Studio Musings

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Fusion Beads' Annual Charity Auction this Evening

Fusion Beads' Annual Charity Auction postcard

This evening is Fusion Beads' annual silent charity auction, Sparkle for a Cause benefiting the Treehouse Little Wishes program.  It's a fantastic auction of jewelry pieces by the the instructors and employees at Fusion Beads and I've heard there are still tickets available.

I won't be able to be there, but one of my bracelets will be:

Yep, it's one of my Lacework Bracelets.  this one's in my Midnight Lace color way, though it has a different vintage-style button than in my kits.  The cuff has such sparkle when it's worn, it seemed like a perfect fit for this auction. 

So, if you happen to be in town - doors open at 6:00pm.  I can say from past experience that it's a thoroughly enjoyable evening. 

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Storytelling - Message(s) in a Bottle

Since I'm totally drawn to the ocean in my design themes, I've decided to play with the idea of the Message in a Bottle for next month's freeform peyote Found Objects Challenge.

First I had to find a bottle.  I scrounged up three.  The dark brown one came from Joe's grandmother's house and almost won the coin toss until he pointed out that you wouldn't be able to easily see that there were messages inside. 

On to the next: the Pyrat is a great shape, and it's RUM, but the bottle is ungodly heavy (heavy means more likely to damage any beads underneath).  And it's big!  While I'm not expecting to completely finish the piece before the reveal, I'd like to get somewhere close.

Which led me back to the third bottle in my photo.    Way back when, I came up with this grand idea of creating a six-pack of beaded Coke bottles.  Each with their own theme.  For the past several years, I've had exactly one and a half bottles complete.  This would nearly double my total!  Even better - You could definitely see a message through the clear glass, or messages, plural.....

So here's where you come in:

I want my bottle to be crammed full of messages.  Message on top of message on top of message.  Since I like making up stories, I'm sure I can come up with quite a few.  But wouldn't it be more fun if I weren't the only one?  Say there was a whole community of castaways and lost souls, with only one bottle between the lot of them - would they fight over the bottle, or decide it was community property and use it as the local post office before throwing it into the sea? 

I'm inviting you to send me messages for my bottle.  You can comment to this blog post below, or you can email (skunkhillstudio at yahoo dot com) me directly.  Funny, sad, witty, a wish, thought-provoking rambles, a story message from your imagination or from real life - anything but crudities will go in. 

Send me Messages for my Bottle - Please!

I love the little reverse on the theme, too.

Thank you for becoming a part of my latest project!

Oh, and for those of you who follow my Facebook page, the round, beaded disc I posted there yesterday is the base for my beaded bottle.  It comes from a suggestion by David Chatt.  From what I remember, he noted that a single layer of seed beads underneath a fully beaded bottle is very fragile - just the weight of the glass and the beads above can be enough to damage them.  As an alternative, he suggested using cubic right angle weave to provide a sturdier base, since it's three sandwiched layers of beadweaving.  So that's what it is: cubic right angle weave in the round.  Now it's time to start working with freeform peyote. 

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Please Write Me this November

I just received an email with the title of this post as the subject line.  The email was from "Your Novel  at".  Yep,  it's that time of year again!  November is National Novel Writing Month and Nanowrimo is back to challenge us to write our novel with their excellent support and encouragement.  Here's the rest of the letter:

Dear Burgeoning Novelist,

I'm writing to tell you I need you. That's right, I've been swirling around in the breathtaking labyrinths of your unconscious mind for a while now, and I'm itching to leap into the world. The only way I can come out, though, is if you commit to writing me in November.

So, if you haven't already, please sign in for 2013 NaNoWriMo and create me. For inspiration, just read Abby's story in our 2012 Annual Report. Abby's novel was such a powerful force that she faced down naysayers, found a way to write while juggling a busy life, and then crossed the finish line on the shoulders of NaNo's amazing community.

I know we'll write a gobsmacking, mind-bending story as well, so please commit to writing me in the following ways.

  Start prepping with a NaNo notebook—just released! We have so much to decide. Who is our protagonist? What sorts of wicked plans are our tales' rapscallions hatching? Sure, I've been swimming among the stories in your unconscious depths, but we have to start working to get 'em all out onto the page.

So let's get in the noveling mood. Check out these NaNo Prep resources to get primed:
Above all, please just write me. November is a grand celebration of everyone's amazing creative powers, so let's plunge into NaNo's rollicking mayhem and give light to a riveting story.

With rip-roaring wishes,

Your 2013 NaNo Novel

Word count: Ready to go...

As you can already guess, I'm in.   What I'm wondering is who's willing to join me?  Anyone up for a month-long bout of noveling insanity?  While I can't say that I've ever managed to write a gobsmacking, mind-bending (at least in the positive sense) story, I can say from experience that it's a wild ride.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Penny for your Thoughts: Pinterest Etiquette

While I have a Pinterest account and a few boards, I’ve never felt completely comfortable using it.  My biggest issues revolving around copyright – what did/do I owe to the person whose image I’m pinning?  
A friend’s post last week brought that question back up to the forefront for me.  Halinka’s post was prompted by the discovery that another woman had copied one of her designs and posted an instructional video claiming the pattern as her own.  Totally not cool.   Much of Halinka’s post revolved around the topic of attribution – how do we keep our names associated with our designs in cyberspace? 
In the course of the post she focused on Pinterest, offering a series of suggestions for Pinterest etiquette, and I thought it a great topic for discussion.  Pinterest has grown up so fast, that I don’t feel it’s ever really been truly addressed.  
I know that most of the people who read my blog are artists and designers themselves.  And it seems like a careful look at how we all use Pinterest is a great way to help support our fellow artists.  We can all be Artist Heros!  :)
Figuring this out would definitely make me feel more comfortable using Pinterest.  Every time I pin an image, I find myself wondering what do I owe to the person whose image I’m pinning in terms of proper attribution?  Does my use fall under the fair use of copyright?  
So here are Halinka’s suggestions, with my commentary in itallics.  
  • Ask me first.  I'm not sure how practical this is, as it would require a full round of emails and removes the immediacy that I think is part of Pinterest's appeal.  On my blog at least, this is definitely not required.  If someone did want people to ask them first, or did NOT want to allow pinning at all, how would they let people know?  Create a 'No Pinning' badge?
  • Leave a Comment.   I love this suggestion for works pinned from blogs.  That way the blogger can link to my board if they'd like, or they can even ask me to remove their image if they prefer.  Either way, I feel more like I've acknowledged their claim to the design and my limited use of it on my board.  
  •  Make sure that the link back goes directly back to the original designer’s page.  If it doesn’t, include the full link in the comment section. 
Some additional suggestions I came up with based off of Halinka's post:
  • When pinning from a blog, include the name of the designer if you can find it. Such a simple way to help keep the designer connected with their design!  This is something I'm going back through my boards and adding. 
  • Think carefully about the titles of your boards and what you include on which board.  Unless the design is offered as a pattern or tutorial, don’t include it on boards with titles like “Designs I’d Love to Make”.   Instead maybe it could go on a board called  "Jewelry Inspirations" or "Designs I Love" or "Cool Uses for Tila Beads" – again something to indicate that you know someone else’s creativity went into that design.   
What do you think? I’d really love to hear how you work with Pinterest, and your comments or additions to the suggestions.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Sign-ups are Open for our 2nd Freeform Peyote Blog Hop

Due to popular demand, Mandi Ainsworth and I are hosting our second Freeform Peyote Blog Hop and signups are now open.

Captured Treasures Blog Hop: Incorporating Found Objects

The theme this time is Found Objects - whether they're shells you found at the beach, bottle caps from your last cook out, or that strange thingamabob you found on your last walk with your dog - we challenge you to incorporate some interesting, non-beady object into your freeform peyote.

Signups are open through Saturday, October 12th. 

To signup - we're trying to keep one signup list, so we're asking that everyone email Mandi at 'mandibeads at gmail dot com' for signups.  Or if you'd really prefer, you can simply signup in a comment to this post - the key is to SIGNUP!  so we can put your name in lights.  Okay, so we can add you to the Blog Hop Roster.

What we'll need from you:  Your name, your email address, your blog URL if you have a blog.  Make sure that we have an email address to contact you so that we can confirm your signups! 

No blog?  No problem!  If you don't have a blog, let me know and I'll plan on working with you to set up a guest post on this here blog.  To give you an idea, here's the guest post I did for Bette Greenfield for our last hop. 

The Big Reveal will be Friday, November 15th.  

So here's your personal invite to jump on in and sign on up!  We'd love to have you.

Oh, and here's a smaller version of our Blog Hop bag, featuring the lovely work of artist Annita Wilson.  Feel free to grab it and use it to help spread the word. 

Time for me to get crackin' and come up with something fun. 

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Premeire Issue of Creative Spark Online Magazine

free, online magazine by
Last month witnessed the launch of Creative Spark, a beautiful new online magazine (otherwise known as a glossi).  Designed and edited by Hope Smitherman and backed by Znet Shows, it features the works of thirteen designers and artists, including yours truly.

Talk about eye candy and inspiration!  The work and photography in here is gorgeous.  We were all challenged to respond to the theme "Rings and Bling" with a secondary inspiration of the changing of the season. It's fascinating to see the different interpretations.   And it's official - I'm in love with those cultured sea glass loops! 

The glossi is extremely image heavy, to the point that I had some trouble loading it on my iPad - but it was definitely worth hauling out the laptop.  So many wonderful ideas. 

Here are some sneak peaks into the interior:

lovely two page spread - these earrings make me think of summers spent at the lake

Bobbie Rafferty's Crystal Waves necklace is one of my favorites
One of my pieces, and my new artist photo (ack!)

The next issue of Creative Spark is scheduled for Winter 2013/2014 and will focus on Pearls. Oh la la!