Studio Musings

Monday, January 26, 2015

Winners for the Book Blog Tour for Explorations in Freeform Peyote Beading

Thanks to everyone who stopped by to say "Hi" during Explorations in Freeform Peyote's Book Tour.  From the 78 entries, here are the winners of the Door Prize drawings:


Third Prize:  74 Becky Clay
Third Prize:  32 Doug van Dyke

Second Prize: 26 Beaded Tail
Third Prize: 65 Carolyn

Grand Prize: 36 Anne Marie


Blogger Hopper Prize: Creajet
  


Congratulations to all of the winners!  Please contact me so that I can arrange to mail your prize to you.  I've emailed everyone for whom I have an email address, but Doug and Becky - I need you to email me by Wednesday, January 28 to claim your prize.  

The Blogger Hopper Prize was a special drawing I added for people who left comments on all six participating blogs.

The Prizes again include:  
 
JJ Jacob's glass work & some sample bead soups

Grand Prize:  a signed copy of Explorations, along with a complete set of ten postcards with images from the book, AND a Bead Soup mix based around a lampworked bead(s) by artist JJ Jacobs.  Her fused glass cabochon was the inspiration for my Opal Essence necklace (shown in my alternate cover above).  She's sent me a similar fused glass cabochon, and I've put together a bead soup in blues sufficient to make a similar necklace should you desire. ($100 value)
 



Second Prize (2):   a Freeform Bracelet kit (beads only) to make your own version of my Nautilus Flower Cuff OR Demeter’s Harvest Bracelet.  I will draw one winner for each bead set.  Each set will include all of the beads, including the closure, to make a bracelet similar to mine.  

 
Third Prize (2):  
Small bead soup mix and postcard set.  This set will include enough beads to make a smaller project like a Personal planets beaded bead, pendant or several rings.  These prizes have grown, again thanks to JJ Jacobs!  They now include bead soup mixes with three of JJ Jacob's Waterdrop 'sea glass' beads.  You can see more of her beads here!  


Blog Hopper Special:  ebook versions of Explorations, including Kindle, ePub and the interactive PDF.   (I'm hoping to have the final Kindle and ePub versions available by this coming Friday!)


Thanks again to everyone who helped to make my first ever Book Blog Tour a smashing success!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Book Tour and Blog Hop for Explorations in Freeform Peyote Beading

Welcome to day one of the Book Blog Tour for Explorations in Freeform Peyote Beading!  This week five of the contributing artists and I are celebrating the book's publication with a virtual tour.  There will be new posts each day and a chance to win door prizes!  

Blog Tour Names and Dates:
Thurs., January 15
   Karen Williams, Baublicious
Friday, January 16
   Cynthia Machata, Antiquity Travelers
Saturday, January 17
   Nancy Dale, NED Beads
Sunday, January 18
   Bobbie Rafferty, Beadsong Jewelry
Monday, January 19
   Natalia Malysheva, Aqvatali
   Sarah Meadows, Saturday Sequins

Leave a comment at each blog for up to a total of eight chances to win.  Prizes listed below.
Behind the Scenes - like the special features section on the DVD, here's a peak into a few random facts about the creative process behind Explorations.   

Inception Date:  One year ago today I launched the Kickstarter to support the book's production.   After several months of debate and planning, I fully committed to the project on January 15, 2014.  The Kickstarter was my way of introducing the idea to the world and saying 'Hey, what do you think?'   After that, there was no easy way to back out - it was full steam ahead until the project's completion.  That was one of the scariest days of my life. 

Looking back at my Kickstarter proposal in preparation for writing this post, I was pleasantly surprised to note the finished book is remarkably close to my original vision.  Surprising because it seemed like the book and I wrestled constantly over the direction it would take.  Watching my little video, I realized I very nearly have a book trailer!  It would need a better audio track though;  I sound like I'm in a wind tunnel.  Maybe once I finish the Kindle and ePub versions.

By the numbers:  All told, Exploration's 174 pages includes images of ninety three pieces by twenty two artists (including myself) from three continents and four countries.  Detailed photo essays give a closer look at the construction and/or design process for twenty nine of the pieces, ranging from earrings and brooches to bracelets, necklaces, beaded bottles and even three-dimensional beaded fish.  
 
Contributing artists:
  The sheer talent of the contributing artists is inspiring.   Some I knew beforehand, many were new to me.   I didn't know it at the time, but I fear I may have bullied Cynthia Machata into creating her first freeform peyote necklace for the book.  I can't feel too badly about it because her Surf necklace is truly stunning.  Mary Foyes and I went through several rounds of photographs of her First Holy Communion Veil before arriving at the final photos, taken by Shauna Ploeger.  They are some of the finest in the book, and include the only photo in the entire book with a live model.   I felt a bit like a stalker, contacting Ibolya Bark√≥czi to ask if I could use one of her bracelets to illustrate working along the width.  Luckily she said yes and graciously sent several photos from which to choose! 

Beta Testers:  Borrowing from the software industry, I released six Beta versions to a subset of my Kickstarter community, sent once a month from June through November.  The first Beta was embarrassingly low on content.  Only 25 of the original 150 pages had anything on them besides the page headers.  Of the twenty five pages with content, many boasted a single image as a promise of what was to come.  I credit those Beta releases with keeping me honest and keeping me on track.  Knowing that forty-two people were waiting to see what I'd accomplished each month was a great motivator to stay on schedule.  Especially after my initial embarrassment. 

Cover Image:  At right is my earliest version for the book's cover.  The only image carried over to the final cover is my Coral Dancer bracelet.  In the proofing process, I ended up having the printers run two separate physical proofs.  This is the cover for the first proof.  The final cover was one of three I designed and was the overwhelming winner of a cover contest I ran with my Kickstarter community.  The final cover back includes the works of my seven featured artists, which pleases me.  But I still really like this cover, too.

Door Prizes
No party is complete without Door Prizes!    I am super excited about this Blog Tour and put together prizes with lots of freeform beady goodness to celebrate.

updated 1/25/2015 - the prizes have grown since my original announcement, largely thanks to JJ Jacobs of Creative Soul Revival.  

Sneak peak at Bead Soup mixes with JJ Jacobs' fused glass and Waterdrop beads
Grand Prize:  a signed copy of Explorations, along with a complete set of ten postcards with images from the book, AND a Bead Soup mix based around a lampworked bead(s) by artist JJ Jacobs.  Her fused glass cabochon was the inspiration for my Opal Essence necklace (shown in my alternate cover above).  She's sent me a similar fused glass cabochon, and I've put together a bead soup in blues sufficient to make a similar necklace should you desire. ($100 value)

Second Prize (2):   a Freeform Bracelet kit (beads only) to make your own version of my Nautilus Flower Cuff OR Demeter’s Harvest Bracelet.  I will draw one winner for each bead set.  Each set will include all of the beads, including the closure, to make a bracelet similar to mine. 


Third Prize (2):  
Small bead soup mix and postcard set.  This set will include enough beads to make a smaller project like a Personal planets beaded bead, pendant or several rings.  These prizes have grown, again thanks to JJ Jacobs!  They now include bead soup mixes with three of JJ Jacob's Waterdrop 'sea glass' beads.  You can see more of her beads here!  

Contest Rules
Entries:  One comment per person per blog post for a maximum of eight chances to win if you visit and comment on all eight blogs.

Please help spread the word on Facebook, Twitter and other social media!  No extra entries for this, but lots of good karma for helping support and promote independent artists.

Make sure that there is an email associated with your comment!  I will contact the winners by email by Thursday, January 22nd.  If I cannot reach you by email, I reserve the right to choose another winner.  I'll post the winners on my blog on Saturday, January 24th. 

International visitors are welcome to enter.  I'm willing to pay up to $10 worth of shipping for each prize - if shipping costs more than this, you would be responsible for the extra shipping.  Once I have your postal address, I can give you specific shipping costs.  As an alternate, you may choose to receive a digital copy of the book instead of your regular prize. 



Thanks for checking out Explorations in Freeform Peyote Beading!  Have fun hopping this week, and be sure to check in next Saturday to see who won the random drawing!









Monday, January 5, 2015

Hoarfrost

Happy 2015 everyone!  I hope you had a wonder-filled holiday season.

This year I was lucky enough to spend New Year's at Lake Quinalt Lodge in the heart of the Quinault Rainforest in Olympic National Park.  One of the few temperate rain forests in the entire world, Lake Quinault averages over 12 feet of rain each year (that's over 365 centimeters), with most of the rain falling between October and May.  Knowing this, we had expected rain.

Instead, we had the gift of several days of bright blue skies.  And below freezing temperatures (can we say chilly?!).  Going out for a walk the first day after we arrived, I admired the frost limning all of the branches and leaves.  Over the next several days of continued cold temperatures and no rain, the frost grew and grew, and I had my first true look at hoarfrost in ages.

I had never seen anything like it, and took tons of pictures!  They will be inspiration for future beading (because anyone who knows me knows I'm almost as fascinated by ice as I am by oceans). 

frosted leaves by Karen Williams
Day One: I took lots of photos of frosted leaves

Day Two: the frost continues to build!

The frost now sports spiky ice crystals
Frosting the path along the edge of the lake

 A log covered in hoarfrost, followed by three detail shots
 


After each trek, we returned to the lodge's main lobby to thaw ourselves by the crackling warmth of the roaring fire that burns throughout the day and night in the huge hearth.  The lodge is one of those wonderful National Forest Park Lodges built back in 1920s.  It's easy to spend the day curled up with beading or a book in the corner of one of the comfy leather couches in the main lobby,  enjoying the fire and making beady plans for the future. 

The funny things is while I took lots of photographs of ice, I spent quite a bit of time sketching fire.