Sunday, February 28, 2010

Bead Trends and ideas

The deadline for submitting work for the August 2010 issue of Bead Trends magazine is tonight. I submitted three things earlier today. I was planning on more, but a list of materials is required. That can take forever to compile! This is the first time I have ever submitted my work to any magazine. I have noticed some of my fellow etsy sellers had their work featured in the February 2010 issue and thought "Why not?". I actually submitted a few of the things i was considering for the Bead Star competition. Notification is March 2nd, so I figured I may as well since I will still be able to enter them in Bead Star if they don't make the cut.
Sometimes I wish my stash wasn't so extensive because it makes it difficult to create a materials list when I have items that I have been hanging onto for 15 or more years.
Speaking of magazines; I was quite excited by a feature in the March 2010 issue of Coastal Living. Chart Metalworks from Portland Maine was featured. She creates awesome pendants and charms by placing pieces of nautical charts under resin with brass or sterling silver bezels. You will not catch me casting metal-ever. Fire and I do not mix well (hence the lemon net bag I set on fire last night with candle night).
Since my husband and I dabble in stained glass a bit we were already considering creating some of the foiled stained glass pendants featured in this month's Bead Trends, but I was concerned about ink from my ink jet running and I wasn't sure just what I wanted to sandwich between the glass. Bingo! My parents just happen to be in the marine business and are chart agents. My mom has oodles of old charts laying around. These will make fabulous charms for my mermaid treasures bracelets! Who knows when I will actually get around to this. I have been meaning to tumble the antique glass I dug up in my backyard into "sea glass" for two years now. On the sea glass subject: I think my husband has found us a spot to collect real sea glass on Lake Michigan. If you haven't tried before you may not know that it is not easy to come by!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Old Studio Vs. New Studio

The Old Studio

Since October we have been in the process of buying a foreclosure with twice as much space as our current home. Since April of last year I have been sharing my studio with my husband's home office; not fun.

We went ahead and put an offer in on the new place because we knew it was a deal of a lifetime. This was risky because we have not sold our current home. We are okay with this. I have mixed feelings about the move as the old place is in the urban school district in which I teach and as you can see it is a fabulous old brick Italianate. The new place was built in the 90's and sits on a cudasac in the suburbs. It feels wrong to leave the intercity, but I will be back to having my very own studio again.

If you have ever purchased a foreclosure you know this is a long process. Even so, I think about my new studio and how I will set it up on a daily basis.

Pearls and Oysters

Since I first heard about the Bead Star contest and magazine I have been brainstorming ideas for the nine categories. My work is quite eclectic, so it will be easy for me to come up with entries for most of the categories, or so I thought.
I looked through my recent creations and selected my entry for "plastics" and a possibility for "metals". My plastic entry is one of my popular bauble bracelets. I love how lightweight and sparkly they are.
Today I decided to create something similar to the copper talisman bracelet that I was intending to enter in the metal category. I was second guessing myself on whether or not it had enough metal. Loving beads as I do, I tried to use restraint on my second creation, but ended up with even more beads on the second bracelet than on the first. I am thinking about using it as my "stone" entry now.
I am really happy with my "pearl" entry. I will post a photo later. Speaking of pearls, I was quite delighted to find fresh in the shell Louisiana oysters at Sam's Club yesterday. I plan to lightly coat them in cornmeal and fry them up for dinner later. They are so sweet that way! My brother stopped by last night and shucked one and said they were fabulous. If you haven't checked out his detailed blog, What's Eric Cooking?, you should. It is the blog I would write if I had more time. He photographs every step os his cooking process.
Maybe I will find a pearl while I am shucking. Does that really ever happen? I still remember reading The Cay in high school. That is really my only knowledge of how pearls are found; beyond my finding them at Lima Beads or Fire Mountain that is.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Favorite Sources for beads

My favorite place to buy beads has got to be Fire Mountian. I can not live without their headpins and silver plated beadcaps. The headpins are always uniform and priced right. Since I do mostly charm bracelets; I use a fair amount of headpins. At the height of my bracelet sales I would actually worry more about running out of headpins than I would milk or eggs. They are a staple around my house.

I also spend a fair amount of time in Hobby Lobby and Joann's. Otherwise, I buy vintage buttons, vintage bubble gum charms, and vintage beads on ebay.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Soul Satisfying

This morning as I got ready to leave for school I had a huge list of bead related topic ideas bouncing around in my head for my blog; but then the day happened. I was already excited as we had two events going on today at the middle school I teach at; Soul Food Taste and a student performed assembly. These events were coordinated by staff and volunteers to celebrate African American History Month; but really this was a celebration of diversity, coming together, and our "Bunker family".
I had arranged for some of my newspaper students to photograph at both events. I knew the day would be great. I knew we would get great photos. I did not know I would feel so invigorated by the phenomenal assembly and the fabulous food. What a day! I am still in the process of sorting and rating the photos my students took today, but I had to stop and write about it.
Since I am inspired by everything around me, I know a bracelet will arise out of this! I don't like to show student faces outside of school publications, regardless I loved the "foot photo" one of my students snapped anyhow.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

How flattering...

This has been a great month for me on etsy. I think it may be my best yet. With some multiple item sales I have sold around ten items this month. Ironically, that would have been a slow DAY for me back in my ebay days. I really do enjoy the more relaxed pace and warmth of the customers on etsy though. I think I would trade dealing with ebay for less sales anyday. I just love etsy!

Also on the flattering topic-I love searching "junquejules" and seeinf my work featured on so many blogs. What fun! Thank you.

I know that I need to get some photos up, but having to deal with so much Photoshop and InDesign work with my duties as the school news paper adviser, I am a little lazy in the photo are right now. Oh yeah-and not to mention the yearbook-a whole nother stoooorrry. I will post some pictures soon.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Back in the groove...

Since my little guy was born almost 3 years ago I haven't found as much time for the beads as I would like. Somehow, miraculously, I have found more time than usual lately. At the same time I have also discovered the Bead Star contest. Since discovering it less than a week ago I have decided on 5 of my 9 entries. I am glad that I didn't know about it sooner, as I know I would have second guessed my entries for months.
Along with the extra time to bead my sales seem to be picking up on etsy as well.
To make this a trifecta-We are only a few months away from closing on a new house which will greatly increase my studio space. I will no longer be relegated to a cubby in our library/husband's office/everything else room.
I will post a photo of my current studio as soon as I can put my on going projects away long enough to make it at least appear tidy-one of the side effects of having a toddler-I don't want to spend precious beading time on organizing. I think I need to remind myself how therapeutic sorting can be.
Ahh the good old days before having children-life was very different. I must remember-without my little guy in the house there would be no one to share my love of vintage buttons with. I could never have imagined beading with a toddler on my lap sorting buttons would work-but it does. It has to.