February 28, 2010

Feeling Bookish... A book review!

I was recently contacted by book publisher Watson Guptil to see if I would like a preview copy of a new jewelry design book Sherri Haab Jewelry Inspirations: Techniques and Designs from the Artist's Studio.  Would I? Indeed! I had put it out of my mind until it popped up in my mail! What a beautiful and lovely surprise of a jewelry book! As beautiful as the photos are the projects are even lovelier! Being able to see an artist in her studio is also a nice surprise as well as an inspiration! My studio can and will take a few notes from Sherri's pages! I loved her use of baskets and ceramic dishes for keeping her working projects organized. Ordinary items like handkerchiefs and acorns are transformed into beautiful jewelry elements. There were even a few craft projects thrown in the mix. The wide range of projects made me feel like on any day, what ever my mood, I'd find inspiration. My head is spinning with ideas and I can't wait to dig in a little deeper really get my hands dirty with some good clean fun! Look for this book on March 9th! You can pre-order it here at Amazon.

February 26, 2010

Happy Skull!

The imitation skull beads are off the shelves (and on their way to me to destroy!) I called Fire Mountain Gems and spoke with a very helpful product manager who apologized for the incident and assured me the beads were purchased as part of a close-out bulk buy and they generally make very strong efforts to keep knock-off works out of their inventory. The offending beads were removed from the lot and customers will be sold the beads minus the skulls! Yay! They also assured me they work very hard to make sure artists rights are not being infringed upon because, as she said "we are all in business together!" I had called on Monday and the next day they told me they had removed the beads from their website and would be informing catalog customers that the skulls were not part of the mix. I was really happy it was resolved so easily. I'm hoping not a one of us has to deal with that again...

February 25, 2010


It seems like every weekend we have a birthday party to attend. This is what happens when your 4 and 8 year olds have better social lives than you do. My pocketbook has not been happy with all the activity lately. What to bring as a gift has been a tough decision too! What toys do they already have? Is a gift card too impersonal?  With these questions in mind I decided that gifts from our hearts, really are the way to go lately. Magnolia and I have been giving gifts of art to friends. We design it with that friend in mind, personalize it with their name, and put in a frame. Sparkly water colors are usually added too, because you really can not have enough of that in your life! The one above was for our friend Jessie. A sparkly girl with a love of princesses! I wish I took a snapshot of the final colored print in the frame. Sweet!

February 24, 2010

Ad it up!

In an attempt to keep things fresh, I found time to squeeze another task into my week... creating a new ad! This one will be in Beads 2010! I'm not exactly sure when that will hit news stands as I'm always the last to know these things! See how chatty I am when there is actual work to be done (see previous post!)
I really like the way she turned out!

February 23, 2010

Thank you Beth and Heather!

If you haven't heard, Stampington, the publishers behind Belle Armoire Jewelry have a new publication about to be launched! I submitted a few items last fall to Jewelry Affaire that will be included in the premier issue! Jewelry Affaire's editor Beth Livesay was kind enough to mention me on her blog! Thank you Beth!

And if you've been following the drama of the thieved bead designs I have to say thank you to fellow bead artist Heather Powers of Humblebeads! She has a great post in response to the recent copyright problems featuring links to some amazing bead artist!

February 22, 2010

Good Day...

It doesn't feel like I got much done yesterday because of how long it took me to figure out how to make a better PayPal payment button (yay!) I'm also working on revamping the website as my last revamp ended up being more like just a few additions to the site. I think the front page is way too cluttered with things and things need to be "put away". You would not believe how long it took me to make this new payment button fit my needs. I still can't figure out how to change the pricing in the html so if anyone out there knows how that is done, I'll be thankful! For now I have to just make a new button at their site for each new priced item.  The new payment buttons give more options all in one spot instead of 7 different menus that would take up the rest of the page! Yay! The new site will have more of my art as the buttons and link images (fun!) and will hopefully be a little more streamline! Of course this will all be done in my sleep as I'll be spending my waking hours making beads, feeding children, working on taxes, taking children hither and yon and making more beads. Somehow my procrastination habit actually ends up being productive in a weird way.... I seem to have these ideas (new pendant designs) that will not be shoved aside for proper and appropriate work (tax data entry).

Here is what my procrastination produced this time....

P.S. There is still time to have your order shipped with free shipping and a extra gift bead!


Cynthia Thornton of Green Girl Studios: unpleasantness  

Please read her post about the theft of her designs. I know I would never purchase designs not from her family run business. As a one gal shop I understand the hard work, blood and sweat that goes into keeping yourself afloat! When companies steal it really affects us. If you didn't design it, DON'T CALL IT YOURS! 

February 20, 2010

Free Shipping!

Through Monday! At the site! Free Shipping! 

Playing with color...

My Sea Girl needed some color. I made a photo copy on some thick card stock and started playing with the acrylics mixed with some liquid pearlescent paints. It is hard to see the pearlyness in the photo but it is really pretty. I was a bit heavy handed with the color so next time I will thin it a bit. I have a new set of pearly watercolors on the way to play with... Of course Magnolia wants purple hair now and why wouldn't she!

February 18, 2010

Timing is everything!!!

I was just reading Andrew Thornton's blog  post about the theft of his designs and low and behold what should show up in my mail box today but this image on the backside of a catalog from Fire Mountain Gems...

which looks amazingly like this...

If my 4 year old can see it "Mama! It's your bead!" then I'm thinking others can as well! I've seen this happen to other artists. I guess it's my turn. I should feel flattered that Happy Skull here is worthy of thievery. I've made a call...

They always come back...

But not always when you want or need them too...

Ideas. I had this idea for a pendant a while back. In ceramic it wasn't feeling right although I never made one and glazed it so I can't know for sure how well the idea will work...

But then today *blink*the idea light bulb went off... in copper it made much more sense!

February 17, 2010

New packaging!

I found this great origami pouch pattern on etsy and have been sending out smaller orders in them! They were super easy and fun to make. My problem begins in the paper isle though and not being able to decide which pack of paper to pick because they all look so great! Maybe a custom paper! OH! I will get so sucked into the paper isle!!! A few of them got embellished with beads and charms for Valentines Day gift packaging!

February 16, 2010

Trying to keep on top of things...

I'm trying to control the impulse to chuck all of my everyday to do's, to the side and play with the new pigments I bought on a whim last night! We spent yesterday playing at Joelle's house (Why the heck do I never bring a camera!!!) The girls had dressed up like bunnies and cats and put on a play for the mommies (no boy allowed please!).  The boys played with Legos. They all played chase. We chatted about life, husbands, kids, food and friends. Heaven!

On the way home, my 20% off coupon for Michaels was burning a hole in my pocket...
I am thinking about how pretty they will be as an accent on my cards, but would love to know how you have used them! 

A little help....

I got this letter from my fellow Made In Ojai artisan... This is very exciting for our shop!

Hi, friends and family. I need a small favor.

The shop where I sell my artwork, Made in Ojai, and its founder, Roberta Raye, have been nominated for a prestigious local Chamber of Commerceaward, which I truly believe we, and Roberta, deserve.

Voting is taking place online and is open to anyone. All you have to do to vote for us is go here: https://www. surveymonkey. com/s/DLG9T2R . Voting closes THIS Wednesday, February 17.

Vote for Roberta and Made in Ojai for the Entrepreneurial Spirit Award. If you'd like more info, the awards are explained here: http://www.ojaicham ber.org/index. php?option= com_content& task=view& id=118&Itemid= 2

I believe we are deserving of this award because we are the most creative enterprise in the valley. In this art town, it's amazing that we are the first art co-op. Roberta's vision of an artisans' co-op has become a reality due to her commitment and dedication and the hard work of our 36 artisan members. 

Not only do we provide a unique gift shop for locals and a place for visitors to find exclusively Ojai-made items, but we also contribute to the local arts community with events such as our book arts show, make your own Valentine, and Santa Sundays each December. We are quickly becoming a hub of creative activity for the community.

Roberta has been an active member of the merchant community in Ojai since before the store opened and is singularly dedicated to cross-marketing efforts for the downtown business area. 

Thanks for your help!


February 12, 2010

I also love...

...that these are finished! They were so much fun to make and a nice break from other projects! Are you making a departure from the every day?

February 10, 2010

I Love...

...getting the idea out of my head and into reality, into the tangible....

She popped into my head. Just her eyebrows at first. Then her hair. She isn't me. Not a self portrait. In my mind she was even more askew and off kilter. I ended her abruptly, at the bottom. Not sure what her body should have been doing. Maybe I'll have another go at her another day...

February 8, 2010

I Love...

Getting things done! Even if it last minute and my email is not cooperating! I spent all weeeeeeekend with my hands in a creative clutter trying not to to repeat myself creatively! We all have our favorites and comfortable creative zones and I'm finding it hard to branch out of my comfortable color and design habits! Here are a few nibbles of what's goin' on!

February 7, 2010

I Love...

Pretty things for my hair...

Back in November, these were on my mind and now they are in my hair!

February 5, 2010

Rain Drops...

We woke up to POURING rain today! I have to say, I love it! Drip. Drop. Plop. Music to my ears.... I happened to make this heart last summer when it was dry, dry, dry. I'm glad I thought of it today....

February 4, 2010

Things I love...

A sudden cold wind
Kisses from my little ones (and big ones)
Just popped popcorn
Getting my way
Pen and ink
Harry Potter
onion rings
Feeling like a hot mama when I wear a certain red lipstick
The line in the song that says "Pink! Not quite red, not quite white"
Room Service
That kiss, that one time....
And then another
Making cookies with the little ones (and big ones)
A table
Some coffee
A best friend
Figuring it out (finally!)
Wondering what it's all about
Not being cool
Disaster movies
Hot towels right out of the laundry

February 3, 2010

Heart a day...

From now until Valentines I'm hoping to do a heart a day. What does that mean, you ask? Let's just see...
I do love's the hearts!
(Cupcake heart for Joelle. Gaea
© 2010)

February 2, 2010

Heart to Heart...

I went to drop off my contribution to the heart display and contest at Made In Ojai this morning and it was so great to see all the lovely hearts on display! Everyone is really getting into it! I'll have to remember my camera and take some photos of the shop! In making this heart it felt good not to follow the original plan too strictly. Most of the original design elements that I wanted survived and some elements that I wasn't sure of didn't make it to the final piece. I enjoyed working with acrylics for a change. It is so good to get out of the everyday mindset. Here are a few snaps of mine in progress and the final outcome. Happy Groundhog Day!

February 1, 2010

Filler up!

I have high hopes for February! It holds Valentines day, my dear one's birthday and the possibility of more coldish weather. Being in Southern California, I relish the days that actually have weather to them. Bring on the rain, cold and snow. Come Summer I will be thinking back to these days to keep my mind cool...

And a warm cup of coffee...