Studio Musings

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

New Leaf Pendant

New Leaf Pendant by Karen Williams, polymer clay leaf by Jeannie Dukic
It's been a very topsy turvy sort of month, full of ups and downs and I haven't managed to finish a blog post in almost two weeks, nor had much energy to visit my favorite blogs.  I've missed you all!

The month began with a wonderful visit with family (I promise I will post some pictures from the trip). Unfortunately, Joe and I woke the morning after our return to discover new colds had waited for us quite impatiently.  They've been the sort of guests who greatly overstay their welcome.  I'm hoping to find a shiny new immune system under the Christmas tree. Or better yet, a matched his and hers set.  That would be splendid!

New Leaf Pendant by Karen Williams, polymer clay leaf by Jeannie Dukic
But in this post I wanted to wish you a very, very Merry Christmas filled with good company and good cheer.  We're having a quiet one this year, but expect it to be quite lovely.  A couple of our friends will join us this afternoon for games and dinner and to share a fairly simple (but yummy) Christmas dinner.

I also wanted to share my New Leaf pendant, my entry for this month's Echo Creative Club. Jeannie's polymer clay leaf made me think of the New Year and new beginnings. And New Year's celebrations.

I thought I'd create a brooch with lots of festive corkscrews to remind me of streamers. Somewhere along the way it became a pendant. It's a much simpler design than my usual, but I like it.

Now I need to go see everyone else's designs.

New Leaf Pendant by Karen Williams, polymer clay leaf by Jeannie Dukic

Cindy Cima Edwards
Donna Martin Bradley
Jeannie K Dukic
Jessica Klaaren
Karen Williams
Kashmira Patel
Kristen Stevens
Lisa Lodge
Lola Surwillo
Shannon Chomanczuk

Jeannie's currently accepting applications for next years Echo Creative Club. 

Monday, December 10, 2012

Spring Classes at Fusion Beads

Fusion Beads has published their complete schedule of Spring classes.  (download a full-color newsletter). They offer one of the best selections I've ever seen - with over fourteen pages of classes this time around, including classes in wire working and metal smithing, resin, fusing, jewelry clay, macrame & cord, PMC, chainmaille and of course, Beadweaving! 

Even if you don't live in Seattle, if you're thinking of planning a trip to the area you might give their schedule a peak - they offer classes almost every single day

Taking a peek at the schedule myself, I just discovered that my Corset & Stays Beaded Bead class is one of those featured on the front cover! In case you're wondering, I'll be teaching on February on February 3rd. 

Registration begins at 10 a.m. Thursday, December 13.

Oh, and now through Dec. 16, 2012, will donate $1 to Treehouse, an organization that supports foster children with the purchase of any TierraCast plated pewter holiday charm

I think this is pretty cool as most of the charms seem to run about $1.50.   I haven't seen them in person, but several of these charms look way cute from their pictures. 

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Celebrating 200(+) Fans on my Facebook Page

I'm hosting a giveaway over on my Facebook page to celebrate hitting the 200 Followers milestone! And I didn't want any of my blog friends to miss out.
What am I giving away? A Snowflake(star) Pendant, made by me, like the one shown here. LAnd if I get enough entries, I'll make more than one.

How do you enter? Comment on my Facebook post. You can also get extra entries by posting on your Facebook page or blog and letting me know. I'm accepting entries through noon PST on December 15th.

Everyone's eligible to enter, but international posters be warned: if you win yours would likely arrive after the new year.


And thank you all for your awesome support!!!!!


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Inspiration Central - the Seedbeaders' Holiday party

For the first time since summer, I managed to sneak away for the day on Sunday for the monthly NW Seed Beaders meeting.  They are such an incredible group and I was reminded of just how much I had missed them this past fall! 

The December meeting is always jam packed with activity and happenings with a gift exchange, a bead swap game and program planning for the next year or so.  Shelly, our fearless leader, had asked me to take photographs of the Show and Share, Challenge and Future program entries.  I'm going to hold off on sharing the Future program entries because they're still working on the schedule, but I will happily share photos of some of the rest.

Challenge Necklace by Shelly Gillmann
Challenge Necklace by Shelly Gillmann
As we set up, Shelly asked if I could photograph her challenge necklace, which had taken third at the NW Bead Society's fall retreat.  She'd made the necklace for a family member, but wanted documentation before she sent it on it's way as it was the most complex piece she'd created to date.  I love all the little details and tried to get a number of closeups.  Hope she likes the pictures!

'Five Years of Challenges' freeform beaded necklace by Patricia Hardway
'Five Years of Challenges' freeform beaded necklace by Patricia Hardway
Patricia Hardway's gorgeous holiday necklace is the culmination of five separate years worth of challenges.  I love that she included a printed list of all the years' challenges and all the stitches she'd incorporated into the piece.  It looks like a party to me, with the little splashes of color reminding me of confetti. 

Jellyfish pendant by Jennifer Porter
Jellyfish pendant by Jennifer Porter

I fell in love with Jennifer Porter's jellyfish pendant as soon as she walked in the door and I saw her wearing it.   Photographing it posed several challenges - I had to borrow a display rod from one of the other ladies who'd brought items for sale so that I could hang the pendant in my photo boot as it simply didn't look right laying flat against a surface.  And once I had the pendant in my hands, I really, really didn't want to give it back.  The fact that I did made me feel very, very virtuous. 

I photographed this one while it was on the Show and Share table, but it may also be a program topic in 2013.  I'll let you know if it is! 

Ann Wilkinson's Zulu Square Stitch Collar
Ann Wilkinson's Zulu Square Stitch Collar
I love the subtle richness of Ann's collar.  The interplay of warm and cool tones of the rich chestnuts with the cooler olivey-brown tones pairs beautifully with the slow spiral design.  This piece looks and feels substantial.  I'm also always fascinated by how other's end their spirals, so I tried to get closeups of her closure.  She used metal caps shaped like flowers and stitched her beadwork into them; the pictures of that didn't come out quite as clear as I'd hoped.

To cap off this post, here's Georgia McMillan's entry into this year's challenge.  All entrants were given a baggie of common household items and were told to recycle or upcycle them into something:

Georgia McMillan's Recycled Christmas collection
Georgia McMillan's Recycled Christmas collection 

And once I have the 2013 Schedule, I'll post it along with whatever photos I have of the actual projects/techniques. 

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow

Okay, maybe not literally; it's still a bit too warm here in Seattle for actual snow. But I was treated to a flurry of snowflakes yesterday and how pretty they were! Yesterday nine students joined me for my second annual Snowflakes and Stars class at Fusion Beads. Such a fun, festive time we had!

Snowflakes clockwise from top left by L. Kay Rokusek, Cathy Warms, Nancy Lundeen, Debby Smick
Snowflakes clockwise from top left by L. Kay Rokusek, Cathy Warms, Nancy Lundeen, Debby Smick

Karen Lusby's snowflake with her bead selections
Karen Lusby's snowflake with her bead selections
I truly enjoy teaching at Fusion Beads.  They have two great classroom spaces and they really go out of their way to take care of their instructors and their students.  And this is one of my favorite classes to teach because a) I get to share one of my favorite, quick and extremely versatile patterns and b) I receive all sorts of inspiration from my students' creations. 

Isn't Kay's garnet, white and silver snowflake at the top left above stunning?  It's so rich and regal.  Nancy named her snowflake at the bottom right 'Siena' because it reminded her of the floor tile mosaics there.  Every student tried something different, and every snowflake was truly unique.  Thank you to everyone who let me photograph their work to share here.  

Karen Lusby even suggested I include her bead selections in my photos of her lovely pastel rainbow creation.  I took one photo just of the snowflake, and then another with the bead packets - transparent light azure AB, transparent light lilac lined AB and sterling plated iris over clear. 

Beaded Snowflake ornament by Karen Williams
Now, it's time to draw for the winner of my Snowflakes and Stars Kit and tutorial.  Between the two blog posts where people entered, there were a total of sixteen entries.  I printed out the comments and started to assign numbers so I could use, my usual method for determining a winner.

Looking at the neatly arranged comments, I decided to do something different this time, so I chopped the pages up into strips, folded the strips and put them all into my hat.  Then I woke my sleeping husband and demanded he draw a name from the hat.  After a little wait during which time I thought he'd simply fallen back asleep, a hand snaked out and plucked a piece of paper, which he then tucked under his pillow.  Luckily, only a peck on the cheek was required to achieve it's release. 

When I finally opened the paper, I found Christine Altmiller's name winking up at me from the page.  So Christine - you are the winner of my bead kit!  Congratulations and I hope you enjoy!  Let me know whether you'd like Cobalt, Silver and Gold or Snow White and Silvery Blues for your kit.  I'd love to get this out to you tomorrow.

Thank you all for participating!  And check back - this isn't the last give away I'm planning for the holiday season.  At least one more is still to come.