Saturday, June 30, 2012

BSBP Partner and Vacation So Far

One Crayon Color Hop piece - Backstory Beads
Last week mom and I found out who are partner is for the 6th Bead Soup Blog Party, Karin of Backstory Beads.

A Time to (Herringbone) Stitch

Because the kids are here for vacation (my niece and nephew from Oklahoma) mom and I have not had much of a chance to check out Karin's blog.  I have been hitting her blog any free moment I can and her pieces are amazing.

Old Design, New Stitch
Mom and I are really looking forward to working with Karin for this Bead Soup Party.  I will be taking pictures of what we are sending Karin today or tomorrow - depends on what we do with the kids this weekend (either Chicago to the museums or back to the swimming pool).

Now - the recap of what has happened with the kids so far.

We met my brother and the kids at Holiday World/Splashin' Safarai.  The kids seemed to really enjoy it last year so mom thought we would go again this year.  Because of mom's feet we didn't go to Splashin' Safari, my brother took them the day before we arrived.  We did go to Holiday World with mom sitting in her transport chair the whole time - so good job mom.

Sorry for the poor quality of the pictures - I was using our waterproof camera and some of the pictures came out clear and some are just a little fuzzy.  This is Skyler in the bumper cars - I think that is his most favorite ride.

Kaitlyn in the bumper cars - she is a little diva when it comes to getting her photos taken.

Mom and Kaitlyn on the swings - I guess this was a new ride this year.

Kaitlyn and Skyler playing games. 

Overall I think the kids had a great time.  The next day was the drive to mom's house and all we really did was go grocery shopping and play games.

Kaitlyn and Skyler playing Corn Hole and would take breaks to run in the sprinkler.

Skyler throwing the bean bags.  Love the look on his face.

The kids running through the sprinkler.

Skyler sticking his head in the sprinkler.

After playing outside the kids took a break by playing mom's Wii - Skyler is showing us how it is done.

Skyler trying to tell mom how to get through the obstacle course - just so you know both mom and I suck at the obstacle course and Skyler makes it look way to easy!

The next day we went to the Children's Museum in Indianapolis - Skyler doesn't like his picture taken so I don't have him with mom or Kaitlyn.  I would have to sneak photos of him.

There is a piece by Dale Chihuly in the museum and there is an area where kids can use plastic version of the glass pieces to create their own works of art.  This is the piece the kids were working on.

Kaitlyn with some of the pieces to work on their masterpiece.

Their finished piece.

Kaitlyn defeats a crocodile.

There was a Lego Land area and the kids spent a wonderful time in that area.  The above is a picture of Kaitlyn with her very large mobile Lego piece.

Skyler building his Lego masterpiece.

Skyler then was racing his Lego pieces on these tracks they had set up in the room.  No matter what he says I know he had a good time in this section of the museum.

Mom, Aunt Sherry and Kaitlyn
The next day we went to Fair Oaks Daiy.  We asked my Aunt Sherry to come along for the fun.  This is one of the better pictures I took of all three of them together.  We are watching Skyler as he plays on the bungee jumps.

This Kaitlyn having fun on the bungee jumps.

Another photo of Kaitlyn having fun jumping.

Skyler on the bungee jump - we are very proud of him for doing this.  We even think he went higher each time he got on - Skyler is afraid of heights so this and the climbing wall is amazing that he did it.

This is both kids on a climbing wall that they have on the grounds.

Skyler starting up the wall.

Skyler getting all the way to the top and ringing the bell.

Skyler coming down from ringing the bell.  I don't know why, but I love this photo of him coming down - he just looks so professional.

A photo of Kaitlyn ringing the bell - she had a slow start but by the end of the day I think she did all four sides of the climbing wall.

Kaitlyn making her way down from ringing the bell.

I thought this image was too cute not to share.  I giggle everytime I see it.

Kaitlyn trying to make sure she doesn't drop any of that good ice cream!

Me trying to get a photo of Skyler eating ice cream - love how he is eating it from the bottom.  Oh boy was that ice cream good!!!

That is it for the images but not of the fun.  We have gone to the pool the last two days, but no photos of that adventure.  We also went to Chuck-E Cheese one night (now I understand why they serve beer for the adults) and mom took them to Monster Golf last night.

Like I said, not sure if it is the pool again today or Chicago.  I think it depends on the weather because it was thunderstorming this morning. 

I hope you enjoy our little show of what has been going on this week.  Just one more week with the kids and then it is back to Oklahoma and back to our usual routine.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Enameling Saturday and Kidlets

Today was an enameling session - making pendants for family as gifts.  It felt good to enamel because I don't even remember when the last time was.  Between mom and me having migraines and mom's foot acting up - just haven't been working in the studio like we should.  Though mom has been better at it than me.  Need to get back into the groove again, and it was nice to enamel today, not too hot and not too cold.

I did have the larger fan going because it was pretty warm over by the kiln though the rest of the garage was about 80 degrees.

A couple of pieces ready to go into the kiln.  The elephant had to be fixed that is why there is no enamel on him.  This piece has needed to be fixed for about three years - finally did it.  I really wish I knew what colors I used to make it because I love it!

The group of finished pendants.

This is an "Earth" pendant - wheat.  The colors used were miscellaneous yellows and black.

The elephant pendant - I know it is transparent colors but not sure what ones.  I guess I will be experimenting.

A gecko pendant - various greens and red.

A Guardian of the Woods pendant - miscellaneous transparent greens, yellows, oranges and red.

A heart pendant with my favorite mixed enamels - "Peacock".  I really love how these three enamels mix together!!!!

A "Peace Symbol" pendant with the peacock colors.

A triangle pendant with black, transparent purple and transparent turquoise.  I was again trying to get the colors of our "Cosmos" bowl.  Didn't get there again.  You can see a bit of turquoise on the bottom right leg and you can see the purples.  Oh well...I will keep trying to recreate the "Cosmos" bowl.

Mom and I received an email from Lori last night with the name of our Bead Soup partner - Karin Slaton.  We need to email her and introduce ourselves and find out more about her.  Once we have more information we will be sharing.  Now the exciting part - what we send her and what we receive from her.  More later!!!

Mom, Kaitlyn and Skyler
In a little while mom and I will be on the road to Jasper/Santa Claus, Indiana.  We are meeting up with my brother, his girlfriend, her daughter and the kidlets.  Brian is taking everyone to Splashin' Safari today (mom couldn't do it because of her foot) and tomorrow we are going to Holiday World.  I have the transport chair in the car for mom to sit in tomorrow.  She is only allowed to get out of the chair to go to the restroom, eat, give hugs to the kids and get on the rides - that is it!  On Monday the kids are coming back with us for two weeks.  Mom and I have been looking for things to do around the area where I can push her in the chair and keep the kids occupied.  I think we will be doing a lot of museums and zoos.
Mom and I want to thank everyone who has voted for us.  There is still time to go and vote. Please go to and click on Log In with Facebook to Support Your Community and type EB Bead and Metal Works in the small business box.
I will try and check email, Facebook and the blog while the kids are here.  No guarantees though.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Vote Small Business

Mom and I have the opportunity to qualify for a small business grant.  The criteria is to get 250 votes from friends, family and perfect strangers.

We are asking you to please take time to vote.  We would be grateful for your time and support.

Please go to and click on Log In with Facebook to Support Your Community and type EB Bead and Metal Works in the small business box.

This grant would mean a lot to me and mom - for one thing we both would love to finally buy our Rolling Mill.  I have been wanting one for over five years since mom bought me texture plates for Christmas and I have not had a chance to use them yet.  Also, it would be so nice to put A/C and heat in the garage so we aren't alternating between roasting in the summertime (I have been in saunas cooler than our garage with the kilns going) and freezing in the winter (sometimes the only thing you can see are our beady little eyes through the layers of clothes).

Thank you again for taking the time to vote for us!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Jewelry Designers by Accident - 6th Bead Soup Party

It is that time again, the 6th Bead Soup Blog Party put on the most wonderful Lori Anderson, Pretty Things.

Bead Soup August 2011 - Partner Erin Prais-Hintz

Sign up for the party ends tonight at midnight.  Lori will then match all of us up with partners, we send our partners "Bead Soup", we mix it all into something wonder and then we reveal what each of us had made on the reveal date.

Bead Soup June 2010 - Partner Christine of A Hot Piece of Glass
Lori had a wonderful idea on how to get the Bead Soup Party started - write a blog post about why you became a jewelry artist - though mom and I don't consider ourselves artists.  Mom really hates calling herself an artist.

Bee My Honey
For me, I wasn't really artistic as a kid.  The last art classes I took were in junior high school in 1986, I believe. Of course during high school, I drew a little bit but not much. Of course during my time in the military, I never even thought about art.  Though there are times I would sit down and write poetry, but nothing I would share with anyone except Mom.

February ABS Challenge Piece - Lei it on me
I always knew mom was an artist.  She would always draw and paint things for my Brownies or for my elementary school classes.  Mom would also always paint my face for Halloween and make our costumes too.  I don't ever not remember mom doing something cool for me or my brother.

My first jewelry ever - OMG!!!
I remember exactly when I got hooked - June 2004.  I was taking a management class at Ivy Tech and we had to interview a small business owner.  I remember my grandpa giving me a newspaper clipping about a glass store that opened in 2003.  So, I called up the store and asked if I could interview the owner - Sharon Owens of Inspired Fire.  I had a wonderful talk with Sharon and my group and I did a great presentation, which we got an A on.  I remember talking about the store a lot with mom - she went ahead and bought me a beginning class on flameworking.  In the class we learned how to make several different beads, make a sculpture piece, blow a glass ornament and make a marble.  I HAD A BLAST!!!

My flame beads with orange, yellow and dark red

For about six months I just made beads - though mom and Sharon kept telling me I had to make something out of those beads instead of hoarding them.

One of my first necklaces
As you can tell I had no clue what I was doing - just making it up as I went along, both in jewelry making and photography.  Until I found out that Purdue University offered a Jewelry and Metalsmithing class.  I started taking classes spring of 2005.

One of my first major projects - lampwork beads, Sterling
Silver Celtic cut outs - enameled pendant - all handmade
measurements done by mom
During my time in class and making beads at Inspired Fire, mom would help me by cleaning beads or measuring necklaces (I hate measuring!!).  Mom would also help me with my design ideas.  She also put up with a lot from me when I was in my Two-D design and drawing classes - I HATE DRAWING WITH A PASSION.  The Two-D design class I was living with mom at the time and I think she was ready to kill me by the time the class was over with.  It is a good thing I was living in my own house when I took the drawing class because I think she would have really killed me then.

First enameled bowl ever - my Color in Metal class Fall 2006
In 2006, I brought mom into the madness of sawing, flameworking and enameling.  That is the year my grandma died, and I think mom was ready for a change.  That summer I bought mom a beginning lampworking class; then I started teaching her how to saw and enamel (though I usually don't let her enamel because she goes a little crazy with the enamels).

African Mask - mom sawed and me enamel
I think it was the summer of 2007 that mom and I started going to craft shows.  We teamed up with another mother/daughter team and did our first show at the Brookston Apple/Popcorn festival.  I think we only did one other show at the Harrison High School.

One of our first pieces - together
Because mom and I work full time, and at the time I was going to school part time, there was not a whole lot of shows we could do.  We only had, at most, four or five bowls for sale at the time and not a whole lot of inventory. 

Jan 2012 ABS Challenge - Tra-La-La
I started the blog on December 12, 2008.  I really didn't start doing a lot of blogging until early 2010. I don't think we got our first comment until February 10, 2010 and it was by our one and only Lori, Pretty Things.

January 2010 ABS Challenge
So, a lot has happened since we started this trip in 2006.  Mom and I have bought lampworking torches, a bead kiln and an enameling kiln, a drill and a metal cutter and lots of glass for making beads and a lot of different components to make jewelry.

Warrior Woman 1 - Donated Necklace
Mom and I have had several our pieces published in magazines, donated pieces to a cancer benefit, participated in three other Bead Soup Blog parties (June 2010, February 2011, and September 2011) participated in numerous Art Bead Scene Monthly Challenges, Erin Prais-Hintz The Challenge of ColorChallenge of Music and Challenge of Literature

Art on the Wabash 2011

We have moved from craft shows to juried art shows.  We have started to have a following of loyal customers both on Etsy and at the art shows.  At the Sleepy Creek, Salt Fork River Festival, we have one customer who comes each year to buy one of our bowls.  She packs up all her other bowls, lays them out on the table so she can figure out what new bowl will go with her collection. At our Delphi Art Show, we have customers asking weeks in advance to make sure we are going to participate - so that makes us feel like a million bucks - that someone likes us even though we are soooo not mainstream.

PeaTalk - ABS Challenge Piece
So, that is our story of how we got started on this mad ride.  I had a lot of fun writing this post because it gave me a chance to go back and look at photos I have taken.  Oh my goodness, just in the last two years the pictures have improved substantially, and, of course, the jewelry has evolved.  It is so cool to see where you started and where you are currently.  It will be fun to come back in a year to see what ways we have changed again.

I hope you enjoyed reading about our journey.
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