Saturday, October 29, 2011

Turkey Down the Road ...

Wild Turkeys

Turkey day is just down the road !
Then comes Christmas, Hanukkah and a host of other gift giving holidays!
This Season  is a busy time for everyone !
If you are like me ,you are trying to balance holiday preparation with sales of beadie goodies .
In between the extra cooking,decorating and gift buying there are shops and craft tables to keep filled ! Yikes!!!
I find on- line shopping is a true blessing !
I can shop at my my pj's  !!!
I can get just  what my grandchildren are wishing for and never have to face a crazy ,crowded toy store!
 I can support  "handmade" by purchasing from artists who create wonderful unique items !
Be sure to visit the
"First Annual Virtual Craft Show"  ~ Nov 26 -Dec 3
I'll have  a great give away you can win !
So will the other participants!

What about all those little "oops I forgot about them "
and " just because" gifts ?
Easy !!! Raid  your bead stash !
If you  are reading this blog I'll bet you have a HUGE one !
If you don't.... head straight to over ETSY right now ! LOL!!!

There are more things to make with beads than Forrest Gump had shrimp recipes !
bead bookmarks,bead key chains ,bead zipper pulls ,bead wine stoppers,bead fan pulls....etc....etc..........
And how about those hostess gifts ? What bottle of wine or dessert goodie wouldn't be improved with a fabulous  beadie embellishment?
My very favorite idea ? Tie One On ! What ???
You know, just tie a great bead on any big ,little ,special or ho hum gift with a beautiful ribbon or cord !
When the present is unwrapped the bead and tie become an instant necklace or special holiday ornament !
Even fruitcake is welcome ,if the box is embellished with a fabulous  beadie tie-on .
This is literally the time to think outside the box!!!!  LOL!!!
Think recycled  sari silk ,vintage trims ,suede cording , chain !
Anything that can be wrapped around a gift box !
In a pinch ,when you just need "a little something " the tie-on itself becomes the  gift !
Just slip one in a gift bag ! Volia ' instant present !!!
The trick is Do This Now !
Your life is not going to slow up in the next few weeks!
Gather up lots and lots of beads and ribbons .
Spend a restful evening watching a favorite movie and mix/match beads to ties.
EASY and FUN !
this week get a head start on Holiday gift giving !!!
Bead Happy !!!

ps: The turkey photo was taken by my  BFF who lives in the Pa. woods !
It's not easy to get close to wild  turkeys !!!
Thanks Michele for sharing !

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Turning Over A New Leaf

Leaf & Branch Connections

One of my pet peeves is a Ho Hum toggle stuck on an otherwise Great design !!! Why use blah on beautiful???
I am always searching for handmade and found objects to use as clasps on my personal jewelry .
Sometimes I make my own polymer clay toggles.
But , to be honest I've never come up with a shop-worthy design .
My clasps do the job.They hold up on the bracelets I wear to work. However,no style has ever excited me enough to offer it for sale .
Every once in a while, I revisit my toggle idea and hope my muse will come up with a really good design.
For many , many  months she has had nothing at all to say to me about handmade clasps!

My muse and I have been enjoying Mother Nature's Fall Exhibit. What a fantastic source of  inspiration!
My mind is spinning with ideas for color blends.
Ms. Muse must have been impressed too!
She woke me up in the middle of the night with one of those
"slap me up side the head " ideas !
LEAF SHAPED clasps...of course!!!!! 

I found some pretty  little metal branch bars at Lima  Beads that worked  perfectly with my leaves !
My new toggles can double as a focals too !
Asymmetrical styles  are very  popular right now !
Almost any bead creation would be delicious with a little leaf on the side ...LOL!

Just to be sure the design was user friendly, I made one to wear to work .I work at a veterinary hospital.
If a bracelet holds up there it will be fine for normal wear !!!
Sometimes inspiration is very obvious...
sometimes its a bit more elusive.
I knew searching for beautiful Fall foliage would be a good source of  color ideas.
I didn't expect it to lead to my long sought after "shop worthy"   clasp design !
this week
look for the obvious inspiration  shout outs!
but,don't forget to listen for those subtle little whispers of ideas
Bead Happy !!!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Golden Autumn

Seasons seem to have colors all their own .
For me Summer is the season of gorgeous greens !
Springtime has a pastel palette.
Winter is about icy blues  and silver  tones.
In Autumn I think in  shades of Gold .

Folks who deal with  fashions must always think a season in advance .
I make beads for other people to use in jewelry creations ,
I really  must stay way ahead!!!
Right now I need to be finishing up Winter and thinking Spring!
But, the air is turning clear and cool .
The leaves are changing color.
Crisp apples and hot cider and back on my menu !
I have been working on Winter color combos .
Next week my yearly pointsetta beads will come to life .
Then I will start thinking in Spring least I will try my darnedest !
right  now my  world is glowing golden in the Autumn sunshine !
I just had to add metallic clay to each and every project !
Bright gold ,old gold and  brass enticed me !
I added the warm touch of Autumn Sun to my beads this week !!!

Are you are working on projects for the holiday market and coming craft shows ?
Are you creating with the gift giving Winter holidays  in mind ?
Or have you caught a touch of  Fall Fever ?
Fortunately the glow of golden  tones are beautiful all year .
If we indulge ourselves in the shades of Autumn ,
our jewelry will still look lovely in January, June and July!
This week
go for the Gold
Bead Happy !

Saturday, October 8, 2011

ABS October !

Gaea Necklace
Time for ABS October challenge !
This month's painting is a delight of muted color and natural items!
I  adore " Hedgehog in a Landscape" by Giovanna Garzoni
At first glance , I knew I would make some lovely neutral oak leaves...just my style. No brainer ...right ?
Then I began to read about the artist .
Giavanna began painting as a young girl and was one of the first women to paint still life.
In our time, not extraordinary , in hers a very brave move.
Thinking about this , I was drawn to ideas of  strong women .
I mused about womanhood and our close connection to the forces of nature.
My inspiration evolved into a earth mother theme .
My focal idea became a  " Goddess bead".
I somehow saw a heart shape in that hedge hog's face ...don't ask!
I used the heart shape in the pendant and the clasp bead.
Along the way my goddess became a bit more "Greek statue " and less "primitive icon" .
But, I was pleased with the shape and the way the clay developed shading .
I picked some natural silk ribbon for the softness of womanhood . I added  stoneware  worn smooth by the ocean waves.
Pieces that stay strong against the elements and become more beatuiful with age .
I added a snail shell and some acorns,items straight from the painting ,that are ancient fertility symbols.
Then just a few leaves for balance ...
my necklace was finished ...
or was it ???

Goddess beads aren't for everyone or for everyday.
I make no apology for using the frank beauty of the female form  in my creation .
However ,I kept rethinking my design .Was my focal more new young beauty than the classic earth mother  I had envisioned  ?

I took my necklace to my most frank critics , close friends!
My friends range from quirky mixed media artist to prim and proper conservative !
They are kind and rarely say  "what were you thinking "!!!
But, if they say "oh that's nice " ...well ...I get the point!!!
As a whole they liked my design !
One friend ,who happens to be pregnant, loved it !!!
However, she admitted  she probably wouldn't actually wear it .
She thought a more primitive goddess would be closer to  her style.
So we Googled Goddesses  for comparison .
We both loved an ancient design with a  spiral fertility symbolize on it.
back to the drawing board  , ie: clay table.
I created a new softer  looking female form and I used the snail shell to give her a spiral  on the tummy !
I am finally content with my creation !
I followed  that gut feeling and rethought my concept .
Sometimes  a revisit and and redo are in order !
Please don't tell , but my necklace is going to be part of a baby shower gift for my friend !
this week
revisit a not quite right design
refresh, redo
Bead  Happy !

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Sunshine Smile

Field  of Smiles

I am hesitant to say "I am inspired by nature"
That statement somehow seems so obvious and ordinary.
However, it is certainly true !
I am intrigued by the color blends, interesting forms and textures found in nature.
I usually look at the world through a macro lens .
Even when I scuba dive , I prefer to sit still  and wait for teeny critters to reveal themselves.
I enjoy hunting for the subtle ,small and often overlooked things around me.
But ,sometimes Mother Nature just shouts out loud and dazzles us!!!
Case in point ,this huge field of Sunflowers near my work place.
So glorious,  it just stops you in your tracks!!!
Sometimes there are almost as many people taking photos as there are flowers!!!
Everybody is always so friendly and happy !!!
How can you look and a Sunflower and not smile???
Sunflowers are not complex or  sophisticated .
Sunflowers are just plain and frankly FUN!!!
Nothing at all subtle or subdued about these cheerful blossoms!

If fact ,the Fall season is like that .
Bold , Bright and Beautiful !
Rich , not to be ignored bursts of color !
How can we help but be inspired !
The world that wore green all Summer is suddenly dressed in jewel tones and metallic splendor !
If you live where  the seasons don't change dramatically ,
the wonder of the internet can  let you share Autumn's fabulous fashion show!!!
Try to find even a single Sunflower to inspire you...
it's sure to make you smile!!!
this week forget  the subtle
enjoy Mother Nature's shout out of color
Bead Happy !!!