Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Final Reveal - Cup of Bead Soup by Lori

Beads and Pendant we Sent Lori
Today is the big reveal of the final piece by Lori on Pretty Things.

Mom and I were so excited to finally see the finished piece - there are no words to describe it.  Ok, there is one word - STUNNING!  I had to clean off my computer because I was drooling all over it. 
I am giving you a sneak peek of it.  To see the whole gorgeous piece head on over to Lori's blog and see the whole thing.

I have this warm and fuzzy feeling from just looking at the necklace.  Lori, you are the bomb woman!  Thank you for this stunning piece of art.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Weekend Fun

This weekend mom and I had a show at Sleepy Creek Vineyards.  Joe and Dawn were kind enough to let us set up shop and give demos on Saturday.  We had the whole upstairs gallery to spread out and work.  I was showing people how to saw out copper and mom did demos on how to do Viking Knit.  It was a lot of fun.

Sign that Announced We Were There
As you walked in the front door this sign was sitting in front of the counter.  It was used to announce we were in the house.  I love the little Viking helmets!

Here are signs pointing the way to where we were located - up in the gallery.  It was pretty cool up there and we got our exercise going up and down those steps.

At the top of the stairs we had a presentation running on my laptop of how we make the bowls, make the beads and do Viking Knit.  Over the Christmas holidays mom wants to re-work the presentation and we also need to add the photos of how we make the pendants.

This was where we set up the inventory, so the rest of the space could be used for the sawing demo and the Viking Knit demo.  The table looks a little bare because mom and I forgot to take a tube of our enameled bowls.  We had everything laid out to pack but we just didn't have the tube with the large and small bowls.  Oh well, we have another sale day today that we can lay out the bowls.

This was the sawing set up.  There is a bench pin on each end and then we had saws, saw blades, files and sanding sticks if there was anyone who wanted to try sawing.  It ended up just me doing demonstrations if someone came upstairs.  I guess no one wanted to be brave enough to try sawing.  Mom and I were able to saw out several pendants and set of earrings that I will be enameling next weekend.

Mom even made up instructions.  I love the first line, "If you drink, DON'T SAW!"  Which was a wise move, if I can saw myself without drinking can you imagine what would happen if someone was sawing after having some wine, not a pretty picture!

This was the table set up for Viking Knit demonstrations.  Mom actually had more ladies participate in this demo.  Mom had created a bundle of 24 gauge copper wire and a dowel rod to give to people along with instructions.  All the ladies were very intense on learning how to do the Viking Knit and I think came away with a real appreciation of what mom and I make. 
Today we just plan on having the inventory laid out downstairs.  Then mom and I plan on just sitting there knitting away, talk with Dawn, have some coffee or wine slushies.  A nice and relaxing way to end the four day holiday.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Some of My Favorite Things

Since it is that time of year to be shopping for gifts for family, friends, acquaintances or yourself; I thought I would share some of my favorite things with you guys.  I thought I would do this once a week until Christmas is upon us to help you with gift giving ideas.  All of the pieces I will show you are from shops found on Etsy and this was so hard to just narrow down my choices to eight because I have over 100 shops saved in my favorites on Etsy, and the list just keeps on growing.

Without further ado, here are Some of My Favorite Things:

Star Barn 2 - Xenyas' Shop
Om Red Silk Scarf - Joy in my studio Shop

The Birdz - Julsbeads' Shop

Recycled Brown Leather Handbag - WaterstoneJewelry Shop
Midnight Cedars - Jane Perala Designs Shop
Sterling Silver Etched Cuff Floral - Karla Wheeler Design Shop
Fingerless Gloves - LazyTCrochet Shop
Fiery Autumn - RaceyTay Shop
Happy shopping be it in the stores or on Etsy!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

My Family - Aunt, Uncle and Cousins along with
mom and niece and nephew

I wanted to wish everyone a wonderful and family filled (food, must be food) Thanksgiving. 

The above photo is of my wonderful, crazy, and loveable family.  I am so thankful that I have been able to participate in vacations and holidays with them since I got out of the Army.  Thank you for bringing mom and I along.  You guys are the bomb!!!!

To all of our blogging friends - Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.  You have brought so much joy to mom and I over the last year.  We are so thankful for you all.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Studio Weekend

New Inventory in Etsy
Yesterday was a day that I took photographs of earrings and pendants then worked on cropping and resizing the images and then uploading all into our Etsy shop.  There were 24 new pieces that I uploaded yesterday.  That was about 10 hours of work and I am proud of myself for getting that done.

Mom and I did take a break to do some errands.  I had to get a haircut and I wanted to look for new shoes.

Duct Tape in Right Shoe

Padding Coming Out

I have had these shoes for almost seven years, when I started working full time at my current job.  I love these shoes, but when you are using duct tape to cover up a hole because all the padding has falling out there I think it is time to buy a new pair of shoes.  But boy did I get my money's worth out of these shoes.

New Shoes - Dansko
I have read Lori Anderson loves these shoes and I know my aunt loves them because she owns three pairs.  My aunt, who is a nurse, said she knows of other nurses and doctors who swear by them.  I have really bad feet, so I will try anything for my feet not to hurt.  Of course I have never bought shoes that cost that much, unless you count my jump boots from the Army.

White Board - List of thing to do

Today was working in the studio, even though mom still wasn't feeling up to snuff.  She has been hacking and snotting around - joy what fun for the both of us.

Me torching a plate

I only had a few things to enamel today.  I torched a plate for mom to form and then I got busy enameling.  I had the plate and three pendants to get done.  One pendant is for the November Art Bead Challenge, a pendant is for a friend (Kristen on My Bead Journey) and the other pendant was something mom cut out a long time ago, but I have been putting off enameling because I knew it would be a pain. 

Pendant mom cut out - Flure De Lis
Bird for Kristen

November ABS Pendant/Necklace
If you would like to see more of the Art Bead Challenge piece head on over to our Flickr site for the images.

I finally sealed some of the Viking Knit that I patined on Monday.  I am testing these with the lacquer we use until the sealant I ordered arrived.  I can't get a good photograph with the sunlamp, so I am hoping for some sunshine soon.

I guess that is it.  It is late and I still have to go home and do laundry, change the sheets, clean up and eat.  Oh, tomorrow is when the reduction in size program starts with our group at work.  Cross your fingers for us.  I hope you all had a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Battle of the Bulge - Belly Bulge That Is

It is official - need to lose weight!  Pants are too tight, uncomfortable and my knees hurt.  Mom and I have been talking about doing something about losing weight, but I have never got off my butt to do anything about it.

Effigy to a Scale
This is a plate I made in my spring ceramics class that explains all I feel about the scale.  Ever since I got out of the military I have had no desire to get on a scale or exercise ever again.  But you can't do that and not gain weight, which I have been doing since I got out - not good!!!

Well, today at work we have decided to start a group to lose weight and there is an incentive to do it - a pot of money.  Each of us, who are participating in the group, will contribute $20 and when we do our final weigh in on April 1st the person who has lost the most percentage will win the money.

So far there are 7 of us participating.  One of the girls will bring a scale in and we will weigh ourselves on Monday and like I said the final weigh in will April 1st.  We have a third party who will keep track of the weigh ins and the money - so no cheating.  I know, you are thinking but it is the holiday's and all that food.  I don't care - my knees hurt!  I have started counting points (if you are Weight Watchers you will know) and I plan on starting to exercise - the Wii is calling my name.  I have my fingers crossed that mom and I can do this because I would love to feel comfortable in my clothes again and my health will be better.

Keep your fingers crossed for us!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Patina's by MissFickleMedia

Yesterday was my play day with my new patina's from MissFickleMedia.  I have been looking forward to this all weekend long.  That was part of our explanation when we were showing customers how we do Viking Knit at our show this past weekend.

Mom and I went to Walmart for some supplies - paper towel, gloves, mask, funnel...Once I got home I set up the studio while mom finished up the Viking Knit we were going to use to make bracelet's and earrings.  I set up the patina on the table that has our torches, the only spot big enough to do anything and where I felt comfortable using the torch on the Viking Knit.  As you can see it was like a mad scientist's work station - this was so much fun!  Well, except when I melted two end caps because I wasn't paying attention.
My Mistakes
It took a few mistakes to finally figure out what I was doing wrong.  I was heating up the Viking Knit to long before I put it in the patina.  The second Viking Knit down you can see where I crimped the metal in the middle.  I finally figured out I need to hold the ends, but sometimes that is hard.  Oh well, I do really like the bottom Peacock Blue (Utopia) Viking Knit. 
 The bottom picture, end caps and toggle clasp, were dipped in the Violet and then the Peacock Blue patina.  The findings have a dark blue look.  That is the same with the Viking Knit - the second Viking Knit from the bottom - was dipped in the Violet and then the Peacock Blue to give it a dark blue look.  We will see what happens after I have sand the findings and Viking Knit and then spay them with sealant.
Saffron - will be earrings

I think I did better on the Viking Knit and End Caps for the Saffron and Paprika patina.  I had better coverage overall and I worked better with the Viking Knit and findings - had more practice before I worked with these colors.
Saffron & Paprika Patina
Top Viking Knit - Saffron and Paprika Patina

I also played by dipping of Viking Knit in two patina's.  I dipped one of the Viking Knit bracelets in the Paprika and then the Saffron patina.  I think the colors turned out wonderful, but I won't know until I sand the bracelet and then seal it.
I played with another color of patina, but this was a cold application - I didn't have to heat up the metal to apply the patina.  I dipped the Viking Knit and wire into the patina and I am letting it set overnight in a baggie.  When I get off work tonight I will stop at mom's house and see how the Viking Knit turned out.  Like I said, I feel like a mad scientist at work - so much fun!

I will take photographs of the finished pieces when we get them made up into bracelets and earrings.  Stay tuned!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Busy But Satisfying Weekend and Now Time To Play

Last Finishing Touches for Friday's Show
Friday night was the opening of the Friends of Frankfort Art Show.  Mom and I arrived around 4:00pm Friday night to put the final touches on the table for the show.  While mom was putting the last touches to the table I had to run down to the car to get something.  When I came back to the building, there was an older gentleman, first in line, sitting in a lawn chair reading a book.  He said by goodness he was going to be the first in line this year, and he was.  I was talking to the lady who organizes this event and she said people usually start lining up at 4:30 for the patron's opening.  I knew it was crazy, but didn't realize how crazy it would become.
Necklace that Sold that We Were
Going to Tear Apart
The opening for the patron's show started at 5:00pm and boy were these people ready to shop!  We had an older lady and her husband come in, and she went directly to an enameled pendant necklace and snagged it so fast it made our heads spin.  It was great.  What is funny is that mom and I had planned on ripping that necklace apart if it didn't sell after our show season.  I am so glad someone loved the necklace enough to buy it.

The Splendor necklace sold within the first 10 minutes of the show.  A woman came by, tried it on, and said she would come back.  She came back and bought it and she wants us to make her a pair of earrings to go with the necklace.  About an hour after that necklace sold, a woman came by asking if we had made another Splendor necklace.  I told her it had sold and then I rememberd her from the Art on the Wabash show.  She really liked the Splendor necklace I was wearing (made with Kelley's beads) and was hoping I would sell it.  I told her we could make another one, but I didn't have any more of those blue egg beads from Kelley.  I said if I could buy more eggs from Kelley I would try to make another necklace and let her know when I did.  I know it is not good business not to sell a piece, but I just can't let that necklace go.

The frog necklace sold near the end of the show.  There were two couples waiting for the group that was lookin at the necklace to put it down so they could snag it.  That was very gratifiying that we had a whole group of people who wanted that necklace.

Mom and I did really well talking with the customers and telling them about how we make the bowls, lampwork glass beads and Viking Knit.  We also had a presentation running on the laptop so they could see the process of how we make everything.

Saturday and Sunday was the same thing.  We sat by the booth working on Viking Knit or regular knitting, we would stop and talk with customers when they stopped at the booth.  If either of us were working on the Viking Knit we would show them what we were doing, so people seemed really interested in learning what mom and I do.  I am really looking forward to participating in this show again next year.  I had a blast and I think mom did too.

Here are some photos of the the gallery set up for the show.

These are just an idea of what was all at the show.  There were walls and walls covered in paintings and photographs.  There were wood workers, textiles, jewelry, glass, pottery, etc.  Just so many great artists were represented at this show.  On Saturday and Sunday they even did demonstrations of woodworking, pottery and painting.  I can't say enough how awesome this show is!
Mom and I took today off to recover plus I wanted to play with paina's from Shannon at Missficklmedia.

I have had to wait all weekend to play with the patina's.  Mom and I went out to Walmart this morning to pick up some of the supplies and now all I have to do is wait for mom to finish up several Viking Knit bracelets and I am jumping right in!!!!  I am so excited.  I also really excited to try the Peacock Blue (Utopia) color.  The color looks so gorgeous when Shannon does her pieces that I have my fingers crossed that the same will happen for us.  I will take photographs of finished pieces - if they don't look awful.  I am now off to play.
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