Saturday, December 31, 2005

Happy New Year!

Like all good goal-setting fanatics, I love love love New Year's Day! Actually, I also love May 1st and September 1st, because I usually set goals three times per year. That may be taking it too far for some folks, but I feel better when I divide the year up into bite-sized pieces.

Of course, January 1st is still the granddaddy of them all!

As far as art goals go, I've divided them up into art development, website improvement, and marketing. I'm going to post some of my goals for my mixed media work on my other blog, and just give you a sample of my jewelry goals here:

Website improvement ~ My primary jewelry website is a bohemoth of semi-developed ideas. I want to systematically go through it and decide which pages to keep, which to consolidate, which to update, and which to eliminate. The other jewelry website is more to my liking, a lean mean to-the-point machine!

Art development ~ I plan to continue with an online bead art group that I joined, the purpose of which is to work on a different aspect of our art each month. This will end in May, so it fits my yearly goals perfectly as well. For the next four months, I want to focus much more strongly on my own original work, and not so much on faster production-style pieces.

Marketing ~ Besides adding another tutorial or two to my blog list, I'd like to return to publishing in magazines. A couple years ago I started doing this, but then I just let it peter out. Time to correct that!

Those are the highlights for the next few months. I'm going to spare you from having to wade through my personal goals!

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Tuesday, December 27, 2005


Sometimes when we think about inspirational jewelry magazines, we forget about Ornament. Even though it doesn't contain how-to articles, Ornament is one of the most beautiful magazines that I can think of to recommend. It is a 25-year old international publication devoted personal adornment, covering ancient, ethic & contemporary jewelry, beads & historic and artist-made clothing.

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Monday, December 26, 2005

The aftermath

Well, I'm pleased to report that all the baking and cooking tasks went fine this weekend, thanks to the fact that our friends were going to basically be out the whole time so we could use their stove!

Now for the "rest of the story." The wife is a vegetarian, so this morning I'm going upstairs to wipe all the spattered grease out of the oven so she doesn't have to deal with it. Not that she'd ever ask me just seems like the right thing to do :-)

Hopefully sometime this week I can get back to creating!

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah

What a rare occurrence, where the two holidays coincide like this! At our house, we've got the Menorah on the piano, the Christmas tree in the bay window, and the lava lamp right next to the fireplace...don't ask!

I am thrilled to say that after a week in which I worked like a crazy person, I am now finished with all that needs done, and we are trooping off to see Narnia this afternoon. By "we," I mean Mike, Dani and I. Nate will probably fly in from Guatemala next week. (So we might have to go see Narnia again. Darn.) We've all been out of sorts since the Lord of the Rings movies ended, and Narnia promises to be a nice replacement this year.

This morning while I was baking up the last of the cookies and dinner for tonight, our oven's heating element decided to burn out. Fortunately for us, the sweet young couple who live in our apartment were going out for the morning. And they'll be out tomorrow afternoon when I want to cook the prime rib too!! Also fortunately for us, we bought them a brand new, really nice stove last spring :-)

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and wonderful whatever-you-celebrate...perhaps Festivus?

Friday, December 16, 2005

Whew! It's over!

Thank you to everyone who emailed me to wish me luck with the program! I was literally shaking while I watched the show. Besides the fact that I think I looked terrified most of the time, it went ok.

Then I went to the HGTV website, and found that they had made up some really interesting things about me: my kids were all grown up when I "started taking jewelry classes..." Hmmm...that's news to me! Never took a class, began before my kids were born, etc etc etc. OK, don't let me get too picky.

If anyone wants to try making one of the necklaces, the directions are posted here:

Bead-Embroidered Heritage Necklace
Optical Lens Pendant

I wasn't allowed to use brand names ~ but you all can know that the "polymer medium" that I use for photo transfers is Golden's matte medium. I'll probably post the directions here on the blog in the tutorials section in a week or so.

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Thursday, December 15, 2005

I'm on TV tomorrow!!

Tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow!!

I'm so nervous!

Thanks to the ice storm heading our way, I might be able to stay home from my part-time job tomorrow and be nervous there...

HGTV link

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Monday, December 12, 2005

More lenses

Here are some more lenses that I'm working on that aren't directly related to beads. Please take a look might find something that interests you!

Book Arts Handmade books, altered books, artists journals, and books-as-art
Mixed Media When you want to try all forms of art, all at the same time...
Collage An endlessly fascinating art form



A fun piece just in time for Christmas! I used a traditional classic Napier chain as the base of this piece. It moves, it jangles, it calls a lot of attention to itself ~ what more could you want?


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Friday, December 09, 2005


Not optical lenses this time! I'm talking instead about a series of portal-type pages that are being launched as...well, not exactly an experiment...but as small gateways into topics. What sort of topics? Oh, you can't even imagine what all the different lenses are about!

This the brainchild of Seth Godin. Would you like to see the ones that I've created that are pertinent to beads? Please be kind and remember that these are all works in progress :-)

Bead Art What to bead, what to bead? Got questions? Here's answers!
Beaded Jewelry Marvelous handmade artisan pieces.

Beads Name your favorites ~ we got links!

Beading My own personal tutorials
Handmade Beads Learn to make your own ~ glass, clay, paper... (this one is my least finished!)

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One week to go!

My HGTV broadcast date is set for next Friday! I'm nervous and excited. I'll be demonstrating an image transfer process to fabric to create a necklace that functions as a wearable scrapbook page. Then, in the last segment, I'll be showing how to make the optical lens pendants that are featured on my website.

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Wednesday, December 07, 2005

New Year's resolution for jewelers?

Tammy Powley is offering a new e-course for people who would like to set up a jewelry business. It's a 14-week course, and it's free! Maybe for the new year...?

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

PBS series

The series Beads, Baubles, and Jewels is being aired on some PBS stations right now! The website has a link to help you find what the stations and times are, and also has links to information on each of the sessions and the lessons that are given. Detailed instructions are given for each project in case you can't follow it quickly enough on the show.

Monday, December 05, 2005



This is the first piece that I was able to make after the tragedies of 9/11/01. That's a long time for a piece to sit around unsold, but it was obviously waiting for just the right person. Well, that right person showed up last week, and with a custom modification to the piece and earrings to match, it's ready to leave home!

I will always be grateful to my co-worker Mona who nudged me into creating again after that horrible day and the horrible days that followed. I'm not a person who works well from pain, although I know a lot of artists do. Not me. Mona urged me to make something red, white, and blue. Anything. Just make it.

I couldn't bring myself to do all three colors, but the clear vintage and red crystals spoke to me at that time. The original piece was made with a Torah scroll charm, but my client requested a cross instead. Both can be seen as symbols of freedom ~ from ignorance and sin ~ so it felt like the right thing to do for her. She in turn will be presenting it to a young woman who has given countless hours of her time to serve others.

What a good home for "Freedom" to go to!

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Friday, December 02, 2005

HGTV countdown!

Ryan, Celia, Lorelei, & Eric

Well, at long last, the countdown begins! Two weeks from today, at noon on HGTV, the segment that I taped with these wonderful people will air. At least, it's supposed to! When we taped it, the show was called "Crafters Coast to Coast," but now it seems to have morphed into a show called "That's Clever!" Same show though.

I probably wasn't one of their more exciting subjects, since I opted out of a lot of the goofy stuff...but they were all so professional and so nice to me. The projects I'm demonstrating are 1) a beaded heritage neckpiece, and 2) an optical lens pendant. After the show has aired, the instructions for how to do the projects step by step will appear on the HGTV website. I'll be sure to put a link to them in my tutorials list.

For now, this is all there is:
HGTV link

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Thursday, December 01, 2005

Spring previews


Spring fashion color and style trends are making the news (already). Looks like the trend towards everything being l-o-n-g will still be holding strong in the Spring. And here's the Pantone report of spring trends too!

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