Heidi's Kitchen

My latest set of bangles - this time using the little ''practice' lampwork beads I mentioned a while back. I'm working on several more sets using those 'practice' beads. I'm in a kind of rhythm now, crocheting these bangles. I can't seem to get the block of time I need to work on those sculptural peyote cuffs . . . soon, I promise myself.

I'm trying out some different settings on my old HP ScanJet. I like the sage background - cuts down on the rebounding shine.
I've increased the resolution as well - doubled it from 150 t0 300.
I like the effect - and I've been using Picasa 3 for the fine tuning. You know, for a free program it's very, very good.


I'm in a Treasury! & Sunday Edition #13

Good grief. We're 13 weeks into the new year already. Urk.
Check it out! I finally figured out how to do a screen capture of a treasury! Georgia sure is popular - I think this cuff was featured the last two or three times I was in a treasury . . .

Speaking of which, it happens so seldom that I get put into a treasury (or find out I'm in one) I just gotta make a big deal out of it. And the curator of this treasury, Barb Suess, is also the proprietor of the Etsy shop, JapaneseTemari. I lived in Japan for two years, and I fell in love with the arts and crafts there.

Washi eggs in particular. Give her a peek if you have a minute.


It's Hard To Draw With Training Wheels on My Pencil

I jumped right in with this drawing program. The results of my first four drawings were to give me a base line to look back on after I finish up. The first drawing is of a person, drawn from memory. Oddly enough it's a self-portrait. The second drawing is a self-portrait done by looking in a mirror.
The third and fourth drawings were observational sketches, one of my hand and the other of my chair here at work. After doing these drawings, you're supposed to give your impressions - good and bad - of your work. I think my drawing is representational, by which I mean you can tell what I'm drawing but at the same time it's very flat and sort of cartoonish.

This is a fun exercise called vases/faces. It gets you to start recognizing right and left brain ways of seeing and expressing.
Now this was Big Fun. In the book, Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain, there is an exercise that really changes the way you perceive things. You're given a drawing by Picasso to copy, but you have to do it upside down. This forces your brain to see and interpret what is seen in serious right-brain mode. I was stunned when I flipped it over - holy cow! I really can draw!!

Here's the original so you can compare:

Not too shabby for an old beginner, eh?


What's Goin' On

I'm teaching myself to draw. I want to be able to sketch more effectively, and to do that, I need to retune all those atrophied abilities. I splurged on some very nice Prismacolor colored pencils the other day as a little incentive. I'm practicing with my Crayola pencils, though. The eventual goal is to be able to illustrate a book of my own patterns. I should totally embarrass myself here and scan in my initial drawings, charting my progress (or lack thereof) over the next few weeks. Beading continues, just off in the background.

I tried seven different ways to make a few of these gift-to-me lampwork beads into a bracelet and nothing wanted to work - so I'm back to bead crochet for them. *sigh*


Sunday Edition #12

My Etsy find this week is CocoaBean's shop:

Sometimes the simplest idea, done with exquisite skill, can make the strongest statement. I love these.

By the way, have you ever taken the time to look at EVERY Etsy treasury at any given time? I can't believe I just did that.

Two hours.



No Time

The bookstore has been eating my life. I'm only managing to grab a moment here and there for creative endeavors - at least I've managed to finish all the crocheted bangle sets in my "Lit From Within" series (Sets 5 & 6 are MINE), and I'm refining my design for the sculptural peyote cuff - I'm still gathering elements for it. Each new bead I find changes the dynamic . . . but I gotta stop somewhere. It's just that I need a longer stretch of uninterrupted time with things to come to any kind of cohesive plan. Doesn't look like that will happen any time soon. And all these lampwork goodies are distracting me, which doesn't help, either.

I may have to use some of them in making a few little feathered fringe bracelets - they work up (relatively) quickly, will fit into my current harried schedule and will keep me from going nuts while I wait for my day off.


Making Connections & Sunday Edition #11

"Connector" - William Wegman - 1994

I met up with ModeRage, among others, at breakfast yesterday morning. We got to chatting about things beady and she mentioned she had a sackful of lampwork beads for me. Later in the day she stopped by our bookstore and gave me all these amazing little bits of glass. Seems she has an acquaintance who is learning lampworking and had an overabundance of her fledgling efforts. Now they're in my stash - hatching plots. I love making connections.

So that's how I spent my evening - making connections. Sorting through, matching up, discovering treasures.
Setting this all aside to get back to the tasks at hand was tough. Already I have a dozen ideas swimming around in my head.

Speaking of swimmy ideas, here's one of my base sketches for my next sculptural peyote bracelet:
There's a great article, two actually, in the March '09 issue of Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist on the subject of sketching your designs. Whether you're a beader, metalworker, fiber artist - doesn't matter - I found the advice in there fairly universal. You know, I've never worked a sculptural peyote band on the vertical before, but this one is demanding that's what I do. I might not have seen that without sketching it first. Matter of fact, I found a few little lampwork beads in that bag that will work perfectly into the design.

Now, for my Etsy fav this week:

I found Virago Creations by doing a little browsing in my "Shop Local" section of Etsy. Fortunately for me, there is a wealth of shops here in Albuquerque, including supply shops. I found myself in need of a LOT of bamboo tiles, and much to my delight, she has the biggest selection on Etsy! Great service, too.

These beads ain't gonna crochet themselves. Back to work.


Howdy Do!

Good morning! Today is the opening of the Santa Fe Bead Expo, and by extension this means it's the first day of the Beaded Book Exhibition.

I hope everyone has a splendid time, learns tons of cool new tips and tricks, finds the beads of their dreams and manages to stay within their budget. And yes, I really am secretly jealous of you all.

I just found out how to put Yahoo emoticons into my blog posts. I promise not to overdo it.


I've got another long day in the bookstore ahead of me, but I'll be thinking of you all and hope SOMEONE takes some pics of the exhibit and emails them to me . . . (morwynskya@msn.com)

Now here's the link to the main post about my beaded journal: A Year In Beads.



Not Much To Report

Been kinda busy with the day job. Just about done for the day - and it's nearly 10 p.m. So much for "Daylight Savings," eh?

Still sketching on the "Lit From Within" sculptural pieces, still finishing up the crocheted rope bangle sets - and I can't remember where I put the bead embroidered piece I was working on to attach to the red leather purse - I know it's in one of these drawers, but every time I set out to look for it, I get sidetracked.

I think I'll call it a day.


Sunday Edition #10 and Hoping For The Best

This week's fav from Etsy is a real niche store,
CatherinetteRings -

David's work first came to my attention when I joined deviantArt - I was just becoming aware of the steampunk movement in art and literature, and I went surfing for examples of its influence on jewelry. I'm drawn to its aesthetic, but I find myself unable to produce anything of my own. I admire those who can pull it off successfully, which he does most splendidly. He also keeps a color-filled blog HERE. Give it a peek even if steampunk isn't your thing - the skills are MAJOR.


I've got something on my mind and I'd better get it out here before my brain explodes.

I still don't know how I feel about my journal being accepted into the Interweave Beaded Book juried exhibit. Maybe once I know the number of entries there were, it might seem like more of an accomplishment. Right now it feels - incomplete, somehow. I can't explain it any better than that.

I've been asked if, since I live relatively near the Bead Expo site in Santa Fe, I'll be attending. I give them the short answer - no. Don't get into it more than that because it's not up for discussion. I even got four free passes - BTW, if anyone local wants one - stop by our bookstore and I'll be happy to give you one. I don't have the money or time to get there. I'll see what the other pieces in the exhibit look like when the magazine comes out. I don't need any beads, I hate shopping, the drive to Santa Fe is tedious, I'm not big on trains either, but more than anything I have a problem with crowds. There. I've managed to convince myself.

Now - about publicity translating to sales: IT'S A MYTH. Sure, I'm adding some things to my Etsy shop, hoping for the best. But I know from past experience that publicity does not equal sales. I had an article published in a mainstream beading magazine and got no sales whatsoever from it. A few emails asking for some technical clarifications - that's it. I earned a "daily deviation" which brought over 200 hits to my little blog here in one day and got no sales from that either. Heck, The Jade Dog was on a nationally televised cable how-to program and got ZIP in the way of related sales. This isn't a mystery to me - I mean, who reads beading magazines? Makers of beady things, not buyers. Who watches craft shows? Makers, not buyers. So my expectations for anything coming of this exhibition are very, very low. I do hope for the best but I'm being brutally honest - I fully expect nothing.

But making sales is the least of the reasons for why I do what I do, and right now I've got beading to do. I love how the "Lit From Within" series is panning out. I'm nearly finished with the crocheted rope sets -

Numbers 3 and 4 are complete:

(BTW- can you tell I was watching "The Tudors" while I've been working on these?)

Numbers 5 and 6 are in process:

I'm really looking forward to getting on with the sculptural peyote cuffs. The joy is in the doing. The journey is the meaning.


Next Thing I Know

I'm in a treasury - well, not ME exactly but one of my bracelets - this one actually.
Georgia O'Keeffe and the Three Bears

The link is good up thru Friday morning. I'm no good at treasury captures, or I'd post what it looks like. Many thanks to KneeDeepOriginals for adding me to her collection.

Anyway, I'm busy stocking my Etsy shelves, working on the vainglorious assumtion that I might get a bit of interest from the Beaded Book exhibition next weekend in Santa Fe.
Here's my second set of bangles in the Lit From Within series.

This is a sort of closeup of the lampworked treasure from Canyon Echoes that pulls the set together.

Nazca Lines - I learned how to join multiple crocheted ropes together with this piece.

I also took some better pics of my Aphazia piece - I still get a blue sheen from some of the onyx stars but I'm generally satisfied with the new effort.


Remember This?

Well, that's me again. Just got this in the mail:

February 27, 2009

Dear Morwyn,

Congratulations! Your piece titled The Wheel of the Year: My Beaded Journal has been selected to tour with our Beadwork VI: The Beaded Book exhibit.

The competition was very tight. It was simply amazing to see how all of the participating artists combined their love of books with their passion for beading. Each of the artworks entered showed an enormous amount of creativity. Needless to say, the jurors had the difficult task of narrowing the number down to the eighteen winners. We are happy to announce that your piece is one of the eighteen.

As a participant in the exhibit, your beadwork will be displayed at Bead Fest Santa Fe, March 12th to 15th, and Bead Fest Philadelphia, August 21st to 23rd. If you can’t make it to one of the shows, be sure to check out the June/July issue Beadwork to view all eighteen of the winners. In early May, visit the online gallery at beadworkmagazine.com. . .

Again, congratulations and sincere thanks for participating.

Best wishes,

Melinda Barta
Editor, Beadwork magazine

Oofdah. And wow. I think I'm kinda in shock.

Sunday Edition #9 and Juicy Beads

Here's my pick for this week's Etsy shop:

Studio Rent does elegant, understated glass work - beautiful bowls and delicious beads.

I can attest to the quality and excellence of those beads, by the way, as I am the happy possessor of a handful of Bonnie's lampworked spacers.

Now for those juicy photos. I finished my first set of bangles, and here they are.

Here's that juicy lampwork bead singled out:

Back to work!