August 30, 2010

I Heart Dotty Heart Beads!

I very nearly had to cuff myself to the kitchen table not to rush opening the kiln this morning! It was a huge firing with mostly beads and few pendants. This month will be a double firing and thankfully there were some lessons learned from the first firing that will help with the second... If you ever have a feeling in the pit of your stomach about something and a little voice is tell you to listen, do it! The wires that I had to cut to accommodate more beads were all sagging just like the little voice in my head said they would. It was shear luck that only a few beads were fused or melted to the kiln shelf. No biggie! Whew! Having said that I am super pleased with what came out! Another lesson... take better notes! I had so many color experiments that I forgot to take good notes and some colors are a bit of a mystery. I had this idea in my head for white on white beads (matte and glossy and vice versa) and I am so happy with how they turned out. I also learned that some dots are temperamental and do not like to stay put and will fall off if not handled with care. I'm looking at you purple! Lessons learned! Enjoy the dots!

August 28, 2010

She Returns!

Have you seen Nanny McPhee Returns? If you don't have little ones then chances are not. But you should! Not only was it a sweet movie that the whole family could enjoy but I would be as happy as a pig in a pond if someone picked me up and plopped me right in the middle of their super charming farm house permanently, poop and all! It was such a magical and shabby chic farm house and I don't think there was a flower pattern left out! Oh the horror vacui of it all! LOVE IT! Emma Thompson not only stars in but wrote the movie which is awesome! Cute kids, Cute animals! Cute farm house. Nuf said! I was working on some seriously shabby chic beads before I saw the movie and came away with a ton of inspiration!

August 27, 2010

Did You Hear?

The fantastical Andrew Thornton is having a sale! He has quite an extensive collection of beautiful and exotic beads from his many travels around the world and he is cleaning house! If you haven't been by his blog or seen his sale shop now is an excellent time! I have my eye on this lot... YUM!

August 26, 2010

Just Wondering...

When exactly will it be fall? I know there is a date pegged on the calendar but really? When? It has been over 100 for the last 4 days and I, for one am looking forward to a cooler climate. As a mental boost to get myself in the mood for some fallish projects I've been looking at some past projects...

From the winter 2009 Stringing...

Wood and brown always say fall to me.

From Stringing fall 2010

A fall necklace...


What gets you in the fall mood?

August 25, 2010

A Little Freaked Out.

But in a good way. It is day number two of the new school year and both of my little ones (who insist on rapidly becoming not so little anymore) are both *sob* in school. I am a bag of mixed emotions! I haven't actually cried yet but I know it's coming and will happen at the most inopportune moment like when I'm in line at the grocery and realize I'm shopping alone! I am so proud of them both. Hugging each other and both excited to see who each others teachers will be. Then when I picked them up they couldn't find out enough about what happened with the other in class that first day of school. It was Magnolia's birthday and the first day of school. I was so excited for them and I didn't want to be falling apart on them. And yet here I sit sipping coffee and typing a bit excited to have a moment to think, breathe, go through their out grown toys and clothes without them morning the loss each long forgotten treasure. if you look over an see another parent sobbing while pumping gas, send them a positive though and a knowing look. We've all been there.  I hope all you mommies and daddies are having lovely first days of school!

August 24, 2010

Stringing Blog Hop Winner(s) And Thanks!

Thanks so much for the lovely comments and thoughts! I hope every one enjoyed the Stringing blog hop! I know I did! Congratulations to Nicole Keller who won the Carnival blog giveaway. Congratulations to Cynthia who won the Connected Heart from my blog! Send me your address to collect your prize!

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random integers, generated without replacement:


Timestamp: 2010-08-24 16:55:04 UTC

August 22, 2010

Looking Directly At The Sun...

Yep! I've found another way to heat things and melt them into something, hopefully something interesting! Barbara Lewis, owner of Painting With Fire, created a technique for metal enameling with a torch that sounds fun and easy. I've been lurking around at the Painting With Fire website and have joined her "Ning" group and have dared to dangle my foot into the proverbial fire! If you haven't seen enamel work, it is pretty amazing. You can heat and bond beautiful glossy colors onto metal. Painting with fire indeed! The name says it all and as soon as I can clear my schedule and set up a permanent work space I will be playing with it too! I have a very specific project in mind and it I am super excited to get started! Down the path I go.... Check out these enamel artists...

August 19, 2010

Thank You Andrew!

Fantastic artist and jewelry designer Andrew Thornton is hosting a bead giveaway with two of the bead bundles from my etsy shop! Check it out here! (P.S. I love how he photographed the beads!)

P.P.S I will be updating my esty shop with more of these unique bundles tomorrow! 
P.P.P.S. You have until Monday to leave a comment on the Stringing Blog Hop Giveaway!

August 17, 2010

Green With Love... A Stringing Blog Hop and Giveaway

As a contributor in the fall issue of Stringing magazine, I was invited with other contributors to participate in the Stringing blog hop. As part of the hop we will be blogging about what inspired our featured designs along with links to the other participants. And there are prizes too boot! So here is my story... and I'm sticking with it!

Summer is almost over and I am beginning to feel the long summer days growing shorter as we head into fall. It's amazing how fast time is going. It seems like just yesterday I sent in my submissions for the fall 2010 issue of Stringing magazine. In reality it was earlier this year. Because magazines don't just materialize the day they are due, and are planned well in advance, you are required to consider seasons that are not the one you are living at that moment. For that reason, getting in the mood for the season you are not currently in can take a bit of mind tricking especially when all I wanted to do was think about springs light and airy textures and colors. I can remember sitting in the kitchen looking out at our giant California live oak and thinking "Fall. Fall. Fall." to get myself in the mood. When that didn't work, I ended up going through my big supply box and pulling out a few of the silk cords that I've been hoarding for the last few years in colors that seemed fallish to me. The infinite heart pendant used in the project has been a favorite of mine and has been hanging around the studio for some time. It needed to, as Rachel Zoe says, "Have a moment."

For myself, having almost all of my beads and supplies out and visible helps me put things together, much to my tolerant husbands chagrin. I tend to "monopolize every surface!" with my beads. What? you don't like looking at them 24/7? What do you mean they are getting in your food? Eat around them I say! Eat around them! When the design muse is around to play, who am I to say "pack it in"?

Being a lover of blue and brown, the teal silk begged to be next to the copper chain and who am I to argue? Copper in general reminds me of fall and it is a budget friendly metal which I am all about! The trickiest part was getting the cord ends even and not having one side longer than the other. I was sure the cord was going to get snagged. Luckily it didn't and if I'd been thinking about it properly instead of just jumping in with my excited eyes closed, I would have thought to measure the length of the chain and the length of the cord and found the middle of each to know when to stop threading it! Well now we know!

My favorite part of putting something together is having that light bulb moment when the colors, shapes and textures come together and just feel right! Yum!

I hope you get a chance to check out the other designers blogs and remember to leave a comment because each comment (one per blog) is worth a chance to win the prizes! The prizes are a new Connected Heart pendant with matching beads, the fall issue of Stringing, and a goodie pack of filigree, gemstones & other findings from Rings & Things! If you are curious, the rules are posted on here on Michelle Mach's blog. BONUS! Leave a comment here and you will be entered to win one of the new connected hearts!  Link to this blog post from yours and double your chances to win! Just leave a comment with your link! Enjoy and good luck!

August 13, 2010

Happy Friday the 13th!

I know! I know! I don't know what it is but usually I have a great day on Friday the 13th. I may have to rethink that because I woke up really early this morning with a horrible stomach ache. I managed to get back to sleep after trying to watch The Other Boleyn Girl. It is as horrid as Joelle warned me but I didn't listen! At least it put me back to sleep. My favorite thing that was mangled from book to screen? The way the Mary and Annes mother almost seems to care what happens to them. Any way, I ramble...

I'm all about the dots lately and have been plotting the many ways in which dots will be put on clay. Big dots. Little dots. Crackle and streaky dots.... connect the. Just kidding.

How do you feel about Friday the 13th? Any days that are better or worse for you?

P.S. Can I live in the middle of that glaze?

August 12, 2010

Cramming It All In.

I have promised Robert to cram as much fun into these last few days of summer vacation as is humanly possible. We went to the fair yesterday and saw The Karate Kid the day before (which cracked me up because they were in China doing Kung Fu!) It was really good. Now the kids want to see the original! A few weeks back, Joelle took us to an amazing library with an amazing kids section. We were there on a day with a show about reptiles going on so the place was packed. The reading room for the kids is a giant pirate ship with "wooden crates" to sit and read on. The pillars around the room are giant stacks of books. So cool!

Today we are off to visit friends and swim! Cram. Cram. Cram!

August 10, 2010

This is Heaven.

I am sitting in an conditioned heaven. A giant room filled with kids climbing structures, toys, bounce houses and.... coffee. I've been wanting to bring the kids to the Clubhouse Fun Zone for a while and as they were just about to drive me to child abandonment with their arguing and teasing, I figured we all needed a break from the house. Today was the day. Turns out it was a good call! I've been searching the internet on their free wi-fi and sipping coffee quietly for the last hour. Ahhh.... Any who... the last firing had some yummy new glazes. I'm calling this one Seaweed...

They will be part of the Mermaid bead!

August 6, 2010

It's Late...

But it's still Friday! So with a small drum roll and a big thank you to those who were generous enough to share some treasured titles with us... I had the random number thingy pick a random number (geeeeez I'm tired!) and the winner is...

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:
Timestamp: 2010-08-07 05:51:36 UTC

Congrats to! Just drop me a note with your address and I'll send you your goodies! (gaea at gaea dot cc)

I am looking forward to checking out some of the titles suggested! Now if there was something to add a few more hours to my day reserved just for reading...

August 5, 2010

Was I Doing Something?

We have dear friends arriving in a few hours and our house looks like the creative poop hit the proverbial fan and all I want to do is.... with these. It's like I have amnesia for what is appropriate time management.

What was I doing again?

Look for a few of these in the ol' etsy shop on Friday!

August 4, 2010

What Planet Have I Landed On?

What is this strange planet? What are those unusual rock formations? Oh! They are just new rings!

I am loving this new glaze combo!

In high school, we would cut out pictures from the Van Cleef and Arpels ads from our Vogue mags and tape them on ourselves as if we were giant paper dolls. Fun! These rings reminds me of those days. A touch of bling with out the bankroll.

August 2, 2010

Beading Contest!

Happy Mango Beads is hosting a beading contest! Winners receive a $100 gift certificate! Coo!! Deadline is August 6th so hurry!

August 1, 2010

Books and Beads

So, we are now in August, which makes me think of The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd. That was a good one. So many good books out there. I'm just finishing up Philipa Gregorys The Other Boleyn Girl, which was recommended to me by Joelle. As a mother, reading stories where children are regarded and treated as property sends a chill down my spine and puts a knot in my stomach, but I am enjoying it. A lot. I gave her a copy of Intensity, a page a second thriller by Dean Koontz. I read the last chapter with my eyes closed. Maybe not a fair trade in a book swap. So now I'm on the hunt for a good read. Any suggestions? Post a comment with your favorite page turner and I'll pull a winner to receive a bead bundle like the ones currently in my etsy shop! I'll choose a winner on Friday!