Sunday, July 29, 2007

Castaway Ink Effects

Castaway inkpads provide a more controlled version of stamping with bleach. You apply the "ink" to paper, let it soak in and settle for a few minutes, then heat it by applying a very hot iron directly to the "inked" paper. It doesn't work on all papers, works better on some than others, and doesn't work well with delicate stamps.

My favorite Castaway discharge project -- unfortunately, no pictures thanks to the "great hard drive crash" of summer 07...unless, that is, I ever find time to go through my backup CDs -- was using the refill bottle instead of stamps to apply Castaway ink directly to black card stock. I divided an 8-1/2" x 11" sheet into bands, then made mudcloth designs in between the bands. After heating, I punched the sheet into large tags.

The effect was very mudcloth-ish because the Castaway ink turned the paper kind of a creamy off-white, fading to dark brown around the edges.

You could probably get a cool batik effect with this stuff too.

Two problems though -- the paper SMOKED when I ironed it. I don't think it was the paper, actually, I think it was the product. The other problem was, if the ink was too heavy, it never, ever, ever dried. Ever.

Well, it occurred to me to do a little Google search to see what other folks are doing with this product. Here's what I found, from basic instructions, to tips, to photos of people's projects:

  • Blockhead Stamps
  • The Stamp Attic
  • Hot Potatoes' instructions kinda tickled me when they said "the color is permanently removed" -- what? is there a discharge technique where the color comes back after awhile? ;-)
  • Here are several reviews from ScrapFriends; scroll down to read them all and see project photos!

Overall, I'd say this is a fun product to play with, but it's not indispensable.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Contributor Guidelines for Bead/Jewelry/Mixed Media Artists

Here's an October 2007 update to the links and info below...I added links to Stringing magazine, and corrected a few others. Let me know if you have additions or corrections to add!

Here are all the beadwork, jewelry and mixed media publications I know of that accept unsolicited article queries and work to be featured in their gallery pages. Each mag has its own procedures -- some pay, some don't; some request you send a brief email first, some have deadlines, themes, etc. Improve your odds of getting published by familiarizing yourself with each magazine and its submission guidelines!

Note: all the links ending in .pdf require Adobe Acrobat Reader to open.

Altered Arts Magazine

Art Jewelry (Kalmbach)

ATC Quarterly (Artist Trading Cards only)

Bead and Button (Kalmbach)

BeadStyle (Kalmbach)

Beadwork (Interweave)

Bead Unique (All American Crafts, Inc.)

Belle Armoire (Somerset Studio)

Cloth, Paper, Scissors (Quilting Arts)

The Crafts Report

Jewelry Crafts (Miller Magazines)

Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist (Interweave)
Guidelines not available online...try this link:

query the editor here:

Piecework Magazine (Interweave)
Editorial and calendar guidelines:


Quilting Arts (Interweave)

Simply Beads (Annie's Attic/Dynamic Resource Group)

Somerset Studio

Step By Step Beads (Interweave)

Step By Step Wire Jewelry (Interweave)

Stringing (Interweave)
Enter the Stringing Challenges:

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Ronda Kivett's Bead E Art Zine

Someone asked about this zine elsewhere in my blog... so it occurred to me it's high time to talk about Ronda.

Ronda Kivett is constantly exploring new creative territory. Seven issues and I'm not sure how many years ago, she started her own little self-published magaZINE about beadwork, creativity, dollmaking, polymer clay, and more. Each issue has a theme and sub-themes. It's the only zine I keep and treasure for almost-ever -- I keep them in their original manila shipping envelopes, even.

I mentioned the most recent issue -- #7 -- because Ronda included some of my beaded ATCs in the pages. Here's a link to Ronda's home page, where you'll see a link to her zine (and her free goddess doll patterns, and her artwork, and her general loveliness ;-)

Friday, July 13, 2007

Robert Beer's Tibetan Symbols book

Today a wonderful book arrived! The Encyclopedia of Tibetan Symbols and Motifs, by Robert Beer -- picked up (new) on eBay. It's over 350 pages, hardback, of lions, tigers, buddhas, astrological symbols, with explanations in text I'll probably never get to ;-) There is, for instance, an entire page of deer in different poses, 4 or 5 plates of nothing but flame motifs, patterns and mandals, wrathful and benevolent. I forgot how much I love Tibetan Buddhist art.

Years ago (before I had nearly enough respect for the fact that books do go out of print), I acquired an earlier edition of Tibetan Thangka Painting, Methods and Materials and wrote iconographic notes right into the margins of the book! At that time (pre-Internet), it was not that easy to find information, so I stuffed the book with postcards, little pages of notes I took down at the library, etc. Then a couple of years ago when I started selling off some of my block prints of Himalayan and Tibetan Buddhist prints, I found a scads of wonderful resources on the net that simply weren't available to me (and you) before... here are a few:

Monday, July 9, 2007

The Guide, a doodle collage

Another quick page from my journal.
I predict colored pencils in my future...
that wolf needs a rainbow aura. ;-)

Friday, July 6, 2007

Birdbrella and the Thin-skinned Man

Hehe. This little journal was to be for bead designs and reminders and such. But when the BJP started I committed myself to drawing a little bit every day. I had bought this great little notebook at Borders with my 20% off coupon. It has ruled pages, blank pages, and grid pages, as well as folder pockets, zipper bags, photo holders, and a neat plastic cover that will expand for a bit of collage (seen above). The cost was about $6.99 before the coupon. The pages are about 4.5" x 6".

I started doodling (more to come later...) and then a few days ago I cut out pictures from a book that didn't sell at our recent yard sale, snipped them to size and glued a few down rather randomly throughout. The rest I stashed in the pockets for later. A glue stick, white out marker, and black gel pen are making for a whole lotta fun! This is the page I did around 1:00 a.m. last night after working on some bead class handouts.

I'm enjoying this silliness so much I went to Borders and bought another similar journal for Fall!

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Finding Flow, or I wanna be Joe

Who's Flo? No silly, it's the title of a book by a guy whose name I can't even pronounce, much less spell. But it's a great summer read (not new, just new to my hands...). Easy to read, accessible -- plus I learned a new word -- autotelic. :-)

Finding Flow: The Psychology of Engagement with Everyday Life

The author describes how Joe, a factory worker, thrived happily in the workplace, and pursued creative interests outside work, finding "flow" (absorption) in both, *unlike* his coworkers, who didn't quite grok him...he could fix anything in the plant, and at night he and his wife built rock gardens and fountains next to his house. Joe was HAPPY. 8-)

Speaking of fountains, today we drove up to the Tinkertown Museum in the mountains outside Albuquerque, where Ross Ward spent 30 years or so building walls out of concrete and glass bottles, carving wood, painting signs (he was a circus sign painter by trade), and assembling dioramas and "dollhouses".

My favorite quote of his:

"I did all this while you were watching TV"

Hehe. Now I know what to (maybe) say when people look aghast, confused, or pat me on the head right before they say "How long did it take you to bead this?"

Monday, July 2, 2007

Bead Journal Project for June

SPOILER WARNING: If you don't want to see Bead Journal Project photos until later in our year, turn the page now. Or close your eyes. No peeking! ;-)

Managed to finished our first month's "page" just 1 day late -- not bad considering I did a month-long grad school class online, taught 2 bead class sessions, had a hard drive crash, and oh yeah, there's the 40-hour a week job... Not complaining mind you. But I will if this happens every month! Hehe. I was telling my students that all you need to do is a comfortable arm's length of thread each night and you can get quite a bit of work done each week. Without the repetitive strain injuries, mind you. ;-)

Ok -- so have you other BJP participants decided whether to look at pictures or not? If the answer is "No," then hit the back button NOW... But if you do want to take a peek, here you go:

I know. I really should have cleaned the mirror before scanning...
"Mirror, Mirror" is about 4-1/2" x 7", bead embroidered on cloth
that was wrapped around some nonwoven polyester bead backing.