Thursday, July 22, 2010

I Need a Clone

Or multiple personality disorder or something.  So many balls it's really hard to keep them all airborn and lately quite a few have been bouncing around me cos I missed 'em!
I feel like I'm doing a 'rob Peter to pay Paul' thing with my time, it seems that no matter how hard I work, how many hours I work there's always more to do and things I just don't get to. 

Some of what I have gotten to this week.....

Carol Dean Sharpe aka Sandfibers suggested I make some polymer for the kumihimo braiders and this is the first completed set....pendant, end caps and clasp.  There is another similar set to this too.

For the non- braider I put this cabochon together....I really like how this turned out.  Sometimes simple really works.

I shrank my butterfly wings down and created a set of cabochons with holes to anchor a bezel because that's what I had problems with when I made my purple butterfly...I had to resort to glue, and if you know me you know how much I hate to do that.  I also made some butterfly wing beads because I couldn't resist.
Last night was frustrating because I seem to have lost a whole box of canes in the reorganization of my studio.  After making a bunch of skinner blends for class tonight I couldn't help but play with some clay...I needed a reward after all the grunt work! So after a bad first attempt I went off on a totally different tack and created this very contemporary set....could be for kumi or for just about anything else.  It's on the little mirror because it hasn't been baked yet and I like to bake flat pieces on the helps with the shine.

And these came about because I just felt like texturing something dagnabbit!

I did have a request to make some kumi sets in bright colors...and they are coming....all the bright colored canes were in the box I can't find and I need to restock my clay. Then there will be bright new canes to make....and as that is my fave, fun, fun!

In the and tomorrow sees a ton of new beads arriving. YAY!!!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Finishing Up

So, yesterday was an 'out-of-sorts' day for me, one of those days when it's hard to settle down to anything.....RBS....restless brain syndrome.
On those days it's best to just use the time to finish the pieces that just need a chain or a closure, or just need a little bit of time to complete.
Which means....the Steel Wave needlecase got it's chain...YAY!

I wanted the chain to have a slider clasp to keep the lid on. Just two little loops on the side of the lid with the chain running through them.

Then I picked up my Deco Tulip cuff which had been put aside when I ran out of 4lb Fireline and finished the last inch and added the closure.
"Wow" you say "what a great button, it matches the design" button came first.  I saw this button and thought it would be a fabulous design for a cuff....I'm often inspired by buttons.

It's not actually curved...I just photographed it on a curved surface and was too lazy to do a new set-up.

I'm hoping my focus is back today and I can have a productive day.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Crustaceans

In this case 'crustaceans' aren't crabs, or shrimp or lobster, they are pieces of beaded jewellry encrusted with Swarovski crystals.  You saw the ring yesterday and last night while pulling apart the first attempt I made a discovery....worked on it a bit and came up with this earring.

Yes...there's only one so far, on account of my not having enough Swarovski in stock and these babies eat Swarovski for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
The stitch I'm using for these is one I discovered/designed while making the Grey Ghost and I have to say I like it.  Not sure if it's been done before and has a name or if it truly is my invention but I'm calling it 'arch stitch'.
Anyway....this Swarovski encrusted version is very structural and 3-dimensional not to mention blingy!  I see it as a complete series as the components are very versatile....and I love versatile!

I did want to post a little about stalkers this morning, particularly the one who is now following my know who you are.....and if you don't here's a few clues so you can recognise yourself.
A stalker is someone who, though they have been told they are not wanted, have been told to cease and desist numerous times, told not to hack my e-mail, not to call me at work where I had to answer the phone, not to write me nasty e-mails, continues to force themselves into my life in any way they can.  It's creepy, it's need therapy. Obviously the happy life you wanted me to know about SO much has crumbled (big surprise) for you to be stalking me again after 10 years! In the words of Blondie "Go away and stay away!"

Monday, July 12, 2010

Silver & Gold ~ Hollywood Style

That's the August challenge for the Etsy Bead Weavers (EBW Street team).
We have until August 5th to submit our designs but I had this on my mind. Hollywood for me is red carpets and cocktail parties...when I was in LA I never got to the red carpet but I did manage a couple of Malibu cocktail parties. So cocktail rings were what I thought about.....diamond studded platinum...of course not having platinum and diamonds on hand I settled for a little silver and rubies, Swarovski, that is.

Not sure if it's what I'll enter but at least I have something ready if I don't get anything else done. It was also fun to work the 'arches' stitch I discovered/designed while creating the Grey Ghost in circular format.

I'm slowly waking up today as I had a 4am false start when the pooch wanted to go walkabout.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Steel Wave Needlecase

So....after the struggle to get it onto the taller needle case it all ends well.
I finished the needle case last night, though I'd like to add a chain to this one  and a slider closure for the lid.

My analytical brain was, apparently, tuned into the issues of the beginner beader and tubular peyote from a chart last night as I woke with an idea that I think will make it a whole lot easier.
I have a weird brain, I'm often told I don't think like normal people (my brother's voice "you have to remember, Mikki, you're brain isn't like most people's"). My brain tends to wander off into quantumland and come up with  answers before questions are asked when it comes to design....I can tell you why I did something a certain way but not until I've thought about why I did it that way....if that makes sense?  I'm always amazed at the logic behind what I do...not to mention a little scared at times as it seems I'm not in control.

I guess I'm an instinctual designer, which is great for me but the downside is that I don't always translate everything for other people to understand...if you don't see a problem it's hard to fix it.  But I am a problem solver so once I know a problem exists my sub-conscious starts working on an answer.
Now....if I can just get the software to do what my brain wants it to.
The goal is to have a word chart generated for tubular and also to include right handed and left handed instructions in my patterns.

And all that sub-conscious brain work woke me with a migraine at was get up, take pills and go back to bed with an ice-pack. Fortunately I caught it in time and it's almost gone now.

I'm hoping to be more productive today as I have a bunch of things I want to get done.   A different colorway for a new pendant design and a design for the August Etsy beadweaver's challenge "Silver & Gold Hollywood Style".
I'm thinking a "Sex in the City" inspired cocktail ring. 
Ahh...Sunday...the day of rest.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

So I did a Stupid Thing...

You know those inspirations that seem like a good idea at the time and then you have that "Oh Shit!" moment?
Well, bright spark here had one of those and is now stuck!
As some of you saw I created a needlecase from my Steel Wave cuff design and I was putting a fringe on it.....well, I had ordered more needlecases and I'd decided to get the tall ones too.  Ooooo....I thought, the Steel Wave design would be so much better on the tall I pulled the beading off the small case, it was just loose enough. All fine and dandy, right? it's stuck half on and half off the tall case, cant get it on, can't take it off.
It does seem to move on a teensy bit with a twisting action, especially if I let it rest between each there is still hope.....but, of all the hair brained ideas....DO NOT try this at home folks!

But it all does get balanced out...I did a smart thing.  I finally got to my work table in my studio tidy and reorganize.  The laptop is off the table and onto it's own cart and the work table is now a polymer clay zone.

I still want to add another narrower but taller shelf system into the corner where my oven is but this set-up works really well....a place for everything and everything in it's place!
This layout has basically divided my studio in half with polymer at one side, beading at the other with the divider being my technical stuff, printer, laptop cart, photo station.  I need to get a new comfy chair though for beading, I moved out my dad's lazy boy which although very comfortable took up way too much space and right now I just have one of those camping director chairs with pillows in it and a little camping footstool.
I do want another 3 shelf bookcase.....that will give me more storage and a place to do a display of my work allowing me to actually have people go into my studio to look at things rather than have to drag them out all the time (the work not the people).

And to finish on a good note....persistence won out....I've been twisting and resting the needlecase as I've been writing and's on the tall case now! Slow and patient wins the race. Now I can happily finish it! It will have a chain on it so it can be worn around the neck as a pendant. I have a couple of things to finish now that my Fireline arrived.

Happy Saturday everyone.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Oh Mr Postman....

....bring me a line.....Fireline that is.
I ran out of 4lb smoke.  The order was in last week....a HUGE order actually but with the holiday I'm still waiting.  It ran out last night while I was working on one of my new designs.....Deco Tulips, I got this far:

Hopefully the Fireline will get here today so that when I'm ready to bead this evening I have something to bead with.

In the meantime I REALLY need to do laundry, not to mention make my grey hair go away. After the big reorganization of the studio I could use some pampering, my nails look like I digged myself out of a grave....come to think of it....I'm looking rather like a zombie right now.  I need to get myself together as I have to drive into Mesquite to pick up my jewelry from the gallery...they're doing a big clean and reorganize too.
Must be that time of year.

I still have a bit of work to do on the studio, I haven't tackled my worktable yet and it collected a lot of stuff in the overhaul. I need to pick up a hutch or something for the worktable so I can organize all my polymer stuff.
The studio definitely feels roomier...I could even work out in it now..lawd knows I need to. 

I do need a bit more storage and a couple of these would be perfect.   Shallow trays are perfect for storing beads and beaded things and being on wheels....perfect, where you want them when you want them.   I found these at Dick Blick and at $50 I think they are a great deal.

They make me daydream about having six or so all full of beads. Imagine a cart full of Delicas...a tray for every might even hold a tube of every color they make. Then you'd need a cart for Tohos, one for Swarovski, one for pearls, one for fire-polished, one for gemstones..... *sigh* and about $20,000 to fill them!

Monday, July 5, 2010

The Organization of Mikki

I'm halfway through a major overhaul of my studio (the spare bedroom minus the bed) and there are some things I've learned:
It takes many attempts to get a studio to fit your needs, especially when those needs keep changing/growing.
You find things you'd forgotten about...which makes you want to do them again which will bring another 'need' into the studio.
When you finally put your huge professional printer away in a closet you realise it prints onto CDs....which you wanted to do but your HP printer wasn't equipped for.
Painting, knitting, beading, polymer claying, crocheting, tatting, sketching, sewing, paper marbling, photography.....I do way too many artsy/crafty things that take up space.

I'm basically organizing the studio into four areas....beading area (always done first), computor area (patterns to write and print), photography area (close to the computor area with the light box) and the polymer clay area....where I can make, bake, sand and buff my clay stuff.
I do need a designated area where I can keep all my finished pieces too.

Anyway...the finds in the clean up were these two crochet patterns...written and swatches done.....boy, it would be nice if I'd made those up.
For anyone who doesn't know...I used to be a knitwear designer before I moved to the States.  I was born and lived in the textile area of England so it was quite the norm for me to go to the mills to buy yarn and one of the major yarn companies used to buy my patterns at the end of my season.
That was how I got into sweaters were embellished with beads and some had them knitted in.

I love making lace, whether it be knitted, crocheted or tatted...oh if I only had the time....

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Grey Ghost, Transmogrification #2

Stayed up till 1am last night finishing the fringe. Definitely heavy duty freeform but I'm really happy with it.
Not something you would want to wear if you want to be a wallflower!

So it sits on my wrist a little loosely, I have tiny wrists.  The fringe bounces around giving some great movement to the piece.

The clasps are semi-hidden, shell rings with beaded toggles....two to keep this one secure.  The second clasp is hidden under the fan.

And a back view so you can see the clasps.  I'll be putting it into my Etsy store later when I take some better photos.

Now what? What do I want to tackle next?
Errands first....have a trip to the post office this morning to send out goodies.
After errands....hmmm......
Well, I was thinking about adapting the Steel Wave cuff into a pattern for a just seems it would work rather well.

Hope everyone is haveing a great holiday Saturday.