Beat the heat (aka more talking, less showing)

In honor of tomorrow’s full moon.

Wow it’s been hot in Seattle. Because it gets stupid hot at the market, I decided to take the day off. And by “taking the day off,” I mean adding items to my Etsy store and working on pendants and keycaps.

Online store maintenance and the photography it requires is a chore, but I understand that it’s something I need to do. And, I realize that I need to be willing to put in the work. Plus, there’s the hope that I’ll be able to be at the market about every other weekend and have more full weekends to spend running amok with Morgan.

And, it’s a funny thing, but now that we’ve reached the halfway point of the market season, I have a feeling of relief. This is very much the slower half, so now I can let my mind drift to knitting projects. Silly me, I can’t seem to daydream about doing nothing — like most rational people wood.

This was a really busy week: dinner with a friend, seeing the Violent Femmes with my niece and brother and checking out the Seattle Art Fair with Morgan. There was some great art, but the crowd provided the better visuals. Oh, and I love that glitter can be considered a medium in a mixed-media piece. It inspired both of us to make some art. Maybe some night this week.

There was a resin piece that had the look of a big slab that had ice-cream-scoop-size dollops taken out of Fordite. I’m not sure why I can’t describe it properly, so it’s best to see it here.) Not too long ago I found a tutorial for making faux fordite out of polymer clay, which really would result in better cross section colors. But I’ve decided to try a similar approach with resin in molds. Here’s the start. Pretty much I’ll be pouring layer after layer of colored resin into molds.

The beginnings of my faux fordite. It will be much cooler to see theses when they’re out of the molds.

On a completely different note, twice this week people at worked asked me for advice/help with jewelry and craft projects. It’s a nice feeling to sit with. Especially after being scolded for adding a “just” in front of bead embroidery, when a friend of an acquaintance asked me what I make. Was it snotty of them to point it out? I don’t think so, mostly because I’m always diminishing what I do when I speak about it.

That leads me to keycaps. I might always feel like a fraud. Is what I do valid? Is it only the stuff that is cast from molds the real deal? These are difficult questions for me. But I’ll keep plugging away.

On? No? You decide.
Damn the reflection that’s obscuring the adorable coffee cup image. Harrumph!

It doesn’t hurt that I attended an event on Thursday, for work, where I heard a handful of women speakers talk about how women, especially, are subject to feeling like frauds/imposters/hacks. Ding, ding, ding! What does it take to break through that horrible way of thinking? I also got another piece of advice from the author I interviewed last Tuesday. His day told him to “figure out what you love and then find people to pay you to do that.” Sounds like sound advice to me.

Lastly, this week also brought an email saying that the physical location of Fusion Beads will be closing at the end of September. I’m guilty of not being there enough, but it has a special place in my heart. That was the first local bead store where my love of jewelry making blossomed. I took so many classes there, and I’m eternally grateful for all of the inspiration and advice I found there. I need to make it there. Soon. Until then, it’s best to think about that line from that Semisonic song. “Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.”

Here’s to looking forward to what that beginning will be for the Fusion Beads’ employees and and for me—and where it will lead us.

Pop in the PNW

As I mentioned last week, my dad was here for a visit, and there wasn’t much time to work on too many projects. It was a great visit, and I only wish he would have been here longer. I’m feeling a little overwhelmed with to-dos right now, so this post will be a quick show-and-kind-of-tell.

Pop checking out Snoqualmie Falls.
My friend-first-now-sister-in-law and Pop reading about the history of Snoqualmie Falls.
Pop and my brother hanging out on the deck.
Pop, me, Spritle and my brother.
Pop, me and the boyfriend. This picture makes me very happy!

 

After Pop left, I worked on these two journals to replace the ones that sold last week.

Horse- and Dog-opoly journals.
A trip to Ben Franklin last week resulted in the find of these papers that are great for the inside covers.

I made two more lucite cabochon bead-embroidered pendants. I love them both.

I also got in a little work on key caps. These two feature crystals embedded into an epoxy clay. There’s so much more to say about key caps. In fact, there are more with Morgan that he’ll be photographing this weekend. All I know for sure is that a mechanical keyboard meet up is in our future in two weeks.

The mica powder on the one on the left makes it, imho.

Plus, there’s always time for pouring resin!

Lavender is so pretty when pressed. I really like this piece.
I need to work on a better photo of this, but the cellophane wrap in the circle give it a nice iridescent look.
I am so smitten with the big pressed flower that comprises the cats “body.” I wish i knew what it is or where I found it.

 

I should work on better lighting for my photos. I should work on updating my Etsy store. I should get things ready for the Artomat. I also kind of want to finish a collage I started a few weeks ago. And then there’s just chilling out. What I will do, however, is head to Goodwill and see what kind of treats might be in store.

Until next week.

 

Resin, resin everywhere

When I first discovered resin, I wanted to put it on all surfaces. Well, anything that might make for fun jewelry or even card embellishments. And, like it or not, I got resin on my clothing and in my hair, and Slinky even managed to get it in her fur more than once. But any mostly flat surface would be embellished and then sealed with resin. The world was full of crafty possibility.

As time has gone by, I’m not quite as zealous. I still work with resin on a weekly basis, but I’m reigned in some of that experimentation. That said, when Morgan showed me what people were doing with keycaps, I wanted to give it a try. Here are my results: Four resin and flower caps with one Pebeo paint (and soon to be “plus resin”) caps. The tricky part was getting the caps even so that resin wouldn’t just flow over the side. I have some ideas for round two.
They’re all prototypes, in my eyes. The next step is to try them out on Morgan’s mechanical keyboard. (Hey, that’s a good title!)
I do like the way lights shines on through the resin. The paint is much more opaque.
Light shines nicely through the cap with resin.
The cap with paint is much more opaque.
These two pendants are also the result of me wanting to embellish something.
These were both big beads that I decorated with rub-on transfers and sealed with resin. There’s a pleasing heft to both of them. The silver one is really lovely, imho.
After scoring three animal “-opoly” games at Goodwill last Sunday, I decided to forge ahead and turn them into journals even if I have plenty of journals on hand.

Instead of gluing cards onto page of the journals, I made pockets and slipped in random cards from the games.
Plus, these two Reader’s Digest collections have lovely covers. The blue tape looks a little flat in this photo, but it’s really fun in real life.
The seahorse journal may stay with me. I’m so smitten with it.
My dad is visiting tomorrow evening through Thursday. I’m very excited for him to be here. Because my time will be spoken for over the next several days, it only makes sense to post this now. Here’s to keeping cool when the temperature gets into the 90s on Sunday. (Ugh! No thank you, please!!)

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.