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.

Saying goodbye to my yarn love fest

Here it is Day 15 of Fusion Bead’s Bead Challenge, and I have to admit that I got derailed late last week.
First, when it came to making something with right-angle weave (RAW) for Thursday, I started out with seed beads and really disliked the results. I made about four or five “squares” and was ready to hurl the piece across the room.  

 Impatient with myself? Never! Always! However, not wanting to admit defeat, I decided to try a RAW bracelet with bi-cone crystals. What do you know, it looked much better. Plus, who doesn’t love a good excuse to buy more/play with crystals. But, I didn’t have enough of the colors I bought. So, I went through my stash, found some cohesive colors and started again—simply picking up colors in a random pattern. I didn’t care for that either. Last night (four days after the original challenge) I started the bracelet for the 4th time and think I’ve finally got the right colors and the right (pseudo) pattern.

   Yay! It might just be a b-day gift for my mom.

Here’s last Wednesday’s project.

I did the peyote stitch around a channel bracelet. I was covering up a resin image on the bracelet, so the beadwork doesn’t fit 100% like I wanted it to. Regardless, I love the color and the slight shimmer it has.

Friday’s challenge was to make a piece from which you find inspiration from the clasp. I had some OK ideas and a lot of motivation, but still, the most I accomplished was rubbing down both toggle clasps with Gilder’s Paste. At least they’ll be ready when inspiration strikes.

Saturday we were to invite friends over for a beading gathering. Nope. Wasn’t going to happen, so I turned to Sunday’s challenge. The instructions were to try a new bead weaving technique. Playing fast and loose with my interpretation of the challenges, I made a peyote stitch bezel for a Swarovski rivoli bead. I admit it, I do like it.

Inspired by the ease of that, I moved on to creating a peyote stitch bezel for a piece of glass I fused a few weeks ago. I quite like this, too. 

  Having previously made a RAW bezel for a cabachon, I’m not sure why anyone would chose that over the peyote stitch. However, different strokes, etc., etc.

I also found instructions online for a square stitch bezel. That really sounds like something I’d like to make. But how will it work with a rectangular, not round, cabachon?

At some point this weekend I began to wonder if the challenges were starting to distract me from things that I really needed to do. I can honestly say that they have pulled me out of the yarn love fest I was having, which is good. But I also know that I really need to get ready for the market. It’s only seven weeks away, and there’s much to do between then and now. So, from here on out, I’m going to see how I can apply each challenge to tasks that need to be completed. One day next week, I think, we’re to fix something that’s broken. Geez, I have a whole envelope full of such pieces.

Oh, and I was hit by craft “lightning” last week. Stay tuned for photos and details.

Plus, Morgan will be hitting the slopes with his brothers this weekend. That leaves me with two full days for mini mosaics, breaking out the cricut and so much more. Not that I won’t miss him dearly, but here’s to a couple of good play days!