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Thursday, December 31, 2009
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Now, I am a mother, and instead of a Sewing Club I find my self part of several delightful groups of beaders. I belong to the Upper Midwest Bead Society , Etsy Beadweavers , and am occasionally invited to bead with a group of friends who all worked (at various times) at my favorite bead store, The Bead Monkey in Minneapolis. And my impression as a child of the wonder of comraderie and friendship that grows around shared interest was correct. It is indeed wonderful to have people who share your joys and concerns to talk to, and from whom to seek advice.
Kerrie Slade wrote a lovely blog post about the joys of being part of a "big crafty circle" of online artisans. As a part of that post, she passed on to my humble blog the "Superior Scribbler" award. I am so pleased! :o) Membership does have its privileges, although I am not in the same class, scribbler skill wise! I had to learn a whole new link skill to create this post. Thank you for the gentle shove Kerrie. Part of the recipient's duty is to pass on the award to five worthy recipients, so these are my choices:
* Each Superior Scribbler must in turn pass The Award on to 5 bloggy friends.
* Each Superior Scribbler must link to the author & name of the blog from whom he/she has received the award.
* Each Superior Scribbler must display the award on his/her blog and link to this post which explains the award.
*Each Blogger who wins The Superior Scribbler Award must visit and add his/her name to the Mr. Linky List - that way, we'll be able to keep up to date on everyone who receives the award.
* Each Superior Scribbler must post these rules on his/her blog.
OK. I have done my part. Now if you want to play along, it's your turn!
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Then, yesterday, she brought her charming husband Bill to my costume studio to begin the process of creating a new ballroom suit for him. Cathy has wonderful taste and a great sense of style, and I really enjoy her input, both on the costumes I make for her and on Bill's behalf. While my tailor Michele was measuring Bill, I pointed out my newest finished necklace to Cathy. I always have my most recent piece on display in my studio, and as a fellow beader, Cathy is a great audience, and always has a useful comment. This time, she fell in love. I had not even priced the piece, but she knew she wanted it, and today, it is hers. I do have to make her a shorter neckstrap, as she's a slim girl, so while it's still in my posession, she agreed to let me show it off. Most Excellent Teenager had tentatively named the piece "Mold." My tailor Michele suggested "Lichen," but I'll let Cathy give it it's final name. I love knowing she'll own it. I am very fond of it, and am so glad it's going to a good home. Here it is!I think it's gonna look even better on her than the hat did! Aren't friends wonderful?
Monday, September 14, 2009
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
This weaving replaces my original idea, "Fuschia Profusion." Gardens here seem to be alive with fuschia flowers in late summer, and my own personal one is somewhat overgrown; less well-tended due to the time I am spending at the beading counter. I thought to capture that sense of lush excess with a necklace, and was pleased with the result pictured here. This necklace was purchased in my costume studio by a lovely woman who came in to try on ballroom gowns. I was thrilled to sell the piece to someone I could plainly see loved it, but sad to lose my challenge piece!
Sunday, August 23, 2009
and so were selling their discontinued colors for $1 a tube. This was fantastic for me! I bought all the tubes of this color they had, and am hoping it will be sufficient. Anyone want to hazard a guess as to what this is trying to be?
I'll provide a hint. It's for a contest. So it is for a purpose, other than making something I think might sell in my Etsy shop. Actually, I think only a collector of beadwoven art might purchase this item, so selling is really not a motivation for this piece.
So here's another quick snapshot, from a few days ago. Does it focus your estimating? I'm not convinced that this will stay as is, but this new section is behaving at least somewhat as I hoped it would, unlike the bit I did last night, which will need to be ripped out for sure. Hence, no photo of that section, although it might be descriptive...
Place your bets ladies. The project needs to be done by September 22nd, so I have a month to fool around with it. I'll keep you posted. I am hoping my energy stays focused on finising this little number, and I thought maybe telling you about it would encourage a bit of responsibility. Thanks for taking a peek, and helping me hold myself accountable. Feel free to post a guess, if you have one!
Sunday, August 9, 2009
I began this journey in April with a visit to the gallery. I had visited previously, but saw it from a different perspective as a potential consignee. They specialize in local artists, and demonstrate a respect for the work, while creating a very accessible and unpretentious atmosphere. The jewelry artist (usually only one at a time) has an open display area, as opposed to being behind glass, which I thought was important for beadweaving, due to its tactile nature. And right above the jewelry display, there is a BIG mirror, another of the things I value. A personalized and private approach to buying art is possible in this gallery, and I think the process of choosing adornment to wear around your neck is a very personal one. On my visit, a client was picking up a painting she had purchased from, and had framed by, the gallery. She was very pleased with the results, and I liked how she was treated. The place felt good to me.
Sunday, June 28, 2009
Let me set the stage for you. At 7:30am, it was literally POURING rain. If you have never visited Minnesota, the Land of 10,000 Lakes, you have maybe never seen rain like this. It let up at 8am for registration, and stayed dry just long enough to make it possible to find my spot and get my tent up, (this with the help of The Best Man Ever and Most Excellent Teenager) and then it poured again. This was actually helpful, as I knew my tent was indeed watertight, and also exactly where my tables should be to stay dry.
This particular art fair is still in it's youth. It is a one day affair, and part of a City of Minnetonka Summer Festival. It takes place on the grounds of a beautifully restored turn of the century historical homesite, the Burwell House. Originally the Burwell House portion of the festival was an old fashioned Ice Cream Social with bands and entertainers and house tours and an open air antique market. Three years ago, the city decided to add an art fair.
The majority of the people attending are there for the ice cream and entertainment, not to buy art. But many were happy to look, and most were enthusiastic and complimentary. No one was rude, or questioned either aesthetic or price . The value in this experience, although obviously not monetary, was immense, and I really want to write it down while it's fresh in my mind.I learned a great deal about selling my work. I learned that my beadwork is TACTILE, and looking at it is not the same as TOUCHING it. It needs to be turned over and EXPLAINED. Materials that are amazing need to be pointed out. What makes for good beadwork, like no visible threads or stitches on the front or back of the work, needs to be demonstrated. And most important of all, people need to TRY IT ON, and see themselves wearing it in a BIG MIRROR. It makes a difference how I am dressed, and I think this will vary from fair to fair. And, spending next to no money on my display, other than the cost of the tent, does not really create a fantastic environment. It was functional, but could be so very much more. Thank God for my Fairy Bead Mother's (Hannah Rosner, Good River Gallery) great advice about the bed risers under my table legs, because that was pure genius and kept my stuff up high enough to be seen without a backache for me or my browsers.
At about the half way point in the fair, my friend Donna joined me. Donna is a petite, delicate woman, but you musn't let her seemingly small aspect mislead you. Donna is a dynamo. She is a tiger. And when she gets her teeth on an idea, she does not let go. I learned alot from her about persistence and positive thinking. I also learned the difference between an ATTRIBUTE and a BENEFIT. The attributes are the things I like to talk about; how the work is done, why I chose the materials, what inspired the piece, and how it might best be worn. But it hadn't occurred to me to discuss benefits. Like, when I wear something I have made, people stop me to ask about it. Check out girls and dental hygienists and Most Excellent Teenager's teachers all want to know about my personal, portable art. That's a benefit of buying art for your neck instead of for your wall. And the fact that those lovely beaded toggles are so easy to use, as well as gorgeous. Benefits. Donna was so helpful!
Then, when the wind came up, Most Excellent Teenager and friend Jayd and The Best Man Ever appeared with bags of water softener salt, (which he informed me we needed anyway) and bungee cords, and secured the EZ-UP, so Donna and I didn't have to worry about taking a trip somewhere over the rainbow. Heroes! I love my boys.
Another art fair? You bet. There are wonderful fairs here, most of which need to be applied for by March, and I was not ready in March 2009. March 2010? Haute Ice Beadwork is fair ready!
Saturday, June 20, 2009
Let me introduce you to Power Pro! It says right on the fabulous green (my favorite green, mind you) spool that this is ULTRA SENSITIVE and SUPER STRONG. What more could any girl ask for?
I have tried several beading threads. As a classically trained tailor, when I discovered that silamide was a beading thread, I was ecstatic. I love silamide for pad stitching, rolling collars, all kinds of finishing and even basting, but somehow, it never felt right to me for beading. Just didn't seem to be strong enough for my purposes. So that was a brief affair.
Then I discovered fireline. Lots of strength there, and for a gal with a pretty tight hand, it does a great job with structure and bezels. Sadly, there were limitations. I love beadwork that moves with the wearer, and fringe is a favored technique. Fireline is just lousy in fringe! Too crispy and crinkly. Fringe should be supple. So although I still use fireline, it just wasn't the answer to all my needs.
In a class with Diane Fitzgerald, I was introduced to nymo. And not just nymo! Doubled nymo, with a shop tag knot, coated with (what seemed to me like tons of) microcrystaline wax. Now I don't like double thread for anything in my dressmaking and tailoring world. I'd rather sew twice any day. But after the six hours of class, it was growing on me. Sadly, the stuff has no twist, and for a silamide fan, that just feels wrong. Plus, it's so easy to split when you pass back through. Thankfully, it does make nice fringe. Both fireline and nymo had a place in my life, but neither was the whole package I was looking for.
Enter Power Pro! What a dashing hero. Soft, supple, strong, and nicely braided. I have been working on my Etsy Beadweavers "Here Comes the Bride" project all week and as is my usual style, I have moved ahead and then "de-beaded" to try a different idea multiple times. I am used to having to start a new thread after ripping back, because fireline kinks and nymo splits, but honey, let me tell you, Power Pro is all a girl could want in a beading thread. I fringed and re-fringed multiple times with NO sign of wear of any sort. It's got staying power I have never experienced! I am feeling like I've met my beading partner for life.