Monday, October 31, 2011

Funniest Feedback Ever

I had to conduct some live, online training and this is one response I thought was so funny I put it up on my cubicle wall (for a time... there were a few who passed by and read it but didn't get the humor):

The presentation went extremely well overall. The presenter was friendly, knowledgable and used polls and questions to actively involve the participants. Give her a raise and then punish her for being so good by making her give these quality, helpful presentations constantly and make others shadow her so that hopefully others will learn that there are ways to effectively train employees without simply droning on and killing people with Power Point...

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Mystery Slipper Covers

Sally Ingram bought these slipper covers on eBay from a seller
who thought they were Native American made. Not so.

They're pretty similar (especially the triangular tops) to the Afghan
beaded medallion Sarah gave me.

We'd like to find out more about them! Any comments?

Here's what the backs look like. Crochet?

Monday, October 24, 2011

Boulder -- Where I'll Be in November

I'll be with the Handweavers Guild of Boulder on November 14 and 15, giving a slide lecture about my mixed media bead embroidery, plus two workshops -- Color Theory for Beadworkers and Artisans, and Beading with Sequins. For the former, I'll be using my new booklet called Hands-on Color. Here's the Guild's web writeup on the November program

I am so thrilled to be invited up to Boulder and to be getting back into teaching again after my long hiatus in grad school!

Also, to spruce up my blog for potential sign-ups by Guild members, I finally pulled my portfolio and bio pages out of draft mode. You can see the new pages up along the top navigation bar. Have a look!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Wire Wrapped Bangle Earrings

Finally had a chance to play with some of that wire wrapping stuff. Didn't intend to...
I started with some really sturdy, high quality copper findings from New Mexico
Bead and Fetish. I mixed sterling and copper with Amy's bead swap beads,
then since I had some 24 gauge wire on me I played a bit with wrapping some
seed beads around the oval form.

More of Amy's bead swap earrings, this time blue/green cathedral beads.
Now I think I'm ready to try this with gemstones.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

NMBS Class

Saturday I taught Beading with Sequins at the New Mexico Bead Society's
"Bead Boot Camp." Here they're learning how to make the "Magic Flower"
(thank you ladies for helping me name that thang ;-)

Monday, October 17, 2011

Afghan Beaded Medallion

This was Sarah's roomie gift to me over the weekend!

Beautiful Afghan tribal motifs joined together
on this cloth-backed medallion.

Sarah got this large and lovely piece (about 6" in diameter) from Uberkuchi on Etsy.

Friday, October 7, 2011


Weird, wet skies this morning. Very intense colors.
Don't know if the photo captures
how these colors really saturate your eyes!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Skulls on a Bed of Rice

I find the weirdest things on my worktable.
In this case, it's stone skull beads, some with rhinestones glued into their eye sockets,
garnished with some weird old millinery stamens that suddenly remind me of bones.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Free Clip Art for Bamboo Tiles

Playing with my new laser printer today, I resized some images from my collection of vintage labels. So addictive! Here's a little freebie for y'all, a mysterious gal from an antique Art Deco perfume label:

She's scaled for the larger, 1" x 1-7/8" tiles.

Have fun!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Book Review: Jewelry Upcycled!

Here's another fun project book by Sherri Haab, this time with Michelle Haab: Jewelry Upcycled!. Together they explore the latest jewelry making styles and techniques, this time with an emphasis on using found and recycled materials. Although not the only title on this topic, Sherri manages, as usual, to create unique, wearable and tastefully designed jewelry items.

The first section, covers tools and basic techniques. The second section covers basic tools and supplies for working with metal -- including recycled metals, and the projects here include cold metal techniques like rivets and eyelets. One project shows how to use shapes cut from old tins in a project I could have sworn was guilloche when I first saw it! As always, I like Sherri's fresh takes on already known ideas, like working with old silverware. She creates a pretty pearl and silver spoon pendant that would be a real hit as a wedding gift.

I wouldn't have bought the book for the first two sections since I already know most of the techniques but the coverage is perfect for a beginner who needs to stock their studio for taking their jewelry making to the next level.

Remember telephone wire? It's in here. Want to recycle your old credit cards? Sherri shows how to layer the cut, embossed shapes with textured copper. You can make clear plastic soda bottle jewelry that looks like glass (but weighs and costs less!). There's a crocheted plastic bag bracelet that is sure to be a hit with my local OFFCenter artist pals, who live and breathe recycled art. I could live without the shampoo bottle charms, but the idea did inspire me to pay closer attention to the colors of the products I select! And before I throw out that last box of cassette tapes that didn't go at my last yard sale, I'll remember to turn OFFCenter on to the idea of braiding that stuff a la kumihumo.

After an easy stroll through plastics, Sherri heads into heavier territory in the next section, working with recycled glass and ceramics. The drilled and tumbled glass pendant project, and the soldered china plate charm are pretty standard fare but in Sherri's book you get step-by-step pictures to show exactly how it's done. A guest artist also shows how to make a mold, smash glass, and fuse it in a kiln.

My favorite section covered upcycled fabric and leather. Here you can recycle your t-shirts into roses, and rivet an old leather belt into an embellished cuff bracelet. I love the pins made from sweather felt (at last, some beads!), and the found object bottle necklace with stamped metal and cowboy boot was another favorite.

Did I mention that each section is followed by a gallery of work from other artists? It's quite an inspiration to see how other people transform basura -- trash -- into pretty treasures we can wear.