Found some inspiration in Santa Fe

Morgan and I just got back from a trip to Santa Fe.

Highlights include:

Kakawa Chocolates. Their elixirs and peanut butter bars are phenomenal! I won’t lie: We had their chocolate every day.

Raspberry mint truffle at Kakawa.
Elixirs and some truffles from Kakawa.

We also fell in love with the restaurant Cafe Pasqual’s. (A big thanks to Robin for the recommendation.) We ate there twice and regret that we didn’t have more opportunities to do so.

Skeletons were spray painted on some of the walking men in Santa Fe. They made me smile.
This statue also made me smile. I would like to go back and really take in more art.

Morgan took me to the Museum of International Folk Art, which also had some fantastic pieces. I really loved the special exhibit on tramp art.

This is one of a few metal sculptures at the Folk Art museum that really caught my attention.

I found particular inspiration in some cabochons I purchased at the Nambé flea market. I’m eager to make some beaded bezels out these.

Some cabochons ready to be included into some bead embroidery. It will feel so grown up using real gems.
The turquoise on the bottom left may or may not find a home outside of my possession.

The Labradorite is particularly lovely. And, I’m excited about the turquoise from the Royston mine. Gems aren’t really my thing, but I’m willing to learn. I never thought I was crazy about turquoise, but the greens are pretty fantastic.

And, a quick visit to the Museum of Encaustic Art made me eager to break out my griddle and encaustic paints.  I think that will be a good activity for when my holiday shows are over. Speaking of which, I have a home party on November 3 and back-to-back shows on November 18th and 19th. I need to make some pieces to get ready for those.

Since the last post I finished these items, among others.

Another Fordite pendant.
Bead embroidery with a piece of glass that I fused.
One of two more shawls that I’ve worked up. I might have a problem.
I saw some metal pendants that had been beaded around. I knew I needed to give it a try. Step one: glue the metal piece to some bead backing.
Step two: color in the bead backing so the white won’t show through.
Step three: Start adding beads! (Sorry about the really bad lighting!)
Ta da! This is as close as I’ve come to a process series. Yay!!

Stick with it

It’s nice to start with an image of sunflowers, isn’t it.

I’ve been listening to an audio book about sticking to what you want to do, whether you want to lose weight, save money or attract people to your business. The book is called Stick With It. Guess what. I’ve been forcing myself to listen to it. I get it: small, manageable goals, repetition, community, engaging rewards. Sadly there’s such a big difference between knowing what to do and actually doing it.

It would be beyond pitiful if I couldn’t finish it. And so, after a few days’ break, I’m back at it. But soon I’ll turn it off so that I can read the book club book.

This was one in a series of pendants I made to satisfy a special request. I loved pressed lavender!

This week I was able to make a few pieces that I wanted to make. There was pure joy in that, and I’m excited to find some time to do more of that. I also made and put out a new beaded pendant on Saturday, and it was the first item to go. I need to start stockpiling lucite cabochons.

A “for funsies” key with the word “Love” stamped into it. I’d like to try etching it with my  Dremel etcher. (How to correct for my horrible penmanship?) 
This dark blue and copper pendant won me over despite my initial doubts. I think it’s a color combo that’s worth revisiting.

This week also gave me some big lessons. First, the faux Fordite doesn’t look anything like Fordite. That’s a bummer. And I’m not sure it can be done in a curved mold. I think it will need to be flat. I started some new pieces. And, I did not use white oil paint to color the resin. The paint I used was too thick, and small bits of it sank to the bottom of the molds, leaving white pock marks. I tried getting the paint out, but that’s an exercise is frustration. So, I’m starting over.

The white spots are oil paint. I love all of those color combinations, and it breaks my heart to look at these. I can already imagine how much fun it will be to use them as cabochons in a bead embroidery project.

I also tried sealing painted sides of keycaps. I started with brushing on resin. That resulted in uneven lines and brush marks. I built silicone “stands” and tried another coat. That just “emphasized” the unevenness that was already present.

(I should include a photo, but it would be another photo of heartbreak. Maybe once there are some successful keycaps, I’ll show photos of both to compare and contract.)

I was ready to chuck them all and give up working on keycaps for good, but either the experimenting crafter (craft scientist?) in me kicked in — or the audio book *is* working. Next I tried two coats of varnish on one and a sealant spray on the other. I think the spray is ideal as the sides won’t get that much “action” anyway. Regardless, I think I have an action plan and this week I’ll tackle a few more.

On a much happier note, Bead World released their fall classes. My wish list, despite having done many of these things, includes metal etching, enameling and using a jeweler’s saw. Now seems like as good of a time as any to pour over the list and then decide whether I’ll sign up or let Youtube plus book content be my guide.

 

 

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.