Atelier One Sixth: Dispatches! An unholy merger of blogs (the old & the new), featuring tiny hats, arts, crafts, writing, & baking. “Though this be madness, yet there is method in’t.” Probably.
WARNING: occasional bad swears.
My daughter - Darcy Horn, The Jade Dog - has a kickstarter project in search of funding - take a peek if you will:
LINKY --> The Beaded Body
Beadwork as a fine art form has been too long neglected - bringing it 'alive' as human sculpture is a brilliant way to show the world the depth and beauty possible, and to showcase the intensity of the artist capable of realizing the work. Bravo, Darcy, for conceiving the project, and best wishes for full funding!
Please share the link and hold a good thought for her success - and thanks!
In the spring of 2008, I did a craft fair that I knew I shouldn't do. But the table was free, the venue was huge and well-advertised and I thought, what the hell. I was surrounded by 62 other vendors all selling jewelry. No one did very well. It was hotter than Hades and we left with most of our stuff and a sunburn. I made less than $20 that day, selling off some bead mixes and supplies.
19 months ago I did a craft fair that I knew I shouldn't do. But the space was only $30, the venue was close to home and I thought even though they did minimal advertising, what the hell. I was surrounded by hipsters with glue guns who made "reclaimed" and "eco-friendly" objects of someone's idea of art. I sold nothing and wasted an entire day.
Today I did a craft fair that I knew I shouldn't do. The space and two tables were only $70, the venue was close to home and I thought even though they did no advertising, what the hell. I was surrounded by wonderful people with interesting things and most of them my contemporaries. I sold a bracelet, a pair of earrings, a necklace, and 6 greeting cards. I made $75.
(You may admire my lovely assistant.)
My question is: does this sound like progress?
There will be more later, once I figure out what I'm going to do when I grow up.
In my own defense, I could make the case that I've had my hands full lately, what with moving into new digs, health issues, yadda yadda. I really should have been blogging through this stuff.
Instead of trying to recap, I'll just press on from here.
I'm going to be in an arts & crafts show near the end of October. I'm trying to keep my expectations low but at the same time I'm harboring hope that this may lead to a permanent place in a gallery in Old Town.
I'll have two tables, and I've been busily making things for this show - lots of "Memento Mori" , "Day of the Dead" sort of things for one table, then everything from my ArtFire shop on the "beadwork sample sale" table.
Here's some of what I've managed to make so far:
2 dozen earrings and 18 bangles so far. A few more chunky bangles are on the worktable, but I'm not sure if I'll have time to do any neck pieces.
I just found a new source for boxes for embellishing! I'll be very happy to get back to making more expressive bead embroidered pieces, but first I have to dye these boxes. They are a rather nauseating shade of yellowish seafoam green at present. I prefer a much more neutral base - something more subtle.
So I've got my work cut out for me, and there will be more later.
Nice to see my new cyber shop home is moving in a forward-thinking, customer friendly sort of way.
Speaking of homes, here's what I've managed to sort out in our new apartment, supply-wise:
And here's the heap of findings I've yet to sort:
So far I've managed to locate all my copper bits. Pewter is next on the agenda. It's been a lot of work, but getting all my stuff rounded up has been a lot like Christmas - many things a surprise - When did I get this? What the heck is this for? WHAT WAS I THINKING
Like so many others, I was disenchanted by the selling site, Etsy. My last sale there was in September of last year. I thought I had merely boarded up my shops there, but apparently Etsy decided to blow them up and salt the earth where they had been standing. So I joined ArtFire in late April; after nearly two months of my scattered time to get (almost) everything posted from scratch, I felt ready to throw open the cyber doors. I checked in every day, tweaked this and that, promised myself I'd read the ArtFire sellers' guide "to success" at some point and post something in the forums at least once a day. We all know how that goes.
I was getting some traffic - redirects from here and my Facebook page mostly - but no inquiries, no real interest. I was getting a little down about it all. My husband and I were talking just a few days ago about how long I should try selling on ArtFire - he convinced me to keep the shop open through the holiday season.
Next thing I know I get an email from one of my Etsy customers - she went looking for me there and coming up empty, searched me out and not only found me but gave me my first ArtFire sale.
This is what she bought a few years ago:
This is a beaded fringe bracelet with brass elements and a brass dragonfly charm I called "Romance."
This is what she bought yesterday:
This is a beaded fringe bracelet with gemstone rounds and a Mexican carved wood butterfly bead as the weight/charm.
If you'd like to know how to make one for yourself, you can purchase the pattern from The Jade Dog Designs --> LINKY
It had been so long since I've had an online sale that it took me a minute to remember what to do - crazy, eh? I've got to step up my game and insure it's not ANOTHER year before my next sale!
Long time ago (30+ years?) I found a little book, maybe 3" x 5" with a stapled binding, at a grocery store checkout stand. It was called something like "No-Pattern Sewing" or "Pattern-Free Sewing" or "Making Clothes Without a Pattern." I think it was a Dell publication. Somewhere along the line, after about a dozen moves I realized I lost it. I'm trying to find it on the Almighty Intarwebs but so far I must not be asking the right questions. Anyone have any suggestions?
First, let me just say - Maria loved her bracelet.
Now to business: Project Runway is back, and I am once again participating in the Flickr group, Embellishing the Runway. If you've got some time and are looking for an interesting challenge, come join us! Any time!
For the first episode, this is what I came up with:
Christopher Palu was the winner of the first challenge. His design was a study in taupe and texture, and I took that as my inspiration, making a skinny freeform bracelet, thin enough to incorporate in a stack.
Episode 2 was the unconventional challenge - making an outfit based on candy - and who knew Ralph Lauren's daughter owned a candy store???
For this one, I made a stacking set of bangle bracelets, inspired by the winning look by Ven Budhu - he designed a dress using crushed rock candy and licorice. I found some tricut Czech glass 12º beads that reminded more than a little of rock candy and used them for the bead crochet rope bangles. I used shiny black Japanese seed and cube beads to make the stretchy licorice-look bangles.
Episode 3 just aired, and it does present something of a challenge. Check it out HERE. What to do, what to do . . .
Commissioned piece - my customer saw the BrightBright bracelets in my gift cabinet and asked if I could make her one in her favorite theme of black and white. Easy peasy. The big, floppy fringe flowers are in opaque black glass beads with white glass rounds in the center. The right-angle weave wrist band is in matte black, with a hidden magnetic clasp.
I've nearly finished loading the ArtFire shop with all my finished pieces - now I can get back to work on my most recent bead embroidered piece. It's my favorite thing to do.
We're spending most of our vacation hours doing things we rarely get to do - movies in the middle of the week, getting a massage and a long soak in a hot tub, eating at favorite restaurants - but it's also time for me to get caught up on bookstore organization and getting my beadwork listed in their new cyberstore location at Artfire. Here's what's been listed just today:
Sunshine Daisy Butter Mellow
I still have about forty+ pieces to get listed - but we still have six days.
I've been adding some things every morning during breakfast. I figured if I waited until I got this stuff re-photographed I'd never get them done, so changing out photos went to the bottom of the to-do list.
Breakfast is over. Time to get ready for The Day Job. More later - inevitably.
When I was following the Project Runway All Stars program on Lifetime, one of the challenges inspired me to make a mixed media bracelet - a blend of metal, pearls, glass, and fibers. As much as I liked it initially, it proved almost impossible to wear. Still, I liked the idea of using fibers. There are some inherent difficulties with using yarns, though. They tend to be insubstantial, weightless. After a bit of trial and error, I hit on the idea of using pewter spacers as the base for making my fiber beads. Interspersing them with glass bead embellished pewter spacers, I strung them on fairly thick leather lacing. The ends were finished with ceramic rounds and the clasp is a gold toned button snap.
"Nymph, in thy orisons, Be all my sins remember'd." (Hamlet, to Ophelia - translating it to modern English, I think it means something like, "Fair maid, pray for me - I need it.")
I think I want to make more like this. I have a friend who wears a lot of purple - I'm sure I could accommodate her. More later, I imagine.