Driving up to Brooklyn, NY, to help close my late uncle's apartment, the phone rang. It had been a bad week; I didn't need more bad news....
It was the ACC. They had a space for me, after all! Lucky #15 on the waiting list came through.
You can find me at
February 20-21 (wholesale) February 22-24 (retail),
10 am to 6 pm
American Craft Council Show, Baltimore, MD.
Come to visit; come to buy. It is an AMAZING show! Trust me, I was a patron for years before I became an artist IN the show!!!
With roughly one month to go before the ACC show, I remain ONE spot away from entry in the Wholesale-Retail part of the show. Not that I wish ill on anyone, but it would be VERY nice to make it into the show again, particularly since I have a start to my wholesale line of goods….some “under the sea,” some Judaica, and some stone circling. AND I can make a go of it as wholesale items. Huzzah! The DNA kelp tube is one as long as I use a pre-made toggle rather than one of my hand-sewn ones. (See below for the more custom version.)
I can also customize it with pearl closures, etc.
Then there are some new RETAIL goodies that are in the $1200-1300 range (or up).
All I need is one more space and the game will be on!
And, in case you were wondering where I’ve been for the past few weeks….I was saying Aloha to the Big Island and Oahu for the first time. What a trip…lots of walking and eating avocados off the tree, hiking and sharing with friends who live there, hanging out in B&Bs on both sides of the Big Island and nibbling poke (an acquired taste that I have acquired!) at a restaurant recently visited by the President. Both John and I needed the time away
But now it’s down to work….. Beading, writing, and beading and writing. AND waiting to be a grandma for the first time, so there’s a bit of knitting thrown in for good measure, too! Check out my facebook page for my A-to-Z list of not-entirely-serious names for our soon-to-be-produced grandson.
AND SAVE THE LAST WEEK IN FEBRUARY FOR THE ACC CRAFT SHOW IN BALTIMORE. STAY TUNED!!!!
....to be busy! With the holidays upon us -- and Hanukkah behind us--it's time to get wound up to begin 2013 with a bang....I've got a series of new pieces -- one-of-a-kind and limited edition churning out as I write.
The double helix necklace is being developed in a multitude of colors. The white-on-white with pearls at the closure sold for the holidays (see above). A wonderful gift and most reasonably price for the work involved. I've now been working on many other colors, including a pale pink seed and white crystal bugle with a mabe pearl closure....
And I finally finished the most amazing beaded ammonite asymmetrical necklace seen below. Working on a number of other specials for the Spring show.
Currently, I am a mere 4 places from getting into the ACC show in Baltimore again this year again. It would be Wholesale-Retail, but it would be IN the show again. After so much disappointment in 2012, I truly hope that 2013 begins to turn around. I've applied to and am waiting to hear from a number of other shows, so stay tuned. New pictures and a new look for the booth are in the works as well.
Drop me a note if you have an interest in the DNA necklace in special colors. It's a perfect bridal necklace, and I can even hang crystals on the inside for some additional "pop." Head over to my website (www.theafine.com) and leave me a message; or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the meantime, happy holidaze everyone! May 2013 be a beautiful year for us all!
In the wake of Sandy, the storm, I'm tired after collecting two parents in their 90s from a cold, dark townhouse in NJ and relocating them to the warmth of our guest bedroom for the duration. I have taken to referring to my dad as the "ice pop," since he's yet to warm up after a number of days. It's no trouble; it's just different, with other people's "things" in places usually reserved for mine....lol!
Where does this leave my beadwork? It's in a bit of a creative hiatus, particularly following a somewhat disappointing show in Morristown, NJ. The show was high-end; the quality of the goods, superlative. The number of fellow (or more accurately, sister) beaders was wonderful! We all work in the same medium, but the end results are so very different! Kathy King, who I adore, works with her beads upended and the thread showing gloriously (and in a very orderly way) on the tops of her "bead quilled" work. Sheila Fernekis has the most creative color sense of almost everyone I know. Wendy Lin's work runs in two directions: subtle like her lariats, or a riot of textures in her bracelets. Robin's work has ethnic overtones with loomed bracelets galore. My work is somewhere in the midst of all of this, and, again, wholly different. See, for example one of my new pieces in the picture.
Unfortunately, despite incredible artists and a broad variety of types of hand crafted goods, from upscale gold and silver jewelry, to outrageous floorcloths, to sculpture, enamel work, porcelain and some of the BEST clothing I've ever seen at this show or any other outside the ACC show, the gate was down. Those who came, walked with hands in pockets. Most artists didn't clear costs....your's truly among them. What got to me were the people who took a great deal of my time and booth space trying on a series of items, having me size them to meet their needs (all written down to make the alterations relatively easy, once they bought the goods), and then WALKING away with nothing. I can only hope they contact me via e-mail or my website. SIGH....
BUT, the camaraderie was wonderful; the time spent with other artists was WELL worth the trip itself. Perhaps we can find a creative outlet to share down the road.
In the meantime, I'm completing some projects that have been in the works, repairing bracelets shredded by zealous (or perhaps overly ambitious) efforts to fit small circles around overly large wrists. The result was rather like the square peg into round hole syndrome -- because something had to give, it often was the jewelry. I've had a few commissions of late. Some larger, some smaller. One with potential to help explode my business! I should know around Christmas if that happens. And I will share a picture of what it's all about...WHEN I can....
Plans for the spring and beyond are shaping up.
1. While we await acceptance, a colleague and I expect to be be teaching "Nerfertiti's Necklace" at Artifest in Ohio. It's a two-part project. My colleague, Roberta Altschuler, will do the necklace part; I'm teaching the pendant and closure. Two days, two teachers....It should be a GREAT opportunity. More as the process evolves!
2. Waiting list for ACC/Baltimore and ACC/Atlanta. I remain hopeful for both. Keep your fingers crossed for me!!!
3. NO Sugarloaf this Spring; family events are conspiring to make it virtually impossible. And they are VERY exciting family events, I must say. (Pictures to come when they occur!!!)
4. Applications in for East Coast shows for Spring; applications in the works for many other shows. Stay tuned for updates to my calendar.
In the meantime, I'll be posting new pieces to the website and working to get a shopping cart up live. If I'm not up to beading per se, I can always engage in the business of the beading business, right??? The holidaze are coming; time to stock up on my beading designs. It's not just jewelry, it's wearable art!
My most fabulous and creative photographer (a rare combination for a man whose daily life is as a nuclear engineer!) has beautified some of my latest work into magnificent photos. They're so new that I haven't put them up on the website yet!
When I get back from my travels to Ann Arbor, MI, for the 4-in-1 series of shows that run from next Wednesday through Saturday (with 11-hour days in the booth for the first 3 days!), I'll probably be putting a new area up on the website for items that are "hot off the beading table," such as these pretties. Wait until you see my latest "under the sea" creation with an all-bead ammonite! I haven't gotten a picture take of it yet; I only hope it doesn't sell before I do. [No, that's not true. At its high-end price, I sure DO hope it sells and fast!!]
I'll be blogging from my perch on State Street (booth C04) in Ann Arbor. That is, I'll be doing it IF the weather (yes, both heat and thunderstorms are in the forecast, gulp) and the crowd (yes, let there be a large crowd) permit, and my level of exhaustion doesn't catch up to me too quickly-- a big ask at my advancing age, LOL. If you're in the area, stop by -- but you MUST bring me a cold drink if you do so. I wilt very rapidly in warmth, particularly when combined with humidity. [No pictures of the artist are allowed under such circumstances; the appearance is much like someone emerging after 15 minutes in a warm sauna!
Let's all keep fingers crossed that the weather holds, the crowds are legion, and we have a bang-up successful show.
And the winner is.................
The Reef. NOTHING else ran close....
Since the product is a bracelet, we MAY expand the name to "A Reef Around the Wrist"
Why did I want the BEST name possible? I'm going to be submitting the bracelet for possible publication in a beading mag. The better it sounds, I think the better my chances. I've been published in scientific journals, in women's mags (ghostly wonder who I am), and in books. I've even edited a few. But NEVER before have I even tried to get my beading designs published. So, fingers crossed and wish me luck.
AND COUNTLESS THANKS TO ALL OF YOU FOR SUGGESTING WONDERFUL NAMES!
We shall see if the winning name gets published as the moniker for this unusual bracelet!!! Of course you all will be the first to know (well, at least right after my mother and husband are told!)
Oh, and another bracelet in the Under the Sea line -- my sea urchin bracelet -- is being put together as a kit for those of you with an interest in DIY. Keep an eye out on my website and here on the blog! I should have it up (with a few different kit colors) later this summer!!
_So, we've got 11 possible names for the necklace. IT'S TIME TO VOTE. To do so, go to my blog site by clicking on "go to my blog site". I need your input to help make this happen!
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.
I clicked on the following attachment, the prospectus for 2013 proposed exhibitors
Well, 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.
This blog is where Thea Fine, Beading Design meets Fine WordCrafters (my writing/editing activities). I hope you find it a happy collision of my two artful worlds.