Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Clasp Act

Sorry for the pun. I just needed to get your attention. If any of you have been to the Bead & Button show, you know what I mean when I say it's overwhelming and wonderful at the same time. After about three hours walking the floor, searching for odds and ends for my next book, I found myself in quite a daze. But then, I came upon Jill McKay's booth. And, I fell into one of those great conversations that seem to happen at the oddest times during the B&B week. Jill has a terrific line of findings. Not only does she have custom lines for Michael's and Joanns, she had her sterling silver collection on display at the show. Here are two clasps that will make an appearance in my next book:
The multi-strand clasp has an added bonus -- a super strong, super tiny magnet -- so it's easy to clasp. The streamlined design lies nice and flat and is quite comfortable.
If you've read Mostly Metals, you already know my soapbox position on clasps. They're an integral part of your jewelry design. They add a finishing touch --and polish -- to your work. And, good clasps like these give you the security you need. You don't want to invest in beautiful gemstones, spend hours stringing the perfect pattern, and then have your necklace tumble its way across the dressing room floor because of an insecure or inexpensive clasp.
OK, that's enough. Check out Jill's work at her website, or at your local Michael's or Joanns.

Monday, June 29, 2009

I heart Mondays - Elemental Adornments

Today I bring you the artwork of Christi Anderson of Elemental Adornments. While I adore her birdhouses and scrapbooks, I am quite enamored with her heart series. Please click through and view her gallery (I'm not comfortable with copying pictures from her website, and I haven't purchased a heart of my own (yet)). I've met Christi several times at Bead & Button. What I like the most about her art is the stories and symbolism incorporated into each piece. You're not just buying a pendant, you're buying a true reflection of the artist.

Thursday, June 25, 2009


I had a laugh-out-loud moment when I saw this post from Kathy Cano-Murillo, The Crafty Chica. At least her "craftermath" is confined to her studio -- I feel like mine has consumed the entire house!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Artful Crafts on Craft Gossip!

Check out today's "Recycled Crafts" post from Stefanie Girard. Well, actually, check out all the posts. There are some great recycling and upcycling projects. If you're a multi-crafter like I am, you'll love Craft Gossip. There's something for everyone, all in one place.

I heart Mondays

This time of year, gardening is on my mind. I love my flower beds, and am particularly fond of old fashioned, traditional blooms -- peonies, roses, iris, daylillies, bachelor's button, and bleeding heart to name a few.

May was so busy that my bleeding heart (I always thought that was such a sad name for a beautiful plant) came and went without me photographing it. But, I wanted to show you this instead: Debra Gabel's Bleeding Heart quilt pattern. I'm not sure if this link will work directly, but if you get to her site, click on patterns and then on florals. The bleeding heart quilt is the last choice.

So what's in your garden?

Thursday, June 18, 2009

They grow up so fast!

Mine won't be leaving the nest for another year and four years respectively, but I already know I'll miss them! Imagine this mamma, having hers grown and gone within a month...

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

This sums it up...

I think this photo is an excellent metaphor for the way my spring has been. It's like "the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry."
We seemed to spend hours in the gardens during May. We prepped beds, weeded, weeded, weeded, and spread more than 20 yards of mulch. We moved the vegetable garden to a new, hopefully drier, area. We spent a lot of time getting grass to stop growing in certain areas, and are still trying to get it to grow in other areas. We re-established the serenity trail (aka dirt-bike path).All this was layered with lacrosse games, band concerts, school events, company coming, 8th grade graduation, and the show -- all the hustle and bustle that makes this wonderful life ours (but sometimes makes me tired!). So, we haven't taken the time to just sit back and watch the sunset. Maybe that's what July is for?

Monday, June 15, 2009

I heart Mondays, Bead&Button Show, & I'm back...

I know it's been a few weeks, but I'm back. The time leading into the Bead & Button show and the time immediately following the show is intense. The show itself? A blur, but a big, happy one! I'm always at the show in two or three capacities.

First, I'm there as an editor, recruiting new talent for future books, meeting with current authors, and generally assessing the scene from a author/reader/editor point of view. Luckily there are a few of us, so we get to divide the wealth. I had some excellent meetings this year, and I'm excited about what may come from them. It was great to catch up with Sherry Serafini and Amy Katz, who together with Paulette Baron have an exciting project coming up in 2011. I worked with Sherry a few years ago as editor for her book, The Art of Bead Embroidery. I'll never look at a seed bead the same way again! I also had a chance to visit with the delightful Patti Kimle, and collect the first batch of finished work for her book that I'll begin working on any day now.

My second role was as author, and I was able to promote Mostly Metals a few times. Cathy Jakicic, Brenda Schweder & I banded together at Meet the Teachers to sell and sign books and show off a few projects in person. What a fun night. I don't think I stopped talking from 7pm til almost midnight. Thanks to all of you who stopped by! I also led a demo on Saturday on the show floor, making loops and chatting about beading tips and shortcuts.

I was also lucky to attend the show as a student this year, and took a two day workshop with Kim St. Jean. It was a great class. I learned about soldering -- I've always been a cold-connections gal -- but I think I'm hooked on the heat. There's nothing as satisfying and luxurious as turning yourself over to the creative process for hours on end. My worries vanished, my energy was renewed, and each 8 hour session was over in a flash. Here's my bracelet and earrings:

And the heart detail, which has to count for today's I heart Monday entry:

My third role is as shopper. I didn't buy nearly as much as I'd like to this year, due to a tight budget and a lot already invested in my next book. I had a very specific shopping list, and it was kind of like looking for a needle in a haystack. I much prefer to drift and buy what strikes my fancy instead of hunting down specific items. That'll have to wait for next year.

I think one of the most remarkable aspects of the show is how everyone is so happy, so eager to share, and so supportive. There's a great family-like feeling in the atmosphere. And serendipitous meetings -- where else do you shout out to friends riding down the giant escalator as you're riding up ... or reconnect in the sky walk ... or the ladies' room? I had the added layer of meeting internet friends this year -- people you feel as if you've known for years but have never met.
I'll try to post later this week with specific links and some of my new favorite things. How about you? What did you buy?

Sunday, June 14, 2009

He loves me...