Sunday, June 29, 2008
I've been wearing the bracelet almost daily and it was so funny when I went looking for it today to photograph -- it is so me, it totally blended in with everything else on my work table and I couldn't find it at first!
So thank you Kathy for all your crafty good vibrations, your fun blog, and the gifts. Blessings and good luck to you.
We had a going away shindig for a good friend who's moving out of state, and I was in charge of the goodbye card. Naturally I spent HOURS conceptualizing it and maybe 45 minutes actually making it. I used a free template in the shape of a tryptych which I would love to share a link to, but now I can't find it!
I searched (and searched) the Internet for the perfect graphics and quotations, and everybody sent in little things to say to our friend. I printed them out onto sheets of perforated business cards, thinking I'd do a pocket...and knowing that really wasn't going to work.
Up until the last minute I was at a total loss as to what to put on the front of the card, and how to integrate the goodbye notes. Finally, at work I spied some big pictures I keep under my clear plastic desk cover. They are inserts of Middle Eastern carpets I had pulled long ago from back issues of Architectural Digest. One of them I cut to fit and collaged onto the front of the card (splitting it down the center where the card opens like little doors) and another I made into a little envelope to put the goodbye notes into. Naturally I slathered the whole thing with gold leafing pen and it looked tres Turkish/Middle Eastern. Definitely not something you'd find at Walgreens.
So I figured our friend could prop up the card on her new mantle if she wanted...
and I was soooo proud...until she mentioned I got her name wrong, LOL! Not only that, her baby has two names and I switched them! She was very gracious about it though. Fortunately I still have the file with the Word Art names, so I'll send some corrections to her new home. With a little bottle of glue, LOL.
Sunday, June 22, 2008
Here's a link to the earring tutorial:
Saturday, June 21, 2008
I made these, wore them the next day, and sold 'em offa my ears (thank you, Cathy and your artsy niece in Napa who loves turtles 8-) These turtles are some of the first beads I ever bought, back when that pot silver stuff from India was popular. I used to make fat little goddesses by piecing together two silver beads and a round gemstone for the head. This was when my older sister had shown me how to more or less put beads on a headpin and string crystals for suncatchers.
I've been going through my little organizer boxes and kind of clearing things out. I found a certain stash of buttons acquired just before I started beading (the tail end of batiking, midpoint of embroidery, beginning of leather and dawn of beads ;-) I had gone home to Kentucky and my mother and I went downtown (Luavul) to Baer Button Company. It's changed now but back then it was mostly buttons and partly sewing stuff. Their buttons took up a couple of tall walls, stacked nearly to the ceiling in little cardboard boxes, with an example of the button taped to the front of the box.
I was just out of school and working for not much more than minimum wage, and making batik, embroidered and little leather pouches in the evenings. I needed single buttons for the pouches, and it was a huge splurge to go down to Baer and buy cool buttons. I found myself attracted to the cool older leather and metal buttons. I started looking way up high on the walls, for the yellowest old boxes with the gnarliest dried up tape, and suffered the employees to climb up and get them for me. They seemed to cost a small fortune -- but man, what they'd be worth today!
It was just an affinity and not so much a developed taste for vintage, or even an artistic style (or if it was, it would have been pseudo-hippie chick). Indeed, soon after that, button collecting seemed to take off and the goodies I saw that day were no doubt scarfed up completely. But I came away with a few little treasures -- like round disks of leather with a brass star on top, set into little brass shank settings, that I now use for necklace clasps.
I had a favorite rust colored tiered cotton skirt with about 20 little buttons down the front, and I swapped out the plain matching buttons for a row of tiny silver seahorses. I acquired the biggest coat buttons you can imagine, with burnt orange rhinestones set into brass. They'll make cool rings one of these days (it's on my list...not at the top...but, yeah, on the list...)
No, I'm not a button collector. I'm not much interested in making a display, or finding matching sets, or figuring out how much they might be worth. I don't know if I even care about using them in projects. They take up so little space, really. It's a small indulgence to just take them out and look at them now and then, like savoring a nice piece of chocolate or rediscovering an old letter from a friend.
The store is still hopping today -- as Baer Fabrics and they still sell some pretty cool buttons.
Friday, June 20, 2008
Last night I had a dream that I was way up in the air, looking over at a rainy oceanscape, where an island jutted out of the water, making a tall, rounded rocky mound, darkly silhouetted against the rainy sky.
(sorry, that really was it..and I even made it seem longer than it was...)
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
But here are my favorite new matchy-matchies from my shop:
I think I love using the silver cup in photos as much as I love making earrings... LOL!
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Monday, June 16, 2008
Sunday, June 15, 2008
The poem I used is by Izumi Shikibu, classical Japanese woman poet translated by Kenneth Rexroth in One Hundred Poems from the Japanese. It reads:
Out of the darkness
on a dark path,
I now set out.
Shine on me,
moon of the mountain edge.
This month's swap kind of snuck up on me but I was determined to make something since I had to miss the last one. So I ended up doing the backgrounds during my lunch hour -- I used 2 sheets of card stock, and long, torn strips of scrapbooking paper across the sheets horizontally. (Did you know if you tear the paper from the front, you'll get a white edge? And if you tear from the back, you won't. I made the snow-capped mountains just by tearing from the front.) Then I cut them down to size. You only get 8 cards out of a sheet this way (as opposed to 10) but I think it was quite a timesaver to do the whole background at once (it took about 20 minutes to do each full sheet).
At home I printed out the poem on a couple of sheets from my stash of vintage drafting vellum. I love the way the glue (PVA) makes it even more transparent, so it really interacts with the background colors. I burned the edges with a stick of incense. I might have gotten a little carried away, but things sure smelled good when I was done!
I doodled in the moons with my new clickable white out pen, and it looked ok, but I think I'm not happy unless there's a bit of sparkle, so I dabbed on some interference gold paint by Golden. Then I darkened the edges with black and brown solvent ink.
Thursday, June 12, 2008
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Monday, June 9, 2008
Sunday, June 8, 2008
Saturday, June 7, 2008
And lots of new Etsy sellers perhaps thought it was a good idea to imitate her success by imitating her product. Some creators of similar products had undoubtedly played with those materials before. Some imitators, I'm sad to report, did a pretty lousy job, but others took her concept and went off in their own direction with it.
However, there were soon SO many Etsy sellers horning in on her idea she finally said, this is so disenheartening to have this happen in my own community, I'm just going to create a tutorial for this product and sell THAT. (Some of those in the community, as I said earlier, were probably not horning in but were simply having simultaneous artgasms, the phenomenon of two people playing with similar materials with similar inherent properties and therefore similar potential, coming up with very similar products at the same time -- but you could discern them pretty easily cause their individual creativity showed through).
Well I purchased this PDF from her and it was just fine. Simple, straight to the point, clear photos and wording, and quick, friendly email delivery. I do tutorials, see, and I think I would have noticed if there were problems with it. I am not interested in making said product, I just bought it to share with my niece when she came to visit. Well, she's here now, so I thought I'd go online tonight and find the Friendly Legend's shop for her in case she wants to share the link with some of her young friends.
But I quickly became confused. I found a link to a different seller, selling a PDF for the exact same product. In the listing, she referred to it as the original. Huh? So I did a search and found, not one or two, but a total of SEVEN other Etsy sellers selling their own versions of the tutorial on Etsy, oh wait, actually SIX -- because ONE of the seven is giving the tutorial away for free!
The ones who are selling the item itself are undercutting her price. All of them are undercutting her price for the tutorial. None of them have been on Etsy for more than 8 months -- in fact, two or three joined within the last month.
Is this what they mean by "a free country"? And how do you think it feels now to be a success on Etsy? Would you do this? If so, how would you justify it? I mean, it's probably legal...but it is really worth it? Cause now that product is available dirt cheap because everyone (except the Legend, who is Moving On to other things) is trying to undercut everyone else. Is there something wrong with her tutorial that they needed to make their own nearly identical one? Are these people ganging up on the Legend? Do they resent her? Or are they oblivious? WWXD? (What would Xena do??????)
Friday, June 6, 2008
I guess it is the LAW (or the lewwuh as Peter Sellers would say...) that I respond and tag unto others as others have tagged unto me.
What was I doing 10 years ago?
- Raising a toddler
- Wearing smaller clothing
What are 5 things on my to-do list for today?
- Go to Jackalope
- Show my niece how to make wrapped bead loops
Snacks I enjoy….
- Salsa & chips
- Dates with feta cheese
Things I would do if I were a billionaire:
- Stay home
- Travel a wee bit
- Support a few charities
- Buy a great house or two
Places I have lived:
- New Mexico
Jobs I have had:
- Art studio helper
- Frame & glass shop
- Graphic artist
- Instructional designer
- Ed. technology trainer
Bloggers I’m tagging for this meme….
Thursday, June 5, 2008
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
Why, just yesterday afternoon I was yanking the gamma. Hey! Don't get ahead of yourself. I mean adjusting the midtones...strongly...in my photos. Along with the highlights. I thought it would be fun (as opposed to "funny" cause it's actually quite sad, LOL) to show a before and after of what I was working with today.
But first...ahem. My shooting method. [sound of knuckles cracking]
1. Rush home before sun goes down.
2. Find camera.
3. Locate empty diskette.
4. Turn around and start running across the room with camera still plugged in to charger.
5. Shoo boyz from game cube (they yell at me for walking back and forth with camera).
6. Put pretty paper on tray table. On top of other pretty paper from last time. Scoot tray table closer to sliding glass door. Hope stack of pretty paper doesn't slide onto floor.
6. Toss jewelry onto paper.
7. Turn on camera, autofocus off.
8. Squat bent over in non-yoga position, squinting over bifocals into viewfinder. Turn focus thingy until jewelry gets all squiggly. Pray that means it's in focus.
9. For hanging jewelry shot, find dirty old bottle, drape jewelry on it, put illustrious boy Buddha statue behind pretty paper to prop up paper backdrop.
10. Do this over and over until I'm sweaty.
11. Curse the boyz for not turning on the air.
12. Run back to computer and pop in the diskette.
And that's my method. [sound of beatniks snapping fingers]
After that it's top secret editing time. Top secret, because I couldn't tell you what I do or why, exactly. Basically I lighten the gamma, adjust the highlights higher, tweak the shadows, and occasionally tip the colors (usually away from blue...we have big skies around here and they throw a color cast, even into my living room). Sometimes I have to do so much gamma yanking, I have to resaturate the photos a bit, but only just a bit or my A gemstones turn into AAA gemstones, LOL!
Ok here's the photos. I actually work with them 2-3 times as big as they are here.
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
Why, yes, as a matter of fact, thanks for noticing! First I teased it, then slathered it down with olive oil! Then I stuck a strand of old Roman coins in there with a couple of paper clips. How do you like it? 8-) Is it me??? (Too bad I can't see the coins from this angle. Or lick my elbow...)
Monday, June 2, 2008
with a vintage turquoise bird fetish and gemstone beads. Rather petite.
Amazingly amazing clear vintage beads covered up with metal wire mesh.
Handmade earring wires. It's unusual vintage finds like these that make me all crazy happy!
I'd like to take credit for the fix cause I always feel so macho when I tame a machine, but actually it was two coworkers who told me what to do. See, I had fiddled with the monitor settings and totally screwed things up. My coworker goes, "Did you boot it up with F8?" I say, "Uh, no. What's F8?" He says, "You don't know about F8?" (Hey I'm a driver, not a mechanic.) I said, "I have gaps." He says, "Oh, F8 is great." My other coworker goes, "Then you can Restore your computer to back before the crash." (Nice of her to phrase it that way knowing it wasn't a "crash," it was me thinking I was smarter than Bill Gates.). And so I did! Those simple words of theirs. Who'd have thought? And it didn't cost a dime! I was ready to haul the thing in and pay some gamer half my age to fix it...
So anyway, I made jewelry. Lots of new things in the pipeline. I read a book. I took a nap. We went to a movie. Etsy sales were fairly awesome in May so Saturday I treated myself to some silver findings from New Mexico Bead and Fetish. How lucky am I to have not one, but two bead stores just two blocks away? Or maybe it's not luck, it's too much temptation...
Plus the local bakery (aka Golden Crown panaderia) had sent out flyers in the neighborhood, advertising a pizza family special, so after spending my dough (har har) on silver I went down there and ordered the most deliciosa green chile pizza, a huge salad, and cheese bread takeout. I've adored their empanadas but never sampled their pizza and let me tell you mama was not holding back. Hey it's a bit more than Dominos, but such flavor!