Monday, March 31, 2008

diy (with a little help from my friends)

I have the best network! Diane, the craft genius behind Crafty Pod and DIY Alert! and the force behind Portland's chapter of Church of Craft is a total rock star. She wrote a very nice bit about me on the Crafty Pod Blog. Thanks Diane!!! She's also teaching a class on Blogging which is chalk full of great information this Saturday, April 5th.

I also just want to say a big thanks to Carrie without whom I would not have been able to pull off the Bead Expo with such ease and grace! Carrie is an all around superstar and inspires me to ROCK ON. Thanks Carrie.

Thanks too to Gege for bringing food and fun and just being so fabulously french! And a shout out to Susan for bringing the love.

Small businesses are sometimes challenging because you feel like you're doing it all yourself, but if you can ask for help and give help when asked and create a network that will support you, then you're golden!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

the expo experience

Farwell Bead Expo. It was a great experience and I got to make some new friends and meet a lot of really great people.

My neighbors Ralph and Deborah of Nightside Studios were awesome. Ralph makes amazing lampworked creatures and Deborah is an amazing freeform bead stitcher (is that a real term?). I was really inspired by their work and they were the most wonderful people! Check them out! And if you ever need eyeballs...they've got eyeballs!

A few other highlights:

Ghost Cow Glassworks (Bronwen Heilman)
Class Act Designs (Fran & Judy make rad silk ties)
Leslie Rogalski
Lisa Kan Designs

It was fun to be a part of an event with a lot of great artists that had such interesting and diverse work to offer, if you missed it, get on their mailing list so you don't miss the next one in 2009.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

bead expo 2008

In late breaking news...I'll be at the Bead Expo this weekend at the Convention Center. I'm really excited! I attended the Bead Expo today and saw an empty table and talked to the person in charge and was able to snag that last table! So if you're going to the Bead Expo, drop by table 10 and say hi!

Bead Expo Info:

The Oregon Convention Center
777 NE Martin Luther King Blvd.

Saturday, March 29 - 10a to 6p
Sunday, March 30 - 11a to 5p

Friday, March 28, 2008

snow and spring at the same time?

I woke up this morning and it was snowing!

It's started to subside now, and I'm sure the sun will be out later. Oh, this crazy spring weather! It won't stop me from heading to the Bead Expo though!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

wearing it well

My friend Carrie is on spring break this week and is lending me her neck...soon to be America's Next Top Neck Model!

I'll be adding these pictures to my etsy shop soon! I really like the way the magnetic choker falls on the neck, perfect to showcase the pendants.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

before and after

When my mom came up for a visit she wanted to make some pendants, so for the ladies of the EDCOE here is a "before" shot of the kiln shelf -- all assembled and ready to go...

And here is the "after" shot, of the fired shelf.

Good times!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

it's all in the glass

I am often asked how I create my glass pieces. Glass fusing, known also as Kilnformed glass, is a process where glass (mostly in sheet form) is cut and reassembled and then fired in a glass kiln. Glass is both a science and an art, so it's a bit more complicated than that. There are so many sites that explain the process and talk about glass in great detail, that I'm not going to get to technical today. I am, of course, fond of the Bullseye Glass (see the technotes) along with the Blog that Lani writes. Very informative. So if you're interested in a more depth answer, check those links out. Here's a brief outline of the 2 day process for pendants:

1. pick & purchase the glass
2. design the pendants
3. cut the glass
4. clean the glass
5. assemble the glass elements & place on kiln shelf
6. fire the glass (12 hours) using a firing schedule up to approximately 1480 degrees F
7. clean and inspect the fired pieces
8. dremmel tool the jewelry bail spot
9. glue the bails on

The process and techniques change from artist to artist. And that's what makes the medium so exciting. I am constantly experimenting and finding new techniques or materials I can incorporate into my work. If you live in Portland, or come for a visit, I highly recommend visiting the Bullseye Factory for a tour where you can see them making glass, and definitely visiting the Bullseye Gallery for cutting edge glass art in the Pearl District.

Speaking of cutting edge glass, Bullseye has just announced the E-Merge finalists. Definitely worth checking out.

Monday, March 24, 2008

google reader

I'm not as good a roamer of the internet as some, but I do like to read a few blogs regularly and I am so thankful to my dear friend and mentor Diane of DIY Alert and CraftyPod who enlightened me on the new world of Google Reader in her Blogging 101 class. I have a gmail account, so it was super easy to subscribe to blogs and now I can check my Reader daily and see who's posted and what they have to say. There's also a way to share blogs too. Google Reader ROCKS!

It's fun to build your own list and check in on friends, or keep tabs on the latest things of interest to you.

eddie + easter -- oh, ya!

Here's a little funny Easter goodie for you from my most favorite comedy genius, Eddie Izzard. If you haven't seen "Dressed to Kill" then you're really missing out!

Link to Eddie Izzard's Funny Easter Treat

Let the Peep carnage commence!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

getting my rocks off

I'm always trying to come up with new backgrounds to photograph my work with, and it's a challenge (more than you might think) because of the glass. It's reflective surface and bright colors and layered texture make it very interesting. Today the gorgeous sun came out and I was able to try my newest (and current fav) background. Rocks.

I love rocks. I collect them on the beach and when I'm out and about. Friends bring rocks back for me from their vacations. I just love them. Here are a few cropped but otherwise unedited pics on my new rocks.

Now, I've read (and been told) not to take photos in the sun, but after thousands of pics inside, and pics outside with a white tent to diffuse the sun, I must say that for me, natural light is best way to get the color and depth of the work, with the least amount of post production.

Now don't get me wrong, I like the rice as a background. However, I'm not too thrilled with the off white color of the rice sometimes. Since I use so much French Vanilla in my work, and rice is almost the same color it's hard to get a good contrast. So, on and on the search for the perfect, most interesting background EVER!

So for those of you who are photographing your work to post on the internet there are several online resources, here are a few that I found helpful: Little Put Books Blog, Easy Photography Info, and Catie's Blue Blog.

Friday, March 21, 2008

amazing artist: rachel ann austin

I'm a huge fan of Rachel Austin an amazing artist. I was first introduced to her work at an art event called "Thirty" which featured 30 artists, who created 30 small original pieces, which all cost $30. It was amazing and I was taken with Rachel's work. I was lucky enough to score 2 of her pieces and was instantly a FAN!

I got a chance to meet Rachel, and profess my love to her, at the Holiday Crafty Wonderland event and I must admit that I often go and visit her works on her Etsy shop.

The depth and texture of her work encourages another look and then another until you are lost somewhere between the surface and the underlying layers. She not only makes awesome paintings, she also make jewelry and other adornments.

I'm so inspired by her creative works. Check out Rachel Austin's Etsy Shop

Thursday, March 20, 2008

i heart books(helves)

I really love books. I really love book shelves/cases too. In fact, I'm kind of a fanatic of shelving and awesome stylish shelving. I am always trying to use as much vertical space as possible and shelving or bookcases are the way to go. My eyes almost popped out of my head when I saw Design Sponge's Book Case Roundup. Great fun stuff there and lots of great ideas (as always).

Organizing is one of my favorite activities. I think about new and exciting ways to organize and store my many art and craft items. I love to wander around Storables and The Container Store. At one point I had to have a talk with myself about how some things could be free and not contained. It's hard though, I love to contain the chaos of my supplies. With limited space it makes it easier for me to be creative when I know where to find everything I need. I am a huge fan of clear plastic containers. I like the cheap shoe box size that you can get at Target. I like to see what's inside, otherwise I forget that I have it -- and then forget to use it! Some people like order, others enjoy chaos, I enjoy ordered chaos.

The key to keeping organized is thinking from the end backwards. Ask yourself, how am I going to need stuff and how often, etc. Then you can work out what will work best for you. Think about your needs and your tendencies (and your budget) and enlist the aid of your most OCD friend and have a blast getting things just how you like it.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


I caught a cold...which I try to never do...and it's been really hard to create with my head bordering on a massive explosion. So, instead of pushing it (and not being able to make anything because my nose won't stop running long enough) I've been watching my favorite show, Arrested Development. Such funny stuff! Editing pics and other couch related activities. Soon I'll be back on track and have some new creations for you to enjoy. Stay tuned.

Friday, March 7, 2008

good times

I have been adding items to my Etsy store. So if you get a chance check it out... And check out my favorite sellers too. So much great stuff on Etsy -- all handmade and really inspiring.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

great food drive 2008

The Oregon Food Bank is near and dear to my heart and I am happy to announce that 10% of my March sales will be donated to the Great Food Drive 2008. The goal this year is 1 million pounds of food. So help me put a dent in that 1 million pound goal. Just $10 buys a food box to feed a family for 3-5 days.

To learn more about the Great Food Drive click here.

And for more information about the Oregon Food Bank click here.

Thank you for your support, I'm happy to pay it forward.

home again, home again...

I'm so happy to be home!

California was great.  The Trunk Shows were a big success, and a great learning experience.

I'm working on stocking up my Etsy shop and of course making new pendants.  

More soon.