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.
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!
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.
Even better, richer colors. I remember how hopeful I was that the resin wouldn’t remove the ink color. Instead, it darkened it up.
I’m kind of gutted that the alcohol ink darkened up so much. The gray and red were so lovely before. I feel OK about the blue and silver piece. Now I need a follow-up test to see if spraying them with a sealant will help. I wonder if anyone has every put resin over something sealed with Renaissance Wax? Or Tim Holtz’s Mircro Glaze.
Speaking of Tim Holtz, I’ve watched plenty of his videos this week. From Distress Crayons to the sprays and products in between, making more than the occasional collage has really open up my world. I’ve worried more than once that I’ll lose interest in jewelry, but I really don’t think that’s possible. And, just this morning two bead-embroidery pendants were commissioned, and I’m eager to start on those. (If you’re reading this: Thanks, Robin!)
I think I need to move my blog release day from Saturday to Sunday. Friday and Saturday are just a little to hectic. We’ll see …
The nephew left on Wednesday; we had a great time. Well, I had a great time. I’m only assuming that he had a good time, too.
He is truly like no other person I know. I am particularly fond of this photo. He’s an art student at Ball State University. When we walked by the art building on the UW campus, he noted the unfortunate placement of the letter W on the building’s sign.
(I also love this picture of him at MoPop. He was so happy to see Targ. As he said, doing a “thumbs up” in photos is his thing.)
He and Morgan talked and laughed a lot. The way those two get along truly makes me happy.
(As an aside: We played the game Careers three times. It’s too good to cut up and repurpose!)
James’ departure means that it’s time to get back to making things. I think I have enough journals for the jury tomorrow. I might make one more tonight, but the worry is that if I fail the jury, I won’t need to make any more for awhile. On the other hand … maybe one last journal would tip the scales in my favor.
I was looking for a book that would remind me of the coptic stitch when I unearthed another bead embroidery book. So much good craft p*rn. The book is Textured Bead Embroidery, by Linda Landy. The projects are so lovely, and I am itching to try my hand at some aspects of what she’s done. I get so excited, and then I stop. Is it creative constipation? Is it fear of failure? I am not 100% sure. I think I need to just jump into a project and see what happens. (Of course, I also think that having a day to work on something would be nicer than grabbing an hour here or two hours there.) I love the simple beaded bezels. I love how just switching up the color of the beads can change the look of the overall item. But, I need to do something more.
I need to try new stitches.
I need to try some different kinds of beads.
I need to use two or more focal beads.
In that same bead embroidery book, I saw a reference to Fordite. Oh, it is lovely! I can’t believe I’m only now learning about it. And, happily, I discovered an online tutorial to recreate the look of Fordite. It’s worth a try.
The same video also addresses making your own bezels from clay. Making my own cabochons and bezels are two things I very much want to do. I think it’s little touches like that that can really help a person’s work stand out. At least that’s how I see it.
Oh, I also gave some time for a few more polymer clay and crackle paint pieces. The flower is “meh” at best. The round one on the top and the top rectangle are my two favorites. We’ll see how they look with a layer of resin over them.
Tomorrow is the second day of the market. It’s the day before Mother’s Day, so there’s hope for some good sales. It’s supposed to rain, but Morgan said he’ll bring his camping stove. I’m hoping for a cozy day even if it is raining. Of course check in with me around 3:30 to see how cozy I’m feeling then.
It’s here! A new market season at Redmond Saturday Market is upon us/me.
It’s funny how quickly I can go from being unable to imagine those six-day “work” weeks to feeling that attending the market is just part of my world. It was a pretty good day yesterday, and I think I’m ready for this season.
I keep thinking that I want to focus on just a few things, but do them really well. What do I cut out? What do I focus on? There’s always soul searching, isn’t there?
Next week I jury for journals. I’m excited about that. I don’t know if they’ll be big sellers or not, but I love making them.
We popped into Goodwill the other day and I found three board games that will be perfect covers! The box for the Careers game is so lovely. I feel like I need to keep those images for use for something else. Then Morgan found an Uncle Wiggily game at Value Village, and now I get to work with that, too. It’s an embarrassment of board game riches.
The 20-year-old nephew is in town, and today will be another day of adventure. More family members will start showing up soon, I need to get to tidying and prepping.
After I packed up my enameling supplies two weeks ago, I decided to try a few more polymer-clay-with-crackle-paint pieces. Instead of following tried and true methods, I thoughts I’d bake the clay first and then add the crackle paint. Sad, sad … Once dry, it flaked off at the slightest touch.
Instead of throwing the pieces away I sanded them and decided that a base coat of an acrylic medium might be the right next step. Of course I’d sanded almost all of the pieces when I realized that I should have taken some photos. (Taking time to take photos is a constant battle, that’s for sure. But, I tried my best with this project.)
Here’s one of the flaking Kroma Crackle. You can see how it lifts at at the edges.
After I decided to try a coat of an acrylic medium as a base, I read that someone else suggested as much to someone who’d found herself in the same situation. Better yet would be applying the paint before baking clay.
My plan worked. Now, you can share in the fun of watching paint dry.
I took some alcohol ink pens to the individual crackles/”paint islands,” and the effect is that of a tiny mosaic. I love this look. I’d like to try some more and paint in the crackles to make it look like a paisley or heart or boat or peace sign or flower or anything else that one would make with a mosaic. Plus, I need to add some color to the edge and then seal the top with resin.
The good news is that I have a bunch of clay conditioned and at the ready. I took my first class at Danaca Design yesterday. There were only three of us. And the other two students and the instructor all have a background in metalsmithing. We learned about doing image transfers onto polymer clay. I’ve done some transfers with toner copies before, but in class time we primarily used Lazertran sheets. My brain is full of ideas, and I’m eager to start playing. However, the first step is to print out some images on Lazertran sheets.
There’s just never enough time for play, is there?
One week from now I’ll be done with the first day of the market. Crazy. It’s difficult to believe. Plus, nephew # 2 will be here. Who knows what kind of adventures we’ll get up to. Time to get back to it, while the getting to it is good.
This week has been filled with no shortage of food for thought, creative missteps and soul searching.
Where to start.
I’ve been busy getting ready for the market. It was silly of me to not be more productive January through March, but … I’m part journalist, and we love working under deadlines.
I had last Saturday and Monday to craft this past week. It felt really good! I did some enameling, which I love. Every time I do I want to do nothing but that for days on end!
I’ve also been busy with some beaded bezels. The iridescent blue one might be my favorite. After that it’s the yellow and black one. The center is a resin piece that I made. The surface isn’t perfect, but I’m accepting the wabi-sabi nature of it.
One morning this week I decided to catch up on some of Tara Swiger’s podcasts. The episode about deciding whether you have a business or hobby really hit home. I always say business, but it’s a hobby. And it kind of broke my heart to admit. But, I have some inspiration for small steps to take to do the work Tara mentioned.
I even started following more crafters/makers/jewelers on Twitter to get me away from all-politics all the time. (Well, as I follow Paul F. Tompkins and John Moe, there’s some humor in there too.)
I even started following Austin Kleon, and I’ll be employing some of his “How to steal like an artist” tactics while I learn from my peers. Today, on one of our urban hikes, I’m going to get Morgan to help me finally get my head around hashtags. Why is that concept such a slippery eel to me?
Thinking about a hobby vs. business also made me think about how I can’t really complain too much anymore about not being a selling super star if I’m not doing the work. Sure, I’m making stuff, but I could be doing that without attending the market or other craft events.
My jewelry. (My weight! My disaster-area craft room!) How can I be so disappointed when I’ve not put in the work to make real change. I know what I need to do — on all fronts. It might not be easy, but I know it will be worth it.