My little beads now have a new home at the Fire and Water Art Gallery in Lowell. It is a lovely gallery featuring 25 local artists working in every medium imaginable. There are paintings, photography, sculpture, jewelry, textiles…you name it! The gallery is literally full from floor to ceiling of cool things to look at and interact with.
I will be working at the gallery a couple Saturdays a month as part of my artist contract. My first day was this past Saturday and what fun it was. I have been working in a cube with computer nerds for the past 12 years so it was nice to be able to chat with all kinds of people about all kinds of art. I will be there again this Saturday learning the day to day stuff and showing off more beads.
I am really looking forward to getting more involved with the artistic community of our little town and learning about different mediums. Who knows, I might just take up painting…..
Here’s a picture of my display. I took it with my iPhone so it’s not the best. I will bring the big camera this weekend and get a better shot.
I do, I am not lying! Not only do I sell on Etsy but I also try and shop on Etsy whenever I can.
I have some good friends that are expecting their first child in the next month or so and I wanted to give them something crafty and handmade. Unfortunately, beads do NOT make good baby gifts. I made several attempts at little bear shaped beads and I even tried to make a picture frame but nothing was coming out the way I really wanted it to. Soooo I decided to do an Etsy search. If it wasn’t handmade by me at least it would be handmade by SOMEONE right??? Well I didn’t have to search long before I found the MOST ADORABLE little baby gift baskets at The Red Pistachio.
I don’t think my friends read my blog but if they do…Pep and Sarah check this out, this is what you are getting!
If you hadn’t noticed, I am in the process of doing a complete overhall of my blog! I hope you like the new look and feel of the site. I will be adding some new shopping features to sell my tutorials. No I am not leaving Etsy. I love the Etsy community and you cannot beat the selling features and exposure that site brings.
Please bear with me as I go through this transformation, I truly think that you will like the results!
I got married a week and half ago! What a wonderful day it was. The sun was shining, the weather was calm and warm, and my best friend promised to love me forever. Who could ask for more?
Aside from a few minor glitches, like the Minister canceling on us the day before the wedding (don’t get me started), everything went really well. Not surprisingly so I must say. I followed the K.I.S.S. method for wedding planning…for those that don’t know, K.I.S.S. = Keep It Simple(or Small) Stupid. Or something like that. My wedding may not have been as flashy and elegant as some, but everyone seemed to have a really nice time. More importantly, I did not have to go Bridezilla on anyone. The wedding ceremony was outside on the 55th hole of the golf course at the Grand Traverse Resort and Spa in Traverse City, MI. The ceremony was followed by a small reception on the 17th floor of the resort tower. The scenery was breathtaking and the food was delicious.
I must give special props for the cake. If I hadn’t just gotten married…I would have married that cake. I just asked for a dark chocolate cake with cream cheese frosting and left the rest up to the resorts pastry chef. Well, my hat is off to you sir or madam, because that was the best damn cake I have ever eaten in my whole life…and trust me, I have eaten a lot of cake.
Now that I am back home, and back to my daily grind, it all kinda seems like a dream. As pictures come in from various friends and family, I am reminded that even without all of the glitz and glamor and STRESS of a big wedding, it was beautiful and special and the best day of my life.
Did I mention the cake?
I wrote this blog entry quite some time ago and never posted it. I stumbled upon it today and figured I would share it with the world as is. I don’t know if its blog worthy, but it made me smile…maybe you will do the same?
I am kinda new to this blogging thing. The reason I have waited so long to jump on the band wagon is that I never felt like I had anything worthwhile to talk about (that anyone in their right mind would want to read). So now that I am home from the wonderment that is Italy, I am back in the same boat. Theres only one blog that I read on a regular basis and that is Sarah Horniks blog. It seems she always has something interesting to discuss in a delightfully witty way. I fear my fledgling blog will pale in comparison.
So last night I was cleaning the house and trying to come up with catchy headlines for what are sure to be delightfully witty blog entries. Some Examples: My Cat Sheds Kittens, What happened to my neighbors?, What’s that smell?,
A few things to note…I now regularly read several blogs and enjoy them very much. (Sarah’s is still one of my favorites) I think that reading other blogs has inspired me to write more posts of my own. I figure that if I enjoy reading about a complete strangers life…then perhaps they would enjoy reading about mine!
I wanted to make something really cool and very unique for my bridesmaids to wear during the wedding. My flowers for the wedding are Orange Asiatic Lilies and Calla Lilies so I started there. The glass Asiatic lilies came out OK but just didn’t look “right” and many of them lost petals in the kiln. So, I moved on to the Calla Lilies…whoo hoo these came out beautiful and they are pretty easy to make. I have been making alot of orange ones for the wedding but this purple one is my absolute FAVE-O-RITE! I have it listed it in my Etsy shop. It is strung on a sterling silver cable with a very strong magnetic clasp. I kinda hate to part with it but I gotta pay for this glass addiction somehow. I will be constructing the bridesmaids necklaces this week. Check back for pics of those.
I love lilies! They are my most favorite flower. This spring I planted TONS of lilies in the raised beds next to our house, and now they are starting to open. I planted Calla Lilies, Oriental Lilies, Asiatic Lilies and one lone Hybrid Lily that I bought at Meijer. I even planted some exotic Electric Orange lilies that I bought off of the internet. Those have been slow to develop but I hope to see them soon!
I have also thrown some Gladiolus and Pink Elephant Ear in the mix. The chipmunks managed to dig up all but ONE of my sun flower seeds. It is still pretty small, but I am hopeful that it will continue to grow. I hate chipmunks!
||This is a Tom Pouce Oriental Lily. It is HUGE. The petals are a beautiful soft pink with light yellow centers. ‘Tom Pouce’ is also the name of a Dutch pastry that uses yellow custard as it’s creamy center filling.
|I think this one is called Expression. This particular bloom is kind of on its way out, but when it first opened the petals were mostly white with just a hint of pink. There are darker colored pink freckles on the petals.
||Here are the Callas. They have been blooming for weeks now. They come up one color and as they age they change colors. So far I have gotten dark purple, yellow, orange and even some green ones. These flowers are really amazing.
|My very first Stargazer just peeked out today! I will definitely be posting more pics of these beauties as they open!
You can’t eat the Lilies but you can eat these…I got maters! Looks like we are going to have a bumper crop! The little orange ones are supposed to be grape tomatoes but they look more like Romas. The big green ones are Heirlooms or Beefsteaks…I probably won’t know for sure until I slice it open…I can’t wait!!
The brown dots on the leaves are from Tomato Blight. It is a kind of fungal infection that the plants sometimes get. We have been battling it for weeks with special spray. I think we have managed to slow the spread, but I fear our growing season will still be cut short by this insidious fungus!
This past weekend I was introduced to one of the most amazing events…Christmas Through Lowell. A recent Lowell transplant, I was not familiar with this yearly tradition, and was pleasantly surprised when I stumbled upon it quite haphazardly.
On my way home from work everyday I drive by the Lowell Arts Council. Being the artsy type that I am, I have always speculated on what wonders they had hidden away in there. Well, last Friday as I was driving by I noticed that there were people milling about inside as well as several cars parked out front. The open sign was in the window so I decided to take the plunge and finally check it out. Inside there was a virtual candy-land of arts and crafts. I LOVE ARTS AND CRAFTS! I love the thought of owning something that was made by hand, by a real human being, who put their heart and soul into it. That’s how I feel when I make my beads and jewelry. There was pottery and woodworking, paper and glass and best of all JEWELRY! The jewelry artist was Sue Clay. If she had a website I would post it but I can’t find one…but trust me, her jewelry is amazing. She makes pendants using Lake Michigan beach stones that she has drilled small holes in and wired together with Sterling Silver wire. Even though I make and wear my own jewelry most of the time I could not resist purchasing a few of her beautiful bobbles. As I was paying for my lovelies I noticed that some people were carrying little cards that looked like bingo cards. When I asked what they were for I was told that during the second weekend in November there is this event called Christmas Through Lowell, where local crafters and artisans all get together and open their houses and shops to the masses. There was even a cool little brochure with a map to all of the participating locations! I just about had a heart attack! …and the little bingo cards…you carry the card to each store and get a punch, when you have 16 punches you turn in your card to be entered in a drawing. How awesome is that?!
So Saturday morning I packed Stefano in the car and we went craft hunting! Alot of the stops along the Tour de Craft were right in peoples living rooms! There were also several churches and halls with multiple craft booths and food. I didn’t spend to much money but I did find several local shops that I will definitely visit again!
I have already sent an email to the Lowell Chamber of Commerce asking how to enter for next year!! I have to get in on this!
I’m making beads again FINALLY! With the house on the market and the studio all set up I just ran out of excuses not to be at the torch. That’s a good thing! I have been working with a new swirl technique, well its not really new, I have used the technique before but never with such pleasing results. Have a look at My Etsy site and check out the new beadies.
I am also working on some new Beadie Babies (unofficial name) I am kind of nervous about sharing them with the world cuz I don’t want anyone to copy them. But nothing ventured nothing gained right? I am still perfecting the technique and working on putting little shoes on them or little things in their hands but here is my latest one. Look for them on Etsy soon!
My new studio is the cats pajamas! For those of you that saw my old studio you know that it was…well…it was kinda my whole house. The spare bedroom was taken over by glass. The den usually had mountains of various craft paraphernalia laying about. In the kitchen there was always a big tub of bead cleaning supply’s sitting right next to the sink, and the dining room table was rarely glimpsed beneath the sea of jewelry making supply’s. It was like living in Hobby Lobby.
But not anymore! Stefano has saved me from all that. In my little basement bungalow I now have room to keep all of my craftys in one place. Everything is within arms reach. It is glorious.
Along the wall on the left is a table with enough room for shipping and handling stuff, an area for cleaning beads (we don’t have a sink in the basement yet) and a little photography area. I have my kiln on a rolling metal toolbox so it can be away from everything. My fan is a 877 cfm squirrel cage fan that vents to the back yard. The center table is for jewelry making and other crafts. And there’s plenty of storage for my jewelry making supply’s and of course more glass!