Etsy Treasury West

The Tao of BAO:

I was just surfing the treasuries when I realized I was in prime position to snag one. So I did. Good thing I was primed for it, having already scoped out the Etsy shops of my team members.


What I Did On My Birthday Vacation

July was a great month for me on Etsy and here in the store - I sold several pieces (yay! bead money!!) - but that means I have to replenish my shelves a bit. I made a promise to myself to keep at least 50 pieces in stock there. So I've been beadin'.

Southwest Melange:

This is a combination bead crochet/charm bracelet. The crocheted bit is made up of Japanese glass seeds in different sizes, most of them being 24K gold lined. The charms are aventurine bears, Swarovsky pearls, dyed freshwater pearls, a large Indian glass disk, carved and dyed tagua nuts and glass rectangle/pillows, with bright copper findings and a magnetic clasp.

Autumn Bangle:

I have to confess, I didn't make this during my holiday - but I did unearth it. It was down in the bottom of my beadbag labeled 'remake-repair'. I looked it over and couldn't find any reason to do either, so I'm putting it into the Etsy store. I still remember how I made this - I cut up a wire coathanger, bending small loops on each end. I cut a piece of plumber's tubing to the same length. I then covered the whole thing with a tight bead netting. I found a copper bangle of the right shape and bent my construction over it to shape it. Then I wrapped a brass eyepin around the loop in the heavy wire and threaded on a bead cap. I glued it in place, clipped the eyepin wire to about a quarter of an inch and spiraled it into a knot of sorts. I had made several peyote stitch bands using this color soup, and this little bangle was conceived to use up some of my leftovers.


I had been working with my southwestern desert palette for quite some time and my eyes were craving something different - something to rest on for just a little while. I found a bag in one of my stash drawers that held these colors - I extended it out a bit and added the brass for a counter punch. I sat at my table for about fifteen minutes, trying to remember how to make a wristra (a play on words - this is a ristra). That's what I call my version of the Jade Dog's fringe bracelet. As you can see, I finally remembered. All glass with brass findings and a lovely brass dragonfly dangle - *sigh*. I think it's romantic.

Adobe and Rain:

Another bead crochet bracelet in graduated sizes of beads for that wonderful spiral effect. I used silver plated findings, quartz crystal chips and Czech pressed glass shapes in crystal for contrast. The end effect, for me, was reminiscent of rainwater pouring down an adobe wall.

I'm still working on the Desert Study #1 - it only needs a bit of surface embellishment and it's ready. I started, and nearly finished, one other project - I decided to work on a leafy fringe spiral bracelet - it's been more than two years since I made one - and it only needs a few more leaves to be done.

Oh! And Inspiration #30: SuzYum Designs - while you're there, be sure to check out the Femage section. Yum indeed!


Something New Has Been Added.

See the little button in the upper left of this blog? Well, I give you the Tao of BAO:

"The Bead Art Originals (BAO) street team has been created to promote the art of its invited members. BAO includes both creators of art beads and creators of beadwoven art. The team's focus is on the business and artistic growth of its members through on and off-Etsy promotion of the team, its activities, and individual members' achievements."
from the Bead Art Originals blog

"Bead Art Originals consists of a select group of independent artisans, including both creators of art beads and creators of beadwoven art. Our focus is on the business and artistic growth of our members. We will use this corner of the web to introduce you to the individual artists, keep you informed of our group activities, and perhaps educate you about our art forms a little."
from the Bead Art Originals website

The website and blog for the group is elegant, well-thought out, and sublimely easy to navigate. Bookmark those sites and visit them often! All kinds of cool things are in the works for this group - a newsletter, a Flickr group, and whatever else our collective fevered brows can concoct.

Get a load of this talent-heavy roster of Etsy shop names:

* AKDlampwork (Amy)
* AnotherCountry (Morwyn)
* ARoseByName (Anna)
* BeadJewelryShopgirl (Regina)
* DawnChastain (Dawn)
* dumauvobleu (Cathy)
* FrucciDesign (Fru)
* giapet (Karen)
* ginnovations (Ginny)
* JenMaestre (Jen)
* LisaPetersArt (Lisa)
* MAKUstudio (Mak)
* malodora (Dee)
* MistyRidgeBeads (Swanee)
* Naftali (Janice)
* SalamanderHouse (Melody)
* SandFibers (Carol Dean)
* SmadarsTreasure (Smadar)
* TheBeadedLily (Sarah)
* TheJadeDog (Darcy)
* time2cre8 (MaryLou)
* tqbdesigns (Lisa)
* triz (Triz)
* FabulousFrippery (Sera)

I know I said I'd never join another Etsy Street Team, but when I received an invitation to join this one, I couldn't resist. I know, I know - where will I find the time to really participate? I know I'm really crappy when it comes to group activities, but seriously. How could I resist?? Have you SEEN the work these guys produce? I'm getting all inspired just knowing I'll be in the company of these amazing artists. There's a link to all the links for their Etsy shops in my sidebar as Inspiration #29.

I have to confess - I've been a major fan of several of these artists since they created their Etsy shops. The Jade Dog, in particular. Not that I'm biased, mind you.


Desert Study #1 - Progress Report

Here's a more detailed photo of my progress:

I'm almost finished with the principle free form; then comes a bit of surface embellishing and working out a closure. The offcenter focal is a pink jasper cabochon. The two large apricot-colored beads are carved, dyed tagua nuts. I used more pearls in this piece than I originally intended, but I just do what the beads tell me.


Chainmaille Makes Me Happy

Huge thanks to The Jade Dog for this week's inspiration, CGMaille. I'd been thinking about trying my hand at this fascinating art and the CGMaille website makes it soooooooo easy to understand! So I made this yesterday afternoon:

Fifteen Charming Sunsets

I got a copy of Bead & Button's Beading Basics pub, Right-Angle Weave. I'm finding the pictures a little confusing for the technique I'm trying to learn. I know I've done right angle weave before, but for some reason I can't seem to wrap my head around this one.

P.S. - A2Susan, aka Susan of Bead Inspired, stopped in our bookstore today! It was really nice to put a face to those wonderful Bead Journal pages - and it was, of course, great fun to show off my journal as well!


It's My Own Invention

Mine and weebly.com's, that is. Click here to see the actual website.

I'm putting up my own storefront, learning more and more about HTML, finding my way through a maze of graphic arts and striving against my natural impulse to overdo - keeping it simple.

I didn't think it would be so much fun! I have tomorrow off, so I'll be refining things, adding stock, maybe even add in my destash craft books - what the heck.

I'm still working on the freeform bracelet, as well as a couple of bead crochet sets, AND I'm unraveling the mysteries of MyPublisher. I have all my photos stuffed into a workable layout - now it's just a matter of writing all the boring bits (the why-how-when).

And I jazzed up the ol' blog a bit, too - making all my internet doorways look a bit more uniform - this really is big fun. It's almost like playing with paperdolls in a way . . .


Old Town Sunrise Bracelet

This week's inspiration - No. 25 - Dustin Wedekind:

I picked this up about two weeks ago and finally sat down to thumb through it. One of Dustin's patterns involves some tubular herringbone beaded beads. I pondered on it and came up with the Old Town Sunrise Bracelet:

Etsy news: my Golden Garden Path cuff sold to an Etsy buyer yesterday - I'm so glad it found a home at last -

The current project is about to swallow me whole. I'm working on the most ambitious freeform peyote bracelet I've ever made - I'm trying a new way of working and I'm still struggling with it - trying to refine it and make it friendlier for me.

Here's what the mess looks like:

I'm going to be at this for a while . . .

I've Been Profiled! (in the nice way)

Can't do a post without a picture, no matter how inappropriate. This shot was taken on May 5 2008 from inside the guests' gate at Casas de Suenos in Albuquerque's Old Town District.

Now about that profile: Cyndi L at the Jewelry and Beading Blog was kind enough to ask me to participate in their "Artist Profile Thursdays" and it was almost painless!


Georgia O'Keeffe and the Three Bears

Now that the Bead Journal Project has come to an end (as far as the beading of pages goes), I decided to take a huge chunk of what I learned over the past twelve months and apply it to the making of a bead-embroidery/beadweaving collection of jewelry revolving around a central theme - this place where I live, this desert, this gorgeous Southwest. I've taken all my impressions, dreams and perspectives, thrown them all into a Southwestern bead stew and slowly my meditations are taking shape. This cuff is one of my first pieces in the series. Pearls for wisdom, spirals for growth, bears for power and healing, desert colors for warmth and energy. I love this one. It filled me with joy during the making.

This is the O'Keeffe side of things - with a slightly disturbing, almost-not-quite anatomical/organic element, a la Georgia, introduced in the bead-ruffled pearls.

Just a bit off center is this gorgeous chunk of pink jasper, in the depths of which I see the colors of all desert sunsets and sunrises.

There's a trace of Navajo influences on this side with the inclusion of the aventurine bears. Bear Fetishes are a symbol of power, solitude and introspection, as well as being reputed to have healing properties.

The little copper snap works as a pivot point, allowing the cuff to adjust to the flare of the arm.

I've seen a lot of Southwestern jewelry during my time here, most of it bearing the strong imprint or influence of Native American craft. That's not my heritage and would be a huge presumption on my part to try to imitate it. What I want to do is represent my own feeling for this place and interpret my impressions through the lens of AnotherCountry.

I'm pulling together a freeform peyote bracelet next. I'm very excited about this project!

Now on a completely different note; while I was waiting for the glue to dry on the backing leather for that cuff, I made some little fun things for my Etsy shop (the links go to the Etsy listings).

This one is Spa-Lashy!
This one's Joocee;
A L'il French Garden:
And something for the Gun Moll:

Time to get back to work - I have the luxury of an unexpected day off tomorrow - I'll be able to make a large start on my next piece.