Monday, April 30, 2012

Recap of Spring Into Art Show in Nappanee, IN

This past weekend mom and I had a show in Nappanee, IN which is located in Amish country.  Both mom and I had a wonderful time but now are exhausted!  It was a three day show; Friday was set up and an evening show, Saturday was the show from 10am to 5pm and Sunday was 1pm to 5pm then tear down and about a two and half hour drive home.  Both mom and I have our fingers crossed that they will allow us back in next year.

One great thing about the show, it is inside!!!  They had the vendors in four large rooms and the hallway, which was plenty of room.  This is our booth set up.  We were still figuring out what to do with the window but we now have an idea to put legs on the window so we can stand it up on the table.

This is mom, Friday night, before the show began.  We had a great opening night talking with the patrons and explaining the process of how we make our pieces.  I talked with one lady for about 15 minutes about the process.  She was a regular patron and sorely missed the show last year (Nappanee took last year off to revamp the show).  Unfortunately the customer's husband was not able to make the show and he missed coming.

What was wonderful was that the lady came back on Saturday to purchase a piece for husband.  We were a little late getting to the show because we were stuck behind a tractor pulling a grain bin.  Like I said we are up in Amish and farm country - the roads are narrow and hilly and I was not going to pass that tractor on narrow roads and rainy roads, so we were late.  The customer was waiting for us to arrive because she wanted us to write the process down on how we created the piece.  Like I said her husband was unable to attend, he is turning 93, and she wanted to bring a piece of the show to him and she bought one of our pieces to do it - how cool is that!!!!

This is the room we were in.  There was another jewelry artist, a potter, a lady who makes gorgeous scarfs and shawls and an oil painter.

This is the hallway with artists up and down it.  On Saturday there was even a balloon artist making balloon sculptures for the kids (though I really wanted one).

One of the other rooms with artist booths set up.

Another large room with more artists set up - the booth to the right is our friend Deb's set up.  She makes the most gorgeous lampwork beads and Sterling Silver PMC pendants!

Mom fell in love with this artists work - the sold painting is what mom bought (she ended up buying three of her paintings).  Agnes is from Poland, just moved to the states because her husband's company moved them here.  I am not sure if this is her first show or not, so mom and I gave her tons of information about shows around the area.  I wish I could have taking a better picture so you can see the stunning work she does.  Maybe once mom gets her paintings up on the walls I can take a better picture.  We also might be creating a collaboration piece with Agnes.  She is looking for a specific piece of jewelry and we told her to draw it up and we will see if we can create it.

They had a booth of high schoolers work - these kids do amazing work!!!  You can't really see it, but at the bottom left corner of the table, it is a pink swan, a kid made it all out of paper - GORGEOUS!!!!

I think Nappanee did a wonderful show.  The people who put the show on had a lot of advertisement (they used images of several of our pieces in posters and brochures), news articles and on TV.  They also had demonstrations of different artistic endeavors and even had talks about how to do art.

The scarf lady bought our elephant pendant for her daughter.  Her daughter just returned from South Africa and while she was there she was sending her mother pictures of elephants and what elephants to do tourists who end up to close to them.  I guess there are photos of one bull elephant chasing down a car and the car was trying to get away from the elephant.  The scarf lady bought the pendant so her daughter can use it as a Christmas ornament to put on her tree.

I was telling mom that I love this necklace but I never thought anyone would buy it.  I was so wrong.  We had a customer buy it on Sunday.  This is our "Captive Robin" necklace from the December 2010 ABS Challenge.  The customer was trying on several of our necklaces and I gave her an explanation of how each one of the necklaces were created.  She loved the story of this necklace.  This made mom and I feel like a million bucks.

Flowers from Bee Tree by m.e.

I will give a bit of advice - make sure you take your tools and your supplies if you can to a show.  It is a good thing we did this show because we had a customer ask if we could re-size this necklace for her and we were able to because we took our supplies.  The customer asked us to lower the two smaller flowers closer to the larger flower and make the necklace a little shorter.  We were able to do this for her and she asked if we would make another necklace like this with blue flowers.  So, I highly recommend taking your tools and working with the customers and you both will come out happy!!!! 

Another tip - smile and say hi.  Also explain what you do and how you create your pieces.  That will really draw the person in.  This gives the customer and idea of what you do and that the pieces are handmade.  We had one customer come behind our booth and tell mom we did wonderful work and thanks for explaining the process to her.  Mom also said she had one gentleman be so enthusiastic over her explanation of how we make our enameled pieces.  Another great tip is give good information to other artists, especially if they are starting out.  Like I wrote earlier mom and I made up a whole page of shows and gave it to Agnes and then we talked with another artist who was just starting out on Sunday.  We gave him a lot of information about shows he should contact to participate in.

I know this was a long post but there was so much to share with you all.  A little bit of what went on a little bit of advice.  Now I am off to unload the car, took today off because I don't think I could have gone to work this morning - too tired!

Oh, mom and I have some ideas for new pieces (possibly a cuff bracelet that I can't wait to try and make) so stay tuned for that.  I am going to try and open the Etsy store today, but who knows.  I hope you have a great week!

Monday, April 23, 2012

A Very Productive Weekend

I first had to share a photo of mom's cat Lily in one of the bucket seats on the cat tree.  So far she is the only one mom and I have seen who sleeps in those little seats.  When I took this photo she was nicely posing for me.

This weekend was production, production, production for us - the last push to get necklaces, bracelets and earrings done for next weeks show.  I was also able to enamel mom's Tree of Life plate and a heart pendant for a necklace she made.

First off, here are the layouts of the necklaces completed or still in the works to be completed:

Mom is calling this necklace "Fireball".  I stopped counting the number of times she re-did the design for the triangle pendants.  We did get the top half of the necklace laid out with lava stones, hematite and our flame lampwork beads.  Mom is not happy with the last creation of the pendant (she even wove all the triangles together).  So, right now it is sitting to the side until she can figure out what she wants to do.

This is the tray of the lotus necklace components.  Right now you can see mom grabbing one of the Czech beads because she is weaving them onto gunmetal chain.

This is mom weaving the beads onto the chain.  I did one side of one chain and I gave up.  I like the idea of it and I asked mom to show me how but I just don't have the patience for it.  Mom is such a great person to do this for me even though it was my idea :)  Thanks mom, you the bomb!!!

The completed Lotus Necklace:
The completed necklace with one enameled copper lotus pendant, gunmetal chain with woven Czech beads and watercolor silk ribbon.

Woven beads
Lotus pendant
Our next layout is of our lampwork glass beads:

I made a set of these beads as a test for the February ABS Challenge piece but both mom and I liked the other beads I made for that project.  Though mom loved these beads so much she asked me to make more for a necklace.

We are calling this necklace "Green Gables"

The necklace is accented with freshwater green pearls and Czech beads with a Sterling Silver toggle clasp.

A close up of the beads.

This is the layout of another necklace we have to put together.  Not sure if we will get it completed yet or not, crossing our fingers.

Here are other completed projects we got done yesterday:

Tree of Life plate.  I need to try and get a better shot of this plate but it is giving me issues, oh well, thank goodness for digital cameras!  The powdered enamels I used were black and transparent turquoise for the tree, transparent oranges/reds for the Celtic design and greens for the leaves.

Green Viking Knit necklace with Czech beads strung on the wire.  We used 26 gauge Parawire to weave the Viking Knit and mom strung the beads through the necklace.

Close up of the weave and the beads.

The last necklace we got done.  We had the silver Viking Knit but mom wanted a heart pendant with the "peacock" colors I used for the February challenge piece for the heart.

Close up of the heart pendant.

I know we already shared this photo, but the necklace was part of our productive weekend so I thought I would finish with it.  This piece is called The North Wind and it is our challenge piece for the April ABS Challenge.  You can find out more about it here.

We still have a few necklaces to make and I have a whole tray laid out of components to make bracelets.  We will see how many get done before Thursday evening.  I hope you all had a productive weekend like we did and I hope you have an awesome week!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

I Heart Macro - Explosion of Color

This week I am calling it Explosion of Color for our I Heart Macro shots.

Last week I teased you with this photo to bring you back for this week's I Heart Macro.

Well, here are the rest of those photos of this flower.  I am thinking it is a tulip or a lily, not sure and of course I didn't take a picture of the sign that the gardeners put out next to the flowers.

I know this one is blurry but I just love seeing the petals and all the pollen on them.  It is so unreal that you can't see this with the naked eye, not until you start looking at the photos you took on the monitor.  Sometimes it looks like a whole different world.

The petal colors are amazing, the stamens colors are fabulous.

See what I mean, unreal :)

Thanks for coming back and seeing the rest of the flowers.

Today is an enameling day - one more plate and a pendant that mom will put on a silver Viking Knit chain.  I also have to take pictures of the necklaces we finished on Saturday.  Oh, we did finish our piece for the April ABS Challenge and you can check out here.  We had a busy weekend and I think we are almost ready for the show next weekend (Friday, Saturday and Sunday).   I am ready to go back to work just to relax :)

April ABS Challenge Piece - The North Wind

Boreas by John William Waterhouse, 1903
Oil on canvas
68.8 x 94 cm
Mom and I were actually able to finish our piece for the April ABS Challenge before the deadline.  I think this is the first time in awhile.  The painting is a Pre-Raphaelite style painting oil on canvas.
Called Boreas after the north wind in Greek mythology, the work shows a young girl in a windswept landscape. In 1904 the Royal Academy notes described the subject as: "In wind-blown draperies of slate-colour and blue, a girl passes through a spring landscape accented by pink blossom and daffodils". (From the ABS Challenge blog post)

This is our piece for this month's challenge.  Mom and I are calling it The North Wind.

The pendant was designed by mom and then she sawed the pendant out of 20 gauge copper with a jewelers saw.  I then enameled the piece with transparent purples, transparent otter brown, and black powdered enamels.

The lampwork glass beads are made by us.  I used a base transparent purple with green frit on top.  I wanted to base the beads on the grass in the painting.  I used freshwater yellow pearls as accents for the daffodils.

The larger beads are Multicolor Fire Agate which I have been wanting use for a long time.  I fell in love with these beads when mom and I were at Von's and mom said buy them.  Love the colors and textures of these beads.  Since the girl is wearing a shawl I wanted to add texture to the piece so I used one of our watercolor silk ribbons.

So, that is our piece for the April ABS Challenge.

I am going to go post it out on our Facebook page, Flickr and the April ABS blog post.  Then it is back out in the garage to help mom assemble necklaces - last push to finish pieces before next week's show.  I also need to file and sand one more plate and get that enameled tomorrow.  So, busy weekend.  I hope you have a wonderful Saturday and Sunday!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Weekend Review

First off I wanted to show you the fully assembled cat tower.  Mom took the whole thing apart last week and got it assembled for the fur babies.  I was really hoping Lily was in one of the baskets but she was not obliging today in the picture department.

Mom has been working on tagging everything with the Nappanee show inventory tags.  She finished up the bowls on Saturday so I would have a table to enamel on Sunday.  She has finished tagging the necklaces and the only things left are the bracelets, pendants, and earrings.

This is a sawing project mom has been working on since around 2007.  It was one of her first sawing projects, ambitious isn't she.  It is a large Tree of Life piece.  Mom has gotten so good at manipulating the saw and saw blades into places you were sure the blade would break.  I seriously need to buy mom a bigger jewelers saw for larger pieces!!!

Mom manipulating the saw.

Finally the finished piece - just took four/five years to finally saw out.  We will work on filing and sanding this week and I will enamel it this weekend.  It is hard to tell, but there is a Celtic design in the tree. 

This is the pendant we are using for this month's ABS Challenge - Boreas by John William Waterhouse, 1903. 

I laid out some beads for ideas for the necklace.  I also want to add watercolor silk to the necklace.  I want to talk with mom over the piece before I start assembling it.

This is a plate I also enameled yesterday - Guardian of the Woods.  This is our third Guardian of the Woods plate and we hope it sells as fast as the other two Guardian's did.  I used transparent reds/oranges/yellows/greens in this plate.

I wanted to share a couple other enameled plates that I am not sure if I have shared in the past.  One is a better shot of the Paisley bowl, African Mask and Harlequin Mask.

I was using transparent purples and pinks in this bowl and trying to give a swirl pattern.  Mom was also challenging herself in the sawing department - how small can she go???

Mom really love this piece.  When she was sawing it out she would stop and just stroke the copper - yes, I know she is weird but I still love her :)  At first I wasn't to keen on the piece (before it was enameled) but once the color was added I love it!  I think mom might cry if this piece ever sells.

This is a Harlequin Mask.  I used different color greens, transparent purples, white and red when I enameled the piece.  Mom accented the mask with red beads.

That is it for the day.  Mom is on the couch reading and I am heading home to crash on the couch to read.  Have a great one!
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