If I only had a brain

What lovely little plants. I bought a contain that has pink, orange, red and fuchsia. Now to find out how they’ll look once they’ve been properly dried.

What a week. I have been moving through this week as if in a daze. No amount of coffee is helping, either. I’m not really sure why? I haven’t had the best sleep this week, but that’s kind of par for the course. I think it comes down to this: Morgan and I share a brain. When he was taking classes and really busy, I would be really tired. When he takes more than his share of the brain, I want to do little more than sleep. As he’s been very busy helping someone this week — and the past few weeks — I think his tiredness finally reached me.

In all fairness, I did spend this week organizing all of my beads. While not a strenuous task, it was a time suck and left my living room unlivable for about five days.
Is it possible that I have too many beads? Yes, I think that might be possible. Or, at least while I was putting them in the small containers and sorting them by color, I felt that I have to many. I wonder how long that feeling will last.
It’s weird, but I have more purple beads than I thought I would. I have more turquoise-colored beads than I thought I did. (Who knew that I would be drawn to that color?) I have about as many green beads as I thought I would, with a nice emphasis on chartreuse/yellow-green. I do have more green beads than any other color.
It is pleasing to see the cascading shades of the various colors. I could probably go back in and do a better job of arranging them from light to dark, but that’s for a different day.
Beads labelled and ready for use. I’ve already found this system to be more efficient than when they were organized by size.
And, I broke out my label maker. Yay! I was too lazy to read the instructions to use special characters. You know what? I’m 100% OK with that — for now at least.
Between the repackaging, sorting and rooting out of beads, I found time to work on a special order of pendants. The order came out of the blue and was a pleasant surprise.
I also added the last embellishing row on this pendant and had a bit of time to work on a few more resin pieces.
Resin and dried flowers are a great combination.
I don’t know if any bloom I’ve ever smashed and dries has been as lovely as this one.
I do have a good collection of dried flowers now, and I will use that week of vacation in July to do a big batch of them. Only 33 days left until vacation starts. Yahoo….!!!!!
In addition to the resin pendants, I also made this to have at the ready for the market this weekend. The color scheme seems ideal for me; it will be a little sad to part with it, if I do indeed have the good fortune to sell it.
I really love this pendant. Even my sister-in-law said it “looks like me.”

Yesterday at the market there were two great interactions — and neither involved a sale. First, a man popped by to tell me how he’d purchased a mother’s day gift from me and that his wife really liked it.

Second, two little girls were watching me doing some bead embroidery. The mom suggested that she could find them a beading class to which the older of the two girls replied, “I want her to teach me.” It was really, really sweet!

Tales from the Redmond Saturday Market

Just for fun! My first (almost) ripe strawberry of the season!

This week was a strange one. I’ve spent my afternoons listening to the podcast My Dad Wrote a P*rno, and then around 7 or so I’d switch to either The Keepers of the Netflix adaptation of 13 Reasons Why. It resulted in some serious emotional whiplash.

But, it also fueled a week of working on tile pendants and bead embroidery projects. I was hoping to have this one ready to have out on Saturday, but a round of show-and-tell at work resulted it its sale.

Fuchsia lucite cabochon with green beads.

I did finish these earrings, which are nice and light. I’ll next make a pair in green and pink. The great thing is that the centers are scrapbook embellishments that I’ve had for years. What fun to put them to use after languishing for so long.

Bead-embroidered earrings. Yes, that’s my reflection of me in my blue sweatshirt jacket.

I also worked on this pendant. Once again I failed to document the process with photos. I have this photo and then this one of the finished product. I do have one more embellishment to add.

Mostly, I want to use this space to tell a relay a story told to me at the market yesterday. A woman asked about the price of the tile pendants and then asked if a necklace could be turned into a keychain. That was a quick fix, and I was glad to help! She then told me how her 14-year-old son had asked her if the market would be a good place to bring a date. He’d also wondered if one of my tiles my make for a good purchase for the date. Then she added, “So I have a soft spot for what you do.” It’s interactions like that that really mean the most.

About an hour before the market closed, a couple came by and they really loved what I do. That also felt good. Even though it’s painful to see/experience, I understand that what I make isn’t for everyone. And then I get customers like that who made a fuss over many things, purchased many of them and said they’d be back. I guess it never ceases to amaze me that people like what I do.

Another “just for fun” photo. Here’s a hardware store washer colored with alcohol ink that features some wire wrapping and crystals.

Now for the boyfriend section of this post.

Earlier this week, I asked Morgan if I should organize my beads by either size or color. Before he replied “color” I knew that’s what I’d do. I love that he and I have a mind meld going on.

Earlier today I got a look at some art he’s working on. That make me happen. I was even able to share some oil paint and pearl ex powders with him. He is quite independent — and not just a little stubborn — so it’s nice to be able to do something nice for him.

Speaking of organizing beads by color, I think I might work on that a little right now. It seems like a satisfying thing to do.

Cursing procrastination!

A sheep fit for Prince.

Was it January or February when I got the order for five sequin sheep. I finished one, started another and then let them sit. I’m not sure when or why the motivation hit, but I decided that it was high time to finish them. Ta da! Tomorrow they’ll be on their way to California.

These two might be my favorite. And yes, I fixed the thread issue on the rainbow sheep. I was so worried about the stripes, and Morgan teased me for worrying about the “accuracy” of a rainbow-striped sheep.
The top sheep needs to be shorn.

Because I just got back from a work trip to NYC, I didn’t have a lot of time to make things this week.

I did finish this pendant, which sold based on a Facebook post.

Pendant made from a button. Those iridescent o beads are my new favorite thing!

And, today I tried my hand at marbling paper with fingernail polish. The results were OK. I think that maybe I needed more polish in the water. And, I think I might want to use some heavier card stock. I also wonder how other media will — or won’t stick to the surface.


I do love how shiny all of these are. I cannot help but think they will make for good backgrounds for journal overs. Or, the start of good backgrounds.

I should write more, but I need to pack up the sheep, pack up stuff for work and then get to sleep at a decent hour. I’ve been tired/sleepy in a way I can’t shake, and here’s hoping I can put an end to that tonight.

Sweet dreams all!

I know just where to put the glitter

What a week, what a week.  I completed two custom orders and really love this one.

It’s time to order more blue and green lucite cabs. Especially because this new piece sold within the first two hours of the market yesterday.

The two journal covers below have resulted in more than enough inner turmoil and self doubt. I feel that I’ve gone too far, and then I feel that it’s just right. Then I make a mistake. Then I think of a fix I can live with. Tricky business, collage making.

Plus, in my mind, circles equal bubbles, which equal water. Stars equal sky. But I ran into having to reconcile circles/bubbles with green. That’s not a water color. And now I feel like twinkling stars are what this really needs.
Happily, when I googled “blue-green sky” I came up with some images of the northern lights. So green isn’t as strange of a sky color as I imagined it could be. I used to think I was a graphic minimalist, but after the layer upon layer of color and paint that I added to these, I have to admit that I might not be. And, I’m OK with that. While I first felt they were kind of lame, I’m now pleased with the results — even the fun tape to help seal the rough edges.
While waiting for layers to dry, I whipped up this journal, replacing the text block with plain paper which is glued in thank to my freebie “Your Story” binder.
I also created this one from a Seattle History Monopoly game. I might be set with journals for now — until a few sell.
In the midst of my making mania Thursday night I realized that three shelves in my craft room were taken up by bedding, and it hit me that I could move things around to free up some space. So, I got out of bed early, cleared off the shelves and am now in the very real beginnings of reorganizing my shelves to better serve my crafting needs and habits.
Lastly, these are prototypes. There are some air bubbles that displease me, but … I think it’s an interesting look, as if the flowers are floating.
I guess I’ll drill some holes, add a chain and see whether or not people like them. No harm in trying. (Although, that might violate my goal of simplifying my jewelry offerings.)
And, for funsies, I made a few more pendants with dried flowers and resins.
They get a lot of positive compliments, which makes me happy. (Yesterday when I asked a customer if she had any questions, she said: “No, only compliments.” That goes right up there after someone saying that I “know just where to put the glitter.”
Happy Memorial Day everyone!
p.s. I’m only 56 days away from having a week off to play at home. It’s become one of my favorite weeks of the year.

I’d forgotten the fun of collage

First things first: I am officially allowed to sell journals at the Redmond Saturday Market now. And, to sweeten that reality, three of my journals sold last week. Which, while validating, sent me into a panic about needing to make more. So, this week has been about collaging. I have to admit that I felt no small amount of panic knowing that what I create will be “out there” for people to judge with their dollars—or not. Never mind that that’s how it is and has been with my jewelry for years now.

Meet my mom — sometime in the early to mid 60s. Morgan loves this collage. It has its charms.
The back side of the “Mutti” journal. I feel OK about this one, too.

Here’s where one moment of distraction will lead to some serious heartbreak. I want this to be the front, and the I punched the holes on the wrong side of each cover. Oh, Stephanie! 

Here’s the now front of the “Remember” journal. There’s some cool texture at the bottom that isn’t obvious from this photo. Have I said lately how much stencils and sprays/mists make me happy?

 

Hedgehog journal cover! Do I really need to say anything else?
The interesting thing is that one of my fellow vendors, who served as a judge on my three-person jury, gave me a lot of unsolicited advice. Some of it was good: shut the car’s hatch, put down a rug or some such and don’t let people be distracted by stuff beyond your booth.
So, I ironed my big plastic banner and bought some astro turf. We’ll see what a difference those to things do or do not make.
But then he went on to say that jewelers are everywhere and I should focus on journals and less on the jewelry. I was kind of miffed about that. My stuff if not unique to the world; however, it’s different from what the other jewelers at RSM have to offer.
It did lead me to wonder (again) if I should focus on just two or three types of jewelry. But what would I give up? Not resin or beads or dried flowers or metal or clay. I do think that I can remove some of the small-ticket items. Perhaps that’s the key.
Anywho, now that I’ve mentioned clay, here are some of this week’s experiments. More crackle paint on clay.
After waiting two weeks, I finally stuck these pieces in the toaster oven so that they’d dry and the paint would turn white. That did the trick. I love the color on the top two pieces on the right. Those on the left are waiting for color.
From this angle, the flower looks acceptable. However, I had to add more alcohol ink on top of it. See below.
Finally some colors I can live with.

Even better, richer colors. I remember how hopeful I was that the resin wouldn’t remove the ink color. Instead, it darkened it up.