the opportunities for teaching are superb. Now to find a locale for the classes -- perhaps the clubhouse here at EH would be better than the studio itself.
There is no bad news! I've the time to design and to get some kits and class materials together. Remember, I'm teaching at the Gemcutters Guild of Baltimore at the end of June, beginning of July....check the classes out on their site! I'm teaching three ways of bezeling around the gems they've cut....What fun...and you can join in!!!
I'm awash in ideas for new designs for both Circle the Stone and Under the Sea, but before I go there, I need to finish up the two prototypes for the Judaica collection so I can share with a few shops.
The latest addition to the collection is "Just what the doctor ordered" -- they're custom-made and sized medic-alert bracelets. A large step up from the garden variety from the drug store! Chain maille or pearl or swarovskis are in the works. Stay tuned.
BUT, before I do anything else, I need to finish up a writing project AND a baby sweater for a friend's soon-to-be-delivered new granddaughter!
I'm also learning all about Pinterest -- not sure WHAT I'm doing, but trying hard to do it! LOL. My work has been pinned a few times already.....
PHEW! I am tired! Sugarloaf was a good show this Spring. Not heavy traffic, but good traffic for me. Many projects went off to good homes. I ONLY send them to good homes, of course. The mailing list has grown markedly; web contacts, too.
I'm only sorry that I won't be able to participate in the Timonium show the last weekend of the month. It would have been a good event. Next up? Ann Arbor in July! I'm now wait-listed for Sugarloaf fall shows...hope to get in....
Given the relatively light schedule, it gives me much time to stock up on supplies AND to get existing projects finished, kits completed and up on the website, and some classes scheduled. REMEMBER, I am teaching at the Baltimore Gem Cutters at the end of June. The other major step I need to take is to update the website photos, and get a shopping cart up there! The new line is launched...."Just what the doctor ordered" is alive and well....Medic-alert bracelets in 12-in-1 Japanese chain maille in a variety of colors. I'm also getting some other versions ready in other media...stay tuned on that one!!!.
And while I was away, the birds have flown. As you may recall, I have a tiny barn finch nest at the top of the column that holds up my front door's porch roof. We last saw mama bird feeding tiny babies. Just before I headed out to the show, the young 'uns were beginning to take test flights.....Here's a picture of them as they were about to launch themselves.....And now, like my own young 'uns, they've flown the next. Time to clean up the guano and wait for next year's fledglings.
Tempis fugit, as they say!
Off to work I go!!
Just a quick note to let everyone know that I'm going to be at the Sugarloaf Craft Show at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds in Gaithersburg Maryland this weekend. Friday through Sunday.
I'll be upstairs in building 6A, booth 107. Do come to visit! I'll be looking forward to seeing friends old and new, and making new acquaintances, too!
It's just the time to pick out things for Mother's Day and for graduates and brides. Stop by early for the best selection or to special order in time for the wedding or graduation!
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Several months ago, a friend's sister came to visit. A collector of beautiful things--including jewelry--the woman had a pair of magnificent bracelets on one wrist, and a medic alert bracelet -- the standard metal on metal from the drug store--on the other. The two arms were in serious contrast. I might dare to say that they went from the sublime to the ridiculous (but necessary for an insulin-dependent diabetic).
She happened to visit my studio and saw a few of my chain maille items. [I love making them, but they're not part of my beaded collection, so they don't make it to many shows. The tiny rings are a wonderful alternative to tiny beads. Because the hand/arm motions differ markedly between the beading and the maille work, it's a good respite to help avoid carpal tunnel. Of course, the maille is just as eye-intensive as beads...so no break for these baby browns! LOL]
But I digress... My friend's sister fell in love with the Japanese 12-in-one pattern of one of my bracelets and wondered if I could create one that would serve as a more attractive "strap" for her medic alert ID charm. OF COURSE IT WOULD!!!
And a new line is being birthed as the result. I've just sent off the first of the line to its new home in Florida -- purchased by my girlfriend for her sister, of course! As she requested, its a Japanese 12-in-one. Rather than work in silver (which she finds tarnishes rapidly in the Florida humidity), it's been done in aluminum and niobium...lightweight and susceptible to different looks based on the colors and placement of the niobium....In fact, it just occurred to me that one could do a "right side/wrong side" bracelet as well, with different colored large rings on the two sides. Could be a fun idea.
At any rate, it's the first in the "Hey Doc" line..... Another version will feature Swarovski crystals and yet another will be crafted from the new farfalle beads.....I'm on a roll....
SO, what do you think? With the unfortunate epidemic of obesity (and concomitant Type II diabetes), it's likely a growing niche market.....sad to say! Shall I take the plunge and add this as another niche product? Shall I do them on a custom basis?