Sunday, September 28, 2008

Oink Oink - It's Ham Days

Every year, I say that I'm not keeping the gallery open all weekend during Ham Days here in Marion County, and every year I do it anyway. This year, I actually didn't setup in the arts & humanities booth, since we had so many other artists setup. I was a little worried that it would hurt my sales, but people are looking for bargains when they come here, not higher end jewelry designs, so I'm really not too worried about it. I did, however, decide last night after thinking about not sleeping and not seeing my daughter as much as I'd like, that I'd close up at 1:30 for the day and see her soccer game at 2, instead of having Mom watch the store during the game and then coming back. I've not had enough people in to stay open the extra time. Plus, I'm hosting a financial workshop Tuesday night in the gallery and leaving on Thursday for St. James... I gotta get some down time in! Not that I won't be beading on my sofa!

I'm trying to finish some projects before next weekend. A lot of friends have started freaking me out a bit about St. James. They're concerned that I won't have enough stock and that I'll sell out. Not that it would be a bad thing! I don't have another show until the second weekend in November and I need to make some ornaments for Christmas.

I started on my entry for the October Etsy-Beadweavers Challenge. I need to do some more before I make an opinion about it. I may end up using the first piece I did, I don't know. Can't take pix right now, either, as my friend Kassy has the memory chip out of my camera. I'll probably not post any new listings until after St. James, anyway, since I have to deactivate my listings during the show.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Treasuries, Makers and More

Thank you to everyone who voted for me in The Mark of Great Art project. The results were posted yesterday - I didn't place, but it appears that all three winners were paintings. It's hard sometimes to compare different media, especially when some of the voting was done online and it's hard to get the full impact of mixed media via the Internet. I won't lie & say I wasn't bummed a bit, but I made it this far and my pieces will now travel to New York for indefinite display, along with my contact information. Huzzah!

I'm featured in another Etsy treasury! Thanks to everyone who's been featuring me. I really appreciate the exposure!

Tax!! Taxi! (Someone get me a cab(ochon))

One of my bracelets was also used in an article through the Bluegrass Etsy Street Team.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Treasuries and Catching Up!

Things have been kind of crazy, wrapping up after Bourbon Fest and helping our local arts council prep for our setup this weekend. BUT:

I'm currently featured in two treasuries on Etsy:
B.E.S.T. of Fall!

Here is what we do in Kentucky!

I guess you can tell that the Bluegrass Etsy Street Team is getting out & active. I'm thrilled to be a part of such great teams with them & the Etsy-Beadweavers.

Back to Bourbon Fest - it was good, but like every other festival I've done this year, sales were down. It's to be expected with the economy, so I'm not letting it get me down. I did sell three of the items in my Etsy store, so I had to delete those, but I was happy to do it!

I'm prepping for the rosary-making class that I'm teaching tonight and for Ham Days this weekend. The gallery will be open all weekend and I'll be among the walking dead come Monday :) Then I get to do it all over again the following weekend!

I've started another cellini spriral, this time in black & white. I've also started working on another showpiece. I can't decide if it will be for the Fire Mountain contest or Bead Dreams for next year. I suppose it depends on the final piece and if I come up with something else I think will work for BD.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


The list of the smaller exhibits for The Mark of Great Art project was mailed out to the participating artists yesterday. I found out that both of mine are going to New York City. I'm just giddy thinking about my pieces being in an opening in NYC. When I was younger, I dreamed of living in a loft apartment in Greenwich, working in a gallery. I finally made it to NYC last year and am completely enamored with the city.

I'm so excited! I'd love to make it to the opening, but I'm pretty sure there's no way I could afford it. The cheapest tix I saw yesterday were in the $350 range, not including possible hotel rooms. A girl can dream!

There's still three days to vote for your favorite pieces in the exhibit, as well!

Prepping for Bourbon!

Bourbon Festival, that is! This weekend is the Kentucky Bourbon Festival. It's a long weekend, but it's one of my favorite festivals to do. It's a good crowd and I get to watch the folks drink during the day. Honestly, I get quite tickled at the husbands/boyfriends who've spent the majority of the day in the beer garden come into my booth, trying to find something for the wife/girlfriend to "make it up" for being inebriated! Gotta love 'em!

Monday & Tuesday, I spent the majority of the day making cell phone lanyards, labeling sales books, finishing pendants, etc. Now that those are done (48 lanyards!) and my Maker's Mark pendants are fired, polished and (some) dipped, I get to play! I bought some watch gears on etsy after I started getting more & more addicted to searching for Steampunk items. I've got a friend who's really into the movement and loved the first pair of earrings I made, so I'm looking forward to making more.

I also just got in an order from Dick Blick with molds, epoxy resin & decorative papers. I'm going to use the molds & resin to make some pendants with the watch parts encased and the papers are going to be used for paper beads. I'm a wee bit excited about trying new techniques. I'm such a dork about these things!

I haven't had time to photograph anything really, and with festival season upon me, I always get timid of listing anything online. And when I say festival season, it's Bourbon Fest this weekend, Ham Days the next (I just keep my store open all weekend) and St. James Court the next. Bourbon Fest is usually a good show for me and this is the first year I've gotten into St. James Court. I'm really excited about it, as the waiting list is a mile long. I've got a few weeks off after that & then the Sheltowee Art Fair in November. Luckily, that's my last one for the year!

I'm also trying to finish emailing images for Zoya with My Lovely Beads. I'm writing an article at her request and I always find it hard to write about myself, especially in the third person. But I'm not going to turn down an opportunity to be featured!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Featured again!

I just found out this morning that I'm the featured member this week on the Bluegrass Etsy Street Team's website. My Google alerts just happened to pick it up, so I was really surprised. Thanks so much to Robin & Corinne for the warm welcome and support. I'm so glad that I've gotten involved in Etsy and the teams. It feels good to be part of a group. If you don't belong to a street team and sell on Etsy, consider it. It's a good promotion tool for one, but if you find a good group, the people on there can be invaluable to you. I've found support through Etsy Beadweavers, Team Bluegrass and my Beadchat group at Yahoo. Thanks to all of you!

And don't forget to vote for the Mark of Great Art and the Etsy-Beadweavers September Challenge!

Thursday, September 11, 2008


The wonderful and fabulous Cyndi Lavin has featured me today in her blog, "Jewelry and Beading". I'm really excited about being featured among all of the other incredible artisans that Cyndi's already featured. Thanks so much, Cyndi!

There's a new article through my local paper about the Maker's Mark exhibit, as well.

And don't forget to vote for the Etsy-Beadweavers September Challenge!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Woo-hoo! An award :)

Julie over at GemsByJules gave me an award for the September Etsy Beadweavers Challenge, Complimentary Contradictions (GO VOTE!). My award is "Best Use of Wooden Rings" :) Julie does this for fun every month during the challenge and is a great beader on top of it. Check her out!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


Added three new pieces to my Etsy store yesterday. The first is "All that glitters..." which is an even-count peyote bracelet featuring twisted dark gold bugles and gold Delicas. The clasp is a gold button closure with a loop.

The next piece is a sort of study in tubular herringbone, featuring a rainbow of colors. It's rather large and could actually be worn as an anklet by smaller boned people. It also has a a button and loop closure.

The last piece is probably my favorite. The October Challenge for the Etsy-Beadweavers is "Animal Instincts." I thought I'd try a zebra print, but in different colors than black & white. I'm pretty happy with how it turned out, but I think I'm going to do another piece for the Challenge :)

Speaking of challenges - go vote for the September Challenge!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Quilt Patches

I posted earlier about the Quilt Patches myself and other members of the Etsy Beadweavers Street Team are making for Jeanette Shanigan’s 2009 Beaded Quilt. I finished my three squares over the weekend and am in the process of tacking them down to some Lacy's Stiff Stuff. My favorite is the cream one with the Heart and Celtic Knot. I'm thinking of expanding that design into a full-sized cuff.

In the meantime, I'm off to finish sewing & add some listings on Etsy!

Press Coverage of The Mark of Great Art

Just noticed a press release on my local newspaper's website about the Maker's Mark show. My friend is also a reporter there and was at the reception Friday night, so I hope to have pix posted after the paper runs on Wednesday. Can't believe I forgot my camera!

September EBW Challenge

EBW September Challenge Mosaic

Voting begins on Tuesday, September 9th and ends midnight September 15th. Please show your appreciation for the efforts of these amazing artists by taking on the difficult task of voting for your favorite. (The ballot will appear on the side bar at right on the Etsy-Beadweavers Blog on September 9.) The individual pieces are listed below the mosaic on the blog where you can visit each entry for more information by following the link. Thank you, enjoy and be sure to visit and vote between September 9th and 15th!

(I'm #10!)

Saturday, September 6, 2008

The Mark of Great Art

I went to the opening of "The Mark of Great Art" last night at Maker's Mark Distillery. What a show! I was really excited to be part of such an awesome event.

Maker's Mark commissioned pieces from 51 different Kentucky artists, all our individual interpretations of Maker's Mark - its product, the distillery, the creative process... whatever! They chose 2 of my ideas which I created over the course the the last few months, considering throwing one of them against the wall on several occasions. BUT, I'm really happy with the pieces and completely flattered to be the only jewelry artist in the entire exhibit (

There were some incredible pieces last night from artists that I've seen, know and some that I just discovered. After the show ends at Maker's Mark, the pieces will be split up into smaller shows that will travel to Chicago, New York, Lexington, Louisville, Seattle, San Francisco, London and Madrid. I'd love for one to end up overseas so I have an excuse to go see it! It's great exposure for me and I hope that others will see that jewelry can be wearable art.

Voting opens today on the website ( and continues through the 21st. 1st prize is $3,000, 2nd is $2,000 and 3rd is $1,000. I'm keeping my fingers crossed!

The first piece I completed was a cuff comprised of hundreds of 3mm Siam bicone Swarovski that I wove using RAW on Fireline. The beads were woven in the shape of the shutters on the warehouses at Maker's Mark which feature a cutout in the shape of the Maker's bottle. The shutters were then stitched on black leather, placed around a brass cuff, backed with more black leather which I then whipstitched to the top layer. I finished the edges with more Swarovski and a row of 15/0 silver-lined gold seed beads. Talk about shiny!

The second piece is the one that I nearly stopped several times. I created a mold of the Maker's seal and made 17 seals out of silver clay, each featuring a red CZ set in the star. After firing and polishing, I dipped each seal's edges in the Maker's red wax. I then embroidered around each piece, backing them with tan leather the color of the Maker's Mark label. After each seal was done, I brought them all together with more stitching and added Swarovski along the edges for a little more punch.

Like I said, I'm REALLY happy with how they turned out. I got a lot of positive feedback last night and had a lot of friends show up for the opening. What a great night & great event to be part of!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

A not-so-laborious Labor Day

I'd planned on spending much of my Labor Day weekend beading and catching up on some painting that I've neglected, but that didn't happen. Well, I got some beading done, but not as much as I wanted and no painting. On the other hand, my daughter had her first soccer practice and I giggled hysterically as 4-6 year-olds ran around the field.

I'd meant to post this piece earlier and kept forgetting. I'd started the herringbone chain months, if not a year, ago, originally working on a graduated chain. I ripped out all of the increases, taking the chain back down to its original size and finishing it out with a button & loop clasp, using a brass button I had. I raided my bead stash and found a large orange glass donut that I got in a mix a few years ago. I'm not usually much on orange, so the donut had sat there... with a nice layer of dust :)

I originally worked a 2 Delica-wide ladder around the donut and decided that it needed a bit more "oomph" and added beads on the front using brick stitch and fringe. I was pretty happy with the results, as was my mom, who took the piece within the week!

In other news, I've joined the Etsy Beadweavers in creating squares for Jeanette Shanigan’s 2009 Beaded Quilt. With a grandmother who conquered breast cancer, I'm very excited to be participating in the Quilt Project this year. I've started working on my squares and will post more as I finish them up.