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Archive for June, 2009

new toy!
I received my latest bead delight from Artbeads – this stunning Russian handcrafted pendant, based on Alfons Mucha’s painting Emerald.

pendant - Alfons Mucha

Isn’t it beautiful? I love Mucha’s work and the Art Nouveau style. It measures 1&3/8″ long and just about 1″ wide, and is backed with black onyx.

The details in the painting are amazing, and I love the gold metallic paint. I already have a plan for this pendant – I knew what I was going to do with it when I picked it out. So hopefully in about a week I’ll have a completed piece to share.

Artbeads is a great resource for jewelry supplies – they have all the usual supplies as well as some really cool stuff (like this pendant!) that I haven’t seen anywhere else.

small moments
Having the house completely to myself for a few hours. Delicious cold sweet watermelon. Sunshine!

~happy beading~

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i’m shrinking!
I started working with my Polyshrink again. I made a bunch more components to use in jewelry, although most of them are not quite good enough to use in jewelry that I might sell. But I decided to make a bracelet with the best of them:

Polyshrink bracelet

There aren’t enough components (I really need to think of something more descriptive than “component”) to make a full bracelet, so I’m going to add the chain as an extender, and I’ll add pearls to that for some extra oomph.

Here is a comparison between the Polyshrink before shinking and after:

Polyshrink - comparison

Pretty neat, yes? It’s so cool watching the pieces shrink. I think that’s my favorite part!

I’m also planning on submitting a Polyshrink bracelet to Belle Armoire Jewelry to be considered for an article.

grey gardens
About a month ago I watched this HBO movie called Grey Gardens, about a mother and daughter. The mother, Edith, was Jacqueline Kennedy’s aunt, and the daughter, Edie, her cousin. The movie explores the relationship between Edith and Edie and how they started out as wealthy socialites and ended up as hermits living in a decaying, filthy, decrepit house. Edie is played by Drew Barrymore, who is fantastic in this movie. Edie was quite an eccentric, strong personality, but I just fell in love with her. I could have listened to her talk all day, with that strange New York/Boston accent. I loved this movie – I laughed, I cried, I didn’t want it to end. I highly recommend it.

small moments
Getting to have the bed to myself, and taking a few extra minutes in the morning to lie in bed awake, enjoying all the extra space! Listening to the birds twittering in the morning. Eating Herr’s cheese curls.

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meet rosalie
rosalie - wirework necklace
I added a new necklace to my Etsy shop – Rosalie. Rosalie is a wirework necklace made from sterling silver wire, lampwork beads by Mari Johnson, Czech fire-polished beads, and sterling silver bead caps. It’s a pretty little necklace, perfect for spring and summer.

digital art?
So Saturday I decided to work on some digital art. I have a digital art membership at Artella, so each month Marney sends digital backgrounds, clip art, and tutorials and some other stuff. It’s really cool. Until I actually tried to do something with it. Then the realization hit – I have no idea what I’m doing! I don’t know what to make, and I know very little of Photoshop.

It probably didn’t help that I was listening to Tori’s album at the same time. Trying to listen to that and read and understand a Photoshop tutorial at the same time is probably not a good idea.

I have so much to learn. I did put something together but it was pretty pathetic, so I’ll spare you. I’ll try again this Saturday and see what happens. Stay tuned!

~sweet dreams~

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a contest for beaders
I just wanted to mention a contest called Use the Muse II, created by Scarlett Lanson. Scarlett has a regular column in Beadwork magazine and has placed in some prestigious contests herself. She created this contest as a way to encourage others to join the fun!

Each entrant receives the same selection of components and beads, plus a mystery bead (the Muse) that must be kept a secret and must be used in the final piece.

Kits must be ordered by June 27th, and are limited in number, and July 18th is the deadline.

~bead away~

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cousins. rivals. queens.

Elizabeth & Mary by Jane Dunn

I posted a review of Elizabeth & Mary – Cousins, Rivals, Queens by Jane Dunn in the Library. I’ve been trying to complete this review for um, about eight months now. I don’t know why it’s taken so long – it’s just hard I guess to condense such a book into a few paragraphs. But I finally finished it. This is a great book and I highly recommend it if you are interested in such things. Scroll down to the bottom of the Library to check it out.

while we’re on the topic
I’m thinking about writing about some of the women in my life – women that inspire me, whose works I enjoy, that I find to be strong and outspoken and funny. Real women and fictional women. I am not ashamed or afraid to call myself a feminist – I know that word has taken on negative connotations these days. But I believe this world still needs feminists. I have found myself for a couple decades now purposely searching out women to look up to, to read about, to listen to. So stay tuned for more on that.

and still
Speaking of strong, outspoken women, I’m enjoying Tori’s new album. I’ll be writing about that here and there too over the summer as I get to know the new songs. Maybe California, Lady in Blue, and That Guy are some of my favorites so far. And I am very much looking forward to seeing her perform in August at the Tower Theater. She is fabulous live.

small moments
A foggy morning. Colorful ribbons. Yummy salad for lunch.

~toodles~

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every bead gets used, eventually
Here is a necklace I made recently. Once again I have to apologize for the poor scans, but this was the best I could do at 10pm, tired and ready for bed.

Hint of Glint Necklace

The large bead was given to me by my son a couple years ago and I finally decided to do something with it. I love lampworked beads, but I find them challenging to work with as I never know what to do with them.

When I do use them, I like to keep the piece simple so that the focus is on the beads. I remembered I had the other smaller glass beads that have a pattern very similar to the focal bead, and then I thought a simple tiered necklace would be pretty.

Hint of Glint Necklace

I used sterling silver chain to string the beads and a lobster claw clasp to hold it all together and voila! – simple, elegant, with a hint of glint.

magazines neverending
I do love my magazines. Not only did I receive my order of magazines from Stampington but I also picked up the new issue of Somerset Studio.

Somerset Studio, May-June 2009

Lovely, as always.

I came up with an idea for the aubergine theme, which is due August 15th. I was inspired by sealing wax! (hey, I’ll take inspiration from wherever it comes!) And I see in the new issue that Alice in Wonderland is an upcoming theme, due on October 15th. I’d definitely like to make something for that. I have an idea, or rather a vague notion of an idea, so I’ll let it percolate a bit longer.

And I sent my Halloween party favor sack article to Somerset Holidays. I can’t wait to see it, and I hope readers like it.

earth, devoid of humans
I’ve been watching a neat show called Life Without People on The History Channel. It’s about what would happen to the remnants of civilization if every person on the planet suddenly disappeared – how Nature, freed from man, would once again reign, and animals and plants would claim the empty cities as home. It examines how manmade structures would deteriorate, what would happen to domesticated animals, how living things might evolve. It’s really interesting, and there’s something about seeing the cities – decaying, overgrown, desolate – that I find fascinating.

small moments
Black trees against a midnight blue sky, very early in the morning. Listening to Madame Butterfly. The warmth of the sun.

~loving that lady in blue~

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