31 August 2009

Last day for Soft Flex contest!

Hey crafty people! SoftFlexcompany is having a beading contest and today is the last day to enter, so get to work! Design entries must include all three Soft Flex® Wire colors from one of their ten Trios. There is no limit to the number of designs that you may enter. You're encouraged to feature beads and findings from your local bead shop and if you do, let SoftFlex know who they are when you submit your design so that SoftFlex can credit them too! Grand prize is a $500 gift certificate, and who can't use some extra cash for supplies? You could also be featured on their website, in direct mailings, print ads, and softflexcompany glass art & bead festivals if you win! cool! Click here to go directly to their details page.
Good luck!

30 August 2009

29 August 2009

Scotty Day!

Scotty, Nate & I are going to the east coast to visit friends and play in the water today. Enjoy your weekend!

28 August 2009

What's on the bookshelf - Semiprecious salvage, creating found art jewelry

You know I like recycling, reusing and all that stuff, so this book really fits in. Stephanie Lee shows how using mixed-media applications like sewing, plasterwork and altering found objects can come together to create jewelry pieces such as brooches, pendants, necklaces, earrings, bracelets and belts. There are practical jewelry-making techniques that you can incorporate into your own inspired pieces. Inspiration is good, and this book gives lots of ideas for crafting your own jewelry as well as ideas for locating found items whether it be on a nature walk, one's travels or in the comforts of home.

27 August 2009

What's on the bookshelf - The Jeweler's studio handbook

Artist Brandon Holschuh has a great book in The Jeweler's Studio Handbook. He walks you through planning your work space, selecting tools and materials, mastering basic metalwork techniques, and applying your new skills to twenty original pieces. Very cool. I think planning your workspace is crucial. Group similar items in a similar place, keep items you use frequently close by and handy, and fer cryin out loud, put stuff back where you found it! This book encourages novel design and fearless experimentation. I like being fearless. It's good to be fearless if you're going to be dealing with a torch. Be cautious, of course, but be fearless as well.

26 August 2009

What's on the bookshelf - Getting started ~ Making wire jewelry and more

This is a nice hardcover book for those just getting started in making wire jewelry. Linda Chandler and Christine Ritchey provide a comprehensive text on this subject, from the very basics of how to shop for beads, materials and tools, as well as safety issues, which is always good to know. Those things aren't called jump rings for no reason! There has been more than one time that one of those jumped up at me causing quite a commotion! Not to worry, I was wearing my magnifying glasses, so my eyes were protected and I found the little sucker. So I digress...

25 August 2009

What's on the bookshelf - Wire Style - 50 unique jewelry designs

This is a stunning book. Wire Style ~ 50 unique jewelry designs, was put together by Denise Peck, who is editor-in-chief of Step by Step Wire Jewelry magazine and senior editor of Lapidary Journal/Jewelry Artist. This can be used by all jewelry makers of any level. Each project lists a comprehensive tools list and step by step instruction. Piece of cake, or maybe I should say, easy designer pieces!

24 August 2009

The Encyclopedia of Modern Sewing

I realize this has nothing to do with jewelry, but since I like sewing as well, I came across this book and thought I would mention it. I can't say that I have used this book, but it's sentimental and great for posterity's sake. The Encyclopedia of Modern Sewing was first printed in 1943, with several revisions following. The dust jacket is well worn, as you can tell, and it is a dated book, but so cool!

sorry the copyright is sideways, but it shows the original date of 1943!

I couldn't get a good photo of the back cover, so I had to take 2 photos. With such great topics as how to recognize Good and Bad Taste, How to Use Color, and The Difficult Problem of Rugs, how can you go wrong?

23 August 2009

Sunday - day of rest

Sunday, lazy sunday. I'm taking today off to catch up on homework and stuff. I'll see you tomorrow with more of what's on the bookshelf.

22 August 2009

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday to my very good friend, Angela, who is one month and 3 days older than me today.

21 August 2009

what's on the bookshelf - Jewelry-Fundamentals of Metalsmithing

Another great book by Tim McCreight, Jewelry - Fundamentals of Metalsmithing. This book is more elaborate than The Complete Metalsmith as it offers a wealth of ideas for the beginning and intermediate metalsmith, including lavish photos on pattern, texture, & contour, stone setting, mechanisms & chains, and casting. A beautiful hardcover book.

20 August 2009

What's on the bookshelf - design language

Another book by Tim McCreight, and it's a cute little hardcover book too. At 3.5 in by 7 in, Design Language may be small in size, but it's full of info. This book has 100 basic art-related terms with definitions, the latin derivation, commentary, quotes using the word, and related terms. I like simple and this has to be the epitome of simple.

19 August 2009

What's on the bookshelf - Making Connections

Susan Lenart Kazmer has over 20 years experience in the jewelry arts and has mastered cold connections. She is famous for using found objects in her work – which I think is oh so very eco-conscious – which brings a very interesting and unique style to her work which is very eye catching. Her latest book is ‘Making Connections – A handbook of cold joins for jewelers and mixed-media artists’. This book is stuffed to the binding with gorgeous color photos. It feels almost like a show piece more than something you would use as a study book. I wouldn’t want to get the pages dirty or lose any.

18 August 2009

What's on the bookshelf - all wired up

All Wired Up is another book of mine that is starting to lose its pages. Unfortunately, it doesn't have the wire spiral binding, but I make do and tape the pages back in. Marc Lareau writes this colorful book on wirework. Step by step techniques that are easy to follow with simple line drawings and instructions on everything from how to hold your pliers, to making ear wires, hook and eye closures, and cages for marbles and cabochons. This is a great book for beginners and another excellent reference book.

17 August 2009

What's on the bookshelf - bead on a wire

Bead on a Wire by Sharilyn Miller is a great wirework book (I'll probably say that about all the wirework books I show you, but it's the truth.) This one has some of the basics for making wire findings, from the very simple to the more elaborate, in easy to understand language with gorgeous photos. No fancy tools are needed either. Sharilyn lives in California and offers workshops on necklaces, bracelets & bangles, pins and rings at her home or abroad. She’s the author of several books, as well as DVD’s, on wire work. The beads she uses are absolutely gorgeous! I'd love to go to one of her California workshops. Anyone care to sponsor me? Anyone? Bueller?

16 August 2009

What's on the bookshelf - The complete metalsmith

The Complete Metalsmith was my first book in school. It has been a great reference book in easy to understand instructions and explanations, along with simple pictures and I don't think I could ever get rid of it. Mine has this cover, but the newer ones are a bit different. It has a metal spiral binding which is very convenient, since mine was folded in half most all the time during school. I used the reference charts in the back A LOT. I favor many of Tim McCreight's books, so it's no surprise I started the "What's on the bookshelf" series with a classic.

12 August 2009

what's on the bookshelf

I don't know if it's because of school, or I'm just feeling motivated and inspired, but I've been reading a lot of books lately. I know, I know, that's so old school when you can get books downloaded onto your ipod, or hard drive, or you get yourself a kindle; but there is something to be said for holding a book, smelling the pages, and watching people's reactions to your choice of literature. Besides my psych book for school, I have 2 other books that I am reading for leisure (whenever that is). That got me to thinking of the books I have for the jewelry arts. These books are good literature in its own right, which inspired me to come up with some of the best books out there for the jewelry arts. These are not only my personal favorites, but some reliable classics, as well as the latest and greatest. So, I'll be posting a wide array of books and info here in the near future. If you have any suggestions, feel free to email me. I'd love to hear from you.

08 August 2009

Instructables contests

Instructables.com is always hosting contests, and there are 2 posted on there now which I think are very cool. I'm trying to think of what I can do for the Teach me fast 30 second video contest. It's brought to you by instructables.com and Forbes.com. Not a bad combination. Let's see...I can juggle, do yoga, brush my cat and pull weeds. I did pass statistics, so maybe there's something useful I can use out of that. They also have a Singer kids craft contest going on right now too. I don't have any kids, but my beloved acts like a kid sometimes, does that count?

07 August 2009

Cup-a-thon and open house @ Crealde School of art

Today and tomorrow the Crealde School of Art in Maitland is holding an open house, along with a Cup-a-thon! You can tour the galleries, register for classes and buy a handmade cup, or bowl, while you are there! There will also be free hands on workshops. I'm thinking of designing my own wall tile. Crealde is a non-profit organization started in 1975 dedicated to the arts. They focus on ceramics, sculpture, painting and drawing. They've had jewelry arts classes and they have kids classes too.

05 August 2009

new glasses!

I never thought I'd see the day when I'd be excited about getting new glasses, since I've had them since I was a kid, but these I really like. They are a light metal frame with a pierced out design on the side arms and corners. They are black in color, hence the b/w photo. I got them at my eye doctors, which was convenient and I didn't have to go to one of those huge eyeglass stores. He doesn't have a huge selection, but he does have some pretty stylish stuff I must say.

03 August 2009


Me neither, but there it is. Hell, if I can do this, I can do ANYTHING! It's great to feel so empowered. This is a great start to the week!

02 August 2009

craftsupershow afterpost

So my friend Chris and I went to the Craftsupershow on friday. I got this cool photo of me in this frame. This was very ornate. Lots of crafty stuff and pretty, sparkly things in it. Chris declined to be photographed, but I just had to. I learned how to make a duck tape wallet! very cool and not too difficult! Chris tried his hand at it, but he did a poor job. I was very surprised as he is pretty handy and being a guy, I thought he might really like one. Nevertheless, Nate really liked his. I made it red and black with shiny silver end tapes and a neon green on the inside. I am tempted to make some more, just for fun, maybe for Christmas gifts this year. Hey, money is tight and if anyone is going to get a gift from me this year, it's going to be cheap, regifted, or handmade.