Sunday, July 24, 2011

Halloween in July

Every year I seem to fail to get my Halloween designs up on my Etsy shop. These pieces are ready to go and available for immediate shipment. Shop early and be all decked out for the big day. My Halloween line is always available by order on Penny Michelle's Halloween page. I also have been known to take the occasional special order. Yes, I have made a Halloween vampire bunny. I love the stuff my customers come up with. And you all thought I was twisted!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

500 Etsy Sales

Its taken me a few years but I finally hit 500 sales in my main Etsy shop . To celebrate from now until July 7 I am giving 25% off all orders using coupon code 500MORE. Just posted some stunning black and white beads including my new Tiny Dagger Charms. Happy shopping!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Thank you Honolulu!

Kimmie here:

I didn't get any pictures taken in Honolulu, so here's a nice kitty we saw hanging out by the canal in Kapaa.

We had a great time at the show in Honolulu last weekend, and especially visiting with friends Daniel and Karen Howell, of Dee Howl Beads. Karen grew up there, and they drove me and Morgan around a bit. We went up on top of Tantalus mountain and caught the view of the city just after sunset, before hitting a classic local burger spot. I was especially excited to go up Tantalus, since Karen told me she and her friends used to skateboard down that road back in the day. YIKES! She said they would grab the vines to slow down going around the turns. YIKES! Back when skateboards had metal wheels and if you hit a rock you are toast. YIKES!

Sounds fun.

I also got to meet Sara Sally LaGrand, whose work, face, and name were all familiar to me from past shows, but we had never actually talked. She is so talented and interesting. Her work is wonderfully expressive!

The show was great, so now I am pretty officially cleaned out of beads. At the show while visiting with other beadmakers it was hard not to get excited and start making plans for other shows, especially the next Softflex show in Honolulu. I kept having to remind myself that I don't have a torch here, much less someplace to put it and work. We are, of course, looking for an apartment, and working outside in this environment will be a pleasure. After we find a place, we will have to make a trip to San Diego for a major garage sale/packing/shipping vacation. Whee.

This Friday is the deadline to apply for a scholarship to the Gathering, the annual conference held by the International Society of Glass Beadmakers. I am planning to apply, if only for the practice at writing an artist's statement and putting down some goals on paper. I have never really done that before, and it seems like there are a lot of opportunities out there for artists who know how to do stuff like writing grants and proposals. Also, I am self-taught and would really value the opportunity to take a class there. I think I would take a class that seems totally contrary to the kind of work I do myself. I'd also like to pick the teachers' brains about how to get started teaching. I have done lots of demos and enjoy that; teaching seems like a natural extension of demonstrating.

If any readers have some experience with writing statements, teaching, or the Gathering, I would love to hear about it!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Finally Felted

Kimmie here:

At long last, I give you FELTZILLA, in all his glory!!!

(no photo could do him justice)

I'm really happy with how tight and smooth he is; the details really pop! I have been wearing the ring and it is so comfortable, thanks to Kate's terrific shank design. After my show this weekend, the Honolulu Glass Bead and Art Festival, I will send the ring to be moulded, so that I can have it cast in sterling silver. I want to sell FZ's but I'd like to keep this original for myself. Every ring will have its own, original, handmade felt Zilla inside. Of course, if somebody has a particular building in mind that they would like to see him wrecking, I will work with you on a custom ring!

I have a bit of clay left and a fresh idea for felt + PMC that I'm excited to get started on. This will be a bracelet, and will not have a monster-movie theme...

The laptop I have been using for over ten years decided last week that it was done, so I'm working on a new machine right now. I'm enjoying its speed, but not in love with the keyboard layout. Hope it won't take too long to get used to. We are trying wireless internet, too. The network seems to work fine, but the idea of pay-as-you-go seems to be a joke. One month or 1G, whichever comes first...Ha, that gigabyte is going to last us maybe one week. So here I am at the Duck again for the data-heavy communications...(I'm not sure why we call McDonald's the Duck; you'll have to ask Penny.)

The Duck here at WalMart is a real gathering place for the locals, it is funny to sit here for an hour and observe. Kauai is more like East Texas than I ever would have imagined, complete with monster trucks and rednecks (I use the term redneck not as an insult, but as an adjective). Not to mention the chickens everywhere.

Unfortunately, we are not free from mainland-style troubles here. There have been four bomb scares in the last two weeks at a local school. Some idiot, no doubt. A kid at my high school tried to call in a threat, but did it using the payphone in the courtyard, twenty yards from the principal's office. The principal saw him using the phone and put two and two together. I repeat, IDIOT!

In happier island news, we are now ready to hit the surf. Morgan's surfboard trailer is a complete success! Made of a thrifted golf cart and some bamboo, it looks great, too, like something the Professor from Gilligan's Island would have come up with.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Yes--I said FIERCE!

Kimmie here:

Feltzilla is looking much more ferocious these days!

Way sharper armor plates, angry brows, and yes flames, if you can dig it! I think they look pretty good, and not too much like he's puking at all. Next up some trimming and tidying up, a couple of pupils in those eyes and we are in business. I'm so tempted to try and make the eyes bloodshot. He's a little bigger than he was in the last post, but probably not big enough to make that actually viable. Oh well. I'm just so much happier with this result, can't wait to get him done and show off the finished piece! Maybe tomorrow.

I have lots to do right now. I didn't finish the 'update' post, so, long story short: we moved to Mammoth Lakes, CA for the ski season, and two days later Morgan got an offer of a full-time job in Hawaii. Guess where I live now! There I was, a badass snowbunny tearing up the slopes, and suddenly it's time to practice my paddling again. I hope I can remember how to surf! We have been on Kauai for almost six weeks, we're in a temporary apartment right now and without a car. Here's my mode of transportation:

I take my cart to the grocery, to the beach, even to Costco! We upgraded it with baby buggy wheels--does anyone else remember those Bill Cosby albums?--and it rolls like a charm. Morgan also made a really great surfboard trailer out of some bamboo and a golf bag cart. Don't have those photos uploaded yet, but will share next time.

Although I didn't bring my torch, I did bring my beads, so I signed up for the Softflex Glass Art and Bead Festival. It's March 4-6 in Honolulu, so if you are in town or want an excuse to visit the islands, check it out.

I'm looking forward to the show, but scrambling a bit for inventory and display. My table is bound to be pretty creative, to say the least. I'll post photos, for sure.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Work In Progress: or, Yes, I am Still Working on Feltzilla...

Kimmie here:

While we were in Montana, I got a face put on Feltzilla. This, I thought, was the final step, and I would call him finished:
Sorry about the blurry picture, but I didn't have a camera with a macro function there. The blurry photo is pretty accurate, though, in describing how the piece looked to me. I wanted it to be harder, sharper, meaner looking!

There were a couple of difficulties with this. I had trouble finding the finer felting needles I needed, and after we got back to Mammoth Lakes, I started working full time on the mountain. I was tired enough at the end of the day that FZ was not high on my list of things to do when I got home. Then, Morgan accepted a job in Hawaii...HAWAII??? So after one month of glorious snow, we moved here to Lihue on the island of Kauai. I brought FZ of course, and a few weeks ago I found a website that offered not only size 40 needles, but superfine 42's as well! WooHoo!

The finer needles are working wonderfully, but my obsession with firm fine felt is one that requires patience. Needlefelting is incredibly time-consuming: I spent an entire day on FZ, removing his face and adding felt so that I could pack it in and give him a solid, not-overly-fuzzy surface.
I tightened up his arms and legs, got rid of that paunch and lengthened his neck. He now has some very handsome plates on his back and stands a little taller. He is not so easy to pull in and out of his building though, so I have to make a decision about how removable I want him to be. I may have to compromise on those plates in order to keep the versatility. With the longer neck, I also plan to have flames coming out of his mouth.

The process of needlefelting is an interesting one, in that to add firmness, I am trying to add material while condensing the bulk. It's easy to try to add too much, and tricky on this scale to pack it in. But I think the results will be worth it. I learn a lot with each project, and this one is no exception. I am hoping to have a mold made of the ring so that I can make a multitude of FZs and offer them as special orders!

I have no pressing duties today, so am going to grab my needles and get sticking! ...I have new ideas and projects I want to work on, but am determined to Finish FZ First!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Major update!

Kimmie here:

Wow, these past three months have been epic. I'm going to update as much as I can right now, looks like the laptop is running out of juice.

At the beginning of November, Morgan and I schlepped our stuff to Mammoth Lakes, ready for a season of snow. We headed up to Montana to visit my parents a couple of days later, intending to stay for my birthday on the 11th and then come back so I could start my job as a lift operator. It was pretty warm when we got there, but snowed the next day, just a little:

Nice! It wasn't snowing in Mammoth, however, and my job training date was moved back a couple of weeks. We decided to stay for Thanksgiving! It continued to snow:

nice finger in front of the camera there, Kim!

We spent three wonderful weeks dyeing yarn, knitting (Morgan learned to knit!), slalom snowboarding behind the ATV and trying to ride our bikes in the snow. And boy did we eat well!

OK, the computer is about to give up the ghost. Next: onward to Mammoth, and the snowiest December on record!