Friday, July 16, 2010

hey, it's summer!

Kimmie here:
My felt bead came back from Bead and Button with the 'finalist' ribbon:

LOL I am glad that felt is unbreakable...poor sad ribbon all creased and crumpled! I hope Joan's big beautiful red one made it home okay.

Here in N County San Diego we were socked in with chilly, grey weather for all of June and July. I'm not complaining; I love 'June Gloom', and find wearing a hooded sweatshirt on the Fourth of July is just fine with me.

But the sun finally came out and it's warm and beautiful. And we are all complaining about this crazy, 75-degree heat. I am from Texas. I just spent four days there enjoying the summer sun. Seventy-five degrees is NOT heat. But it's incredible how quickly I got un-acclimated. Just moving some furniture this afternoon made me feel the intense need for a popsicle and a nap!

Didn't make a lot of beads this week, but I have some fun pieces from my workshop with Kate McKinnon (pictures in her blog). Learned to create a rivet post ring to hold my beads; the one I used is a vintage Michael Barley that I got at Embellishment (remember that?) in Austin(!) in about 1995. I have several pieces like that, that I've collected and held on to for Joan Miller beads have their very own box ;-).

Also a staggeringly cool Feltzilla ring (again, see Kate's blog for pics): a tiny building in the process of destruction. FZ doesn't quite have all his details attached yet, but somehow I must make it a priority and get it done before the San Diego Bead Society show in August!

I ordered some more buttons from Anne Choi. I didn't know it but she has several styles. Going to make some great beads to go with them, and I'm thinking of writing a quick how-to on using buttons for bails. Oh, that's the other thing I worked on at the workshop: a new idea for a snazzy bail that will hide those boring wrapped loops. Yes!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

How will it show?

Lots going on this week; I went surfing 3 times with Morgan over the weekend. There is nothing like getting tossed by the waves as you paddle out, then finally making it out past the breakers to sit for a while just contemplating the ocean. Yesterday we were blessed with major dolphin sightings. There were less than a dozen surfers out, and each of us had a close encounter. The dolphins would surface and slowly move down the line, playing in the waves and surfacing all together, en masse, rolling around with each other. Mating season? One surfer got the surprise of his life as he paddled out and two leaped out of the water within feet of him! I was lucky enough to have one surface about 5 feet from me, then he playfully swam under me as I sat on my board. I think I could have touched him with my foot. Then he jumped out of the water just a few yards away. We are paddling out again today, hope they come back to see us!

(okay, so I didn't see a baby dolphin sticking his tongue out at me, but if he had done it, I'd have seen it!)

Then this weekend I expect to be taking a metal clay and metalsmithing workshop with Kate McKinnon. I think it will be a good investment in new skills, and I already have a project in mind! Not to mention the pleasure of seeing Kate again :-).

I'm interested to see how these new experiences will show up in my may take a while for them to be absorbed, but I'm sure I'll be feeling their influence soon.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Good Morning

I have a few pictures of new beads to share; after Bead and Button, my head is full of new ideas and things I want to do, but I've only had a couple of days at the torch to try some of them out.

Inspired by the few but precious treasures I brought home from the show, I am experimenting with new motifs and jewelry designs. I bought a button from Anne Choi, some koi from Bob Burkett, and a neat crab from Greg Ogden, of Green Girl Studios (some of Bob's things can be found at Green Girl too). As always, I lament my lack of shutterbuggery when I visit the blogs of friends who were at the show. Not only do they seem to have found all of the very latest and neatest things, they photograph them and everyone who crosses their paths! What a nice way to recap and share memories. I have vowed to do better in the past, and here I go again ;-).

Anyway, here's a picture of my first piece with the Anne Choi button:

It wears nicely, and I love how it hides the wire and jumpring. I like this idea so much, in fact, that I dove into my stash and dug out some of the cool buttons I have collected over the years to use in jewelry designs. More to come!
I also can't resist sharing this guy, ordered at the show and shipped out yesterday:

I was a little daunted at the thought of doing a Shar Pei when I started studying all those wrinkles, but it turned out great. From the side he looks like he ran into a brick wall, just like he's supposed to.