1.31.2007

Am I Halfway There Yet?

Today's entry makes fifteen in a row!! I'm halfway to the goal!! WooHoo!

I link every morning to the Astronomy Picture of the Day - here - and my laptop sports a great Hubble photo of the Thor's Helmet Nebula. This is all background to the pieces I'm working on now - celestially inspired wristworks. We'll give the past a rest for a while, and I'll share my current workspace with you.
My design process on this piece goes something like this:
I start making an embroidered cuff, very dark but full of sparkling stars.
I've been reading about the Hubble telescope failing, and this prompts me to go back through the APOD archive.
I get this French magazine and come across a gorgeous ad for perfume - the colors hit me.
I get this inspired idea while at the laundromat, and start sketching what I want the wristwork to be.
And here's where we are now.


In the top left corner of the first photo you can see a tiny bundle on top of two plastic boxes. That's the embroidered band I was working on when I got this storm in my brain.

1.30.2007

Yesterday I Wasn't - Now Today I Am

A GranMa that is. Oh, and here's today's entry.

I had my sixth sale yesterday!! wOOt!!

But I gotta tell ya, this granMa stuff has almost blown all my circuits. I don't think I'm going to be able to stay on my production schedule as I'd planned. Since I live quite a ways from my son and his wife, I'm dependent on them sending me pictures - and right now I'm reasonably sure they have other things on their minds.

By the way, the necklace I put up on Etsy yesterday is the one I mentioned as a reworked piece - and it ended up with three of the original elements, not two.

Now for the Past as Prologue in Pictures:


I called this one "The Pre-Raphaelite Wristra." I was going through a book called "Pre-Raphaelite Women," and found my colors there among the works of The Brotherhood, most notably Rossetti.

1.29.2007

Mondays Are Gonna Be A Problem All Right

But I managed to get my latest piece finished and posted today.

Yesterday, Asa and I went walking up the street to the magazine shop, where I picked up a French magazine called "Maisons Cote Sud." It was LOADED with great pictures and fresh color combinations. So today I got to my favorite seed bead store here in Albuquerque - Poppy Field Beads - and loaded up with some very nice colors. Once we got home from all of our errands, I took some scans of a few pieces then set to reorganizing all my seed beads. I realized just as I thought I was finished that there are still a BUNCH more lurking in some drawers in our storage room. A little project for tomorrow.


About three years ago I had this wild desperate love for imperfect Indian glass. I made a series of these leaf-fringed spiral stitch bracelets. They sat in my gift case at the book store until August of this year, when all of them sold in the space of two weeks. The one pictured here was simply called "Gold Leaf Fringe."

1.28.2007

And now for something completely different:

Valeria Gloria.

I need to get to work. I have so much stuff piling up around me, it's getting ridiculous.

I had my fifth sale yesterday! This Etsy stuff ROCKS!!

Into the old Past Perfections folder we go, where you can see I'm mighty fond of the darker palette:


I called this one "Starry Night." I really love the effect you get when you build up a fringe bracelet to chunky perfection.

1.27.2007

Another Valentine

Just up today. I love making those peyote stitch beaded bead tubes - but I found the brick stitch method to be equally simple, yet elegant. I used it to make the beaded beads for the unisex stretch bangles I have up on Etsy.

I'm still plugging away at the bead crochet ropes - which reminds me - I need to root through my backroom stash to find a different focal bead for the piece. This never fails. There are now maybe two elements left of the original piece I was "reworking" - that's two out of a dozen. Sheesh. It were ever thus with me, though.

What's in the Bygone Bijoux box for today, eh?


This nice wide piece is done in flat peyote stitch, using one of my proprietary bead mixes (you know that's just a euphemism for 'I dumped all these beads into a dish and I'll never remember what was what'). I made this before I got it into my head that I needed to make everything adjustable. Come to think of it, a lot of the stuff I made prior to my "adjustable phase" sold just fine. Huh.

1.26.2007

One Third of the Way to Goal!

With this entry. I've spent the morning working on the bead crochet rope thingie - and may get a chance to finish it tonight. Unless I get distracted by other shiny objects.

I still feel like a raw beginner at this Etsy stuff. I've been reading some of the forums, a few entries every night, and I'm constantly learning. I had no idea how people get to put up their 'curated' lists on the Treasury until yesterday. And I had no idea how to know if something of mine had been selected. It pays to read ALL the FAQ's. I see that now.

So what's rising to the top in the Old Glories file?

This was part of my "Oooooo Spring" series. It's done in the terry stitch on a netted base, accented with modified Russian Leaves and a few bits and bobs. Actually, the day it sold I had intended to take it out of the case that afternoon for myself. Ah me.

1.25.2007

Number Nine

Yes, you guessed it - another bracelet - but this time a combination of bead crochet and wire wrapping. I love this technique so much. It lets me show off a couple of the skills I've acquired along my learning journey. In the description, I mention this incredible book:



An invaluable reference and source of inspiration - I can't recommend it highly enough.

I've set the bead embroidery piece aside for a bit while I get something else out of my system - I'm doing a sort of bead crochet rope in pieces to refashion a necklace I made a few years ago - the one I mentioned in a previous post. Sometimes I fall in love with a technique or a color and I become obsessed. And yet, I'm fickle. Right now, the work table has two jewelry projects going, but I also have two sculptural pieces in the wings - one is a sea sprite doll, the other a dragon. I also have a knitting project that MUST be done soon - a baby blanket for my first grandchild, who will make his debut in the world any day now.

What's in the Moldy Oldie folder today? Shall we peek?

Ain't it a doozie? This damned thing is MASSIVE. And heavy. I found the stone down by the Rio Grande about 7 years ago. I mounted it on a piece of suede and worked the band with one of my proprietary bead mixes in five-drop peyote. I came across a strand of distressed flat wooden beads in a pottery shop, of all places, and used one for the button closure. Because the stone is so heavy, the button wasn't quite up to the task, so I added two hook-and-eye clasps to help. I had it up for sale for a while, but found I just couldn't part with it.

1.24.2007

There I Go Again.

Another bracelet.

*EDIT: Another broken link was here - and again, I have no idea what I had here. 4/29/07*

I make so many of them, I suppose, because it's what I wear the most. I never wear chokers, though I've made a few on consignment. It's like wearing a turtleneck, I guess, and I do wear those when it's really cold - but I once heard a comedian remark that wearing a turtleneck was like being strangled by a really weak guy. All day long. That's how I feel about chokers. Necklaces aren't practical for me on a daily basis, neither are rings - but bracelets as everyday art to wear work very well.

Here's another Peek Into My Past:

This was my favorite of the Earth Goddess pieces. I love the warmth of it. Earth tones and sun colors are my favorite palette to work with.

1.23.2007

At last I've posted something on Etsy other than a bracelet. An amulet bag. I mention in my description that I made several of these amulet bags many years ago. The one I kept was made with primarily black matte seed beads with picasso jasper and silver heart charm accents. It's the pride of my personal stash, truth be told.

About five years ago, I made one all in golds and was wearing it during a book scouting expedition for my Other Job. It was in one of those temporary book warehouse sort of places that spring up just before the Christmas holidays - they deal mostly in overstock items and remaindered books. The woman who owned the inventory asked me if I'd like to work out some sort of trade - she got the amulet bag and I got over $200 worth of books! Since we both felt we got the best of the deal, I'd call that a success.

And now, another Blast from my Past:

Yosemite Stream. The clarity of the crystal chips reminded me of the beautifully crisp and cold rivulets, while the variety of greens in the peridot and tourmaline chips brought all those beautiful trees back to my mind, as well. Who says you can't go home again, at least in your idealized memories.

1.22.2007

And five - just barely -

Didn't think I'd make it - Monday is our day for running errands, and time just got away from me. Before we settled in to watch a movie and have some dinner, I did get another piece listed - another Valentine piece.



I've set myself a goal of posting 30 pieces in 30 days. Mondays are going to be the hurdle, I can see that now.

I don't think I've mentioned yet that I'm going to be a grandma in just a few days and I've been feverishly knitting a blanket for the new member of the family. I'm hoping to get it finished, photographed, boxed up and mailed by next Monday. It's turning into a much bigger project than I originally intended - and a much bigger blanket, as well. Aargh.

What else have I got in the Gone But Not Forgotten File - hmmm.
I forced myself last year to get over my fear of pink - I don't generally design my pieces with a view toward the "girie-girl", but I felt I had to work through my color phobia. I made several items specifically for Valentine's Day, and this became one of my all-time favorites.

1.21.2007

4 For 4. Fore!


Valentine's Spiral is now up for sale. I've spent the whole of my day off finishing up the end-of-the-year reports for my Other Job. I've still got a little time to whack away at the current beading project.

Since I've been mucking about with the old jewelry files, I find myself waxing somewhat nostalgic. I first became attracted to beadweaving by seeing some examples of sculptural peyote in an art jewelry magazine. I tried my hand at a few and had some very nice success. I worked in monochromatic palettes, but after studying Van Gogh's Arles paintings, was inspired to do this piece:

1.20.2007

I Think I've Got The Hang Of This Now.

Another item posted to Etsy today - and I just want to say how very much I love doing bead crochet. There's so much variation and textural interest to be found there. I just love it. I have a dismantled necklace of green seed beads I'm reworking into a crocheted rope choker - it started life as a multistrand braided affair but it just would not behave.

I had to abandon my multimedia art project idea. Inanimate objects, on the odd occasion, have an awful tendency to be willful. Such is my recent experience, at any rate.

I need to get back to work on the bead-embroidered cuff alluded to in Post The First. But hey - why not another peek into the Bygone Bijoux Box:

Click on the above for a wonderfully detailed jumbo sized pic. I made a series of six of these Earth Goddess chokers. I kept two for myself, sold two and decided to rework the other two into pin/pendant combos.

Back to work I suppose.

1.19.2007

WooHoo! I'm battin' 3 for 3!!

Right here. Another bangle went up on Etsy this morning - I'm putting the finishing touches on a Gorgeous Medicine Bag and hope to put that up tomorrow. Or maybe more of the valentine goods. Ya just never know.

I took delivery yesterday on a sack full of "European Yarn Samples." Or that's what it said at the eBay site where I found them. I went through the bag last night and was amused to see many of the yarns in there that I've seen at Big Lots. Ya gotta laugh, or you just end up crying all day. I had a Scathingly Brilliant Idea for a mixed media art project the other day and went in search of an inexpensive source of yarn samples. And really. I should know better than to trust an eBay description. I realize now I should have asked a few questions - like "Are the samples you're selling just like the samples you have pictured, and are they actually on cards as you show or are they all lumped together in a zip-lock freezer bag?" But who thinks to ask such things? At least I didn't spend too much money on them, and once again the valuable lesson is learned. I should be able to use most of what I got, if I supplement it with my own (considerable) yarn stash. Once I clean up my sketches, I'll post them here. Now, back to the Old Sold Folder:



This one is called "Too Bloody Right." No, it is NOT a black and white photograph - look closely and you'll see a few bits of blood red seed beads poking up among the hematite chips. It was the last of the commissioned pieces, this one for my cyberpal herself. The task was daunting (how do you match things to people you've never met??), but the reaction from her and her sisters (as well as the monetary compensation, of course) made the challenge both enjoyable and worthwhile.

1.18.2007

Can You Believe It? Two Days In A Row!

Two days in a row, I've managed to list Something New on Etsy. However, the Etsy Machine enlarged the scans I uploaded and they've gone summat pear-shaped.

If anyone knows any tips or tricks for improving the looks of my scans over on Etsy, please give me a shout! (EDIT: Woohoo! Thanks, Ms Anonymous - got the problem solved!)

And now, just for fun, here's another peek into the old Sold Folder:



This was the second of the three bracelets I made for my cyberpal. It's called "Napa Valley," and the main ingredient is garnet chips. I love working with garnet - it has such a rich, delicious look.

1.17.2007

Finally. Something New posted to Etsy

*EDIT: I had a link posted to the item, but it's broken now, and I can't recall what I had here. I suppose I should check my other links while I'm at it. 4/29/07*

I hadn't posted anything new since mid-November. Which is not to say I haven't been making things - because I have. Lots of things. It's been a matter of getting decent scans, trying to get my digital camera to do what I would like it to, that sort of thing. I'm pulling things together and should be able to post something new every day for the next 30 days. I could be over-reaching, but I am nothing if not determined.

In my current passion for reorganizing, I found a folder of pictures of some things I've made that have sold but were never listed on Etsy. Some really lovely things, too.

I made this a few months ago as a commissioned piece for a cyberpal. She and her sisters all have very tiny wrists, and very different tastes and personalities. It was my job, based on her colorful descriptions, to concoct a bracelet for each of them. This one is called "Whose Woods These Are 1.0". I liked it so much, I made a second one, slightly different of course - which sold before I could take a picture. The main ingredients in this piece are smoky quartz and picture jasper chips, worked on a netted base of Japanese seed beads.

1.15.2007

A new dawn, a new day, a new blog.

Tip o' the beadtool to The Jade Dog for suggesting I do this. It's a great way to organize one's ideas and chart one's progress. And it's yet another thing to eat away at precious beading time. But I digress.



Last night I was working on this bracelet - it's a variation of the Russian coraling technique sometimes referred to as terry stitch. It was getting pretty late. I was having some misgivings about the composition of the piece. So I'm trying to attach the clasp and it is just giving me fits. I felt like my hands were all thumbs. I'd been working at the bookstore longer hours than I'm used to and fighting a pretty fierce cold. The jump rings kept slipping out of my fingers, the pliers kept pinching my hand. I kept sitting back, looking at the piece. It just wasn't working for me on some level. Things resolved themselves in spite of me. I heard a crunch.


A fine spray of black glass dust showered the work surface. I rolled everything up and stuffed it away until this morning. I looked at it all again and knew what was wrong. The stone in the center - a gorgeous piece of agate - is all wrong for this technique. The whole piece is now being re-worked as an embroidered cuff. There now. I feel better.