Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas Everyone!

I just wanted to wish everyone a Merry Christmas!

I admit right now I"m bummin' alittle... due to the vile weather here in Des Moines, IA my sister and her daughter are not staying at my house Christmas Eve.. and then waking up together for Christmas morning with the kids.

It started years ago 5 or 6 years ago, and we all enjoy it. Both of us just have the one child, and while in most cases I'm very happy with my only beautiful daughter, having siblings on Christmas morning is magical. I am the youngest of 5, and I can remember Christmas mornings with my brothers and sister, trying not to wake up Mom and Dad while we sneaked peeks at what Santa left under the tree. (Santa never ever wraps presents at our house) At some point Mom and Dad allowed us to open up stockings before they were awake.. it very likely bought them an extra hour of sleep!

Gretchen ( my sis) and I thought it would be fun to have that experience for our one and onlys.. and every year it's proved to be more than twice the fun having 2 kids screaming in delight, trying to "accidentally" wake us up so they can see what Santa brought (we have a rule, usually broken, of no waking up parentals before 7am on Christmas), and the general mayhem that kids cause when ripping open presents and stockings. We usually have stocking stuffers for each other also... Last year Gretchen "helped" Santa by making me a beautiful mini sketch pad by hand. Gretchen often finds jewelry that she's admired from my collection in the heel of her sock! Santa has good taste, both in gifts and in helpers!!

But this year, Gretchen got a late start, the roads are trying to be nasty and there is the real possibility of a foot of snow by morning. She wisely, if sadly, decided to stop and stay with Mom and Dad tonight. I do not begrudge her the correct decision of this, but I will miss her terribly in the morning. I'm hoping the roads are clear enough tomorrow that Jerry, Jesscera and I will be able to join her at Mom and Dad's tomorrow for Christmas. My daughter, at 13, isn't quite as accepting. I think she's learning the lesson that while presents are nice, it's the Presence of the people you love that matter at Christmas.

Be safe everyone, be happy, and Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

My Dad is 80 today!

80 years ago, a Grandma I've never met had my Dad. Wow. 80 years. I'm so very appreciative that I've had 41 years with him.

Happy Birthday Dad!!! I love you, I'm proud of you, and you were the 1st best man in my life, and you are still in the top 2!!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

My Kiln is on it's way!!!!!

I got an email with a ups tracking id today, and my kiln is on the way! wooo hoo! Course I need to finish arranging my studio so it fits, but I should be up and running by the end of this weekend.. so woohooo! Christmas is early in BarronMiller Land!
Above are some glass cabs in various stages of completion. Each cab I make generally runs through the kiln 2-3 times, trying to achieve the look I want. ( Sometimes they don't end up looking like I want, but it's fun to experiment, and cabs that I don't want to wrap make great magnets!) I currently use a small microwave kiln, which can do just 1 cab at a time. As you can imagine, it takes awhile to get even a small pile like this going doing just 1 or 2 cabs a night. With my big kiln I can do 2 (possibly 3 ! oh joy!) layers of cabs at a time... I should be able to fit 8-10 cabs per layer. And I'm planing on buying a few bowl/small plate molds and see how much fun it would be to play with glass fusing on a larger scale.

My bronze pieces are now "bone" dry, and ready for filing/sanding. I'm hoping to get back to that project by Friday. I really want to get them ready to fire, since I'm getting the kiln sooner than I thought! Let me say this one last time, just in case you were wondering what my feelings are about all of this.... WOOOOO HOOOOO!

Monday, December 14, 2009

getting ready for my kiln........ playing with bronze clay

This top picture is what 100 grams of bronze PMC clay looks like. I'm actually surprised how much I could make with 100 grams! They are drying on tiles covered with wax paper, which isn't probably the best way to dry them, but I just had to play with some clay... I got my big box of clay, clay tools and stuff for the kiln.. but I don't have the kiln yet. It's coming direct from the manufacturer and I'll be lucky to get it by Christmas. (RATS!) Once I get it I really want to be able to plug it in and just go to town making stuff. So I spent time Sat setting up a couple loads of glass for the kiln for whenever I get it. And today (Sunday) I decided to treat myself to just playing with the bronze clay.
This teardrop is about 1 inch tall. See the kewl texture? The no. 1 reason I have been dying to play with PMC again is texture. This by the way, is from a mold I made from a vintage glass button from my collection. I used a teardrop shaped cutter I can't wait to see what this will look like fired! The main reason I want to play with Bronze clay in peculiar is the spectacular color range you achieve! I made 4 of them, in hopes of making earrings probably.
This is another vintage button mold, this one is bone, and I"m pretty sure it's really old. I got it at an estate sale back in the 90's and it was mixed in with a bunch of Victorian to 20's glass beads and buttons. I had 6 of them originally, but I'm down to 3.. I sold the rest on ebay years ago ( If I remember once of them sold for over $20.00!) I made about 15 molds of buttons and vintage pins in my stash... it's going to be fun using them all.

Once I get my kiln, I'll run a few of these at a time to get the right range on my kiln, then I'll be able to do batches.

Bronze clay has to be "cooked" in activated carbon in a stainless steel container, which can give the pieces fabulous patinas. I also bought PMC3, which is fine silver once it's fired and doesn't require the carbon treatment. I was saving the PMC3 I bought to play with once I get the kiln and get good running it, but after having so much fun with bronze, I"m thinking of breaking out a package and just firing it with my torch, which is an option if you don't have a kiln. I'm going to try to be good, but I like having that "back door" if I just can't stand the wait!!

here is a gallery of PMC and copper and bronze clay pieces, some of these are just to die for!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Pretty in Pink

It's almost 2010, it's hard to believe, the year has gone so very fast! I'm mostly doing stuff to get ready for Christmas, like most people, and I've not really made much art jewelry in the past week. My file of pictures is getting low, so as soon as I get past Christmas I'll start gearing up making fun stuff. I hope to have my Kiln by then, so I can continue my experiments with glass fusing. I've also ordered some PMC (Precious Metal Clay) and tools to play with in the kiln.

So I'm going to concentrate the next few blogs in getting all the pictures I've got left uploaded to the web. This bracelet is "pretty in Pink" in 2 soft colors of Japanese Seed Beads. It's done in herringbone and brickstitch. I like making these bracelets, it's a fun way to play with colors and use up some of my huge huge stash of seed beads. I started my jewelry journey with seed beads, and I still love them, though I don't use them as much as I used to. So many wonderful materials to use! Wire, metal, crystals, glass, stones, found items... it's all good. It's been a good year art jewelry makin' wise, and I can't wait to have an even better 2010!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Central IA Artist Coop Gallery

I got a great call on Sunday.. It was Monika at the Coop - my nickname for the Central IA Arist Coop Gallery located by target in Merle Hay Mall in Des Moines, IA. My jewelry is selling well, and she wanted me to bring in more items. Yeah! I had a great time picking out pieces to take in, and I really tried to bring in items in the "present" price range, $20-40 dollars.
Here are four of items I brought in Monday for the Gallery. This Wreath pendant is made out of color-clad wire, with Swarovski crystals as "berry" accents. It's a great holiday pendant and it's only $16.00. Next is this great pendant in sterling silver, pearls and agate, for only $24. The Christmas tree at top is all sterling and swarovski crystals for $20.00 This periwinkle Mother of Pearl blue pendent with crystal accents is only $20.

These are just some of the affordable art pieces available at the Coop. Over 20 Iowa artists now have pieces in the Coop, and prices start at just $1.25. So if you are in the Des Moines area, stop by and check it out... this is the perfect time of year to buy someone, including yourself, a Christmas present that will be loved, be unique and support local artists. Paintings, pottery, dolls, mixed media, jewelry... it's all at the Coop!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

I just ordered my Kiln!

It's a paragon Caldera, and I can't wait to get it.. unfortunately it looks like I will have to- The Shop I'm ordering from is out, so it's getting shipped directly from the manufacturer, and I'm to allow up to 4 weeks for delivery.. ugh!

Still I have plenty to keep me occupied in the meantime. I have a couple of commissions to work on, I'm working on class prep for next week, and I've been working on ID pendants, what I call "mommie tags". They come in a variety of shapes, sizes and metals... brass, copper or sterling silver. I've got a few pics but I've got a new stamps and some new ideas so expect to see more in the near future. If you are interested in ordering circle, fan, or square or triangle shapes, email me. for 1" inch or less charms the copper and brass run $20.00, and the sterling runs $25.00. This includes the texturing and stamping of names or inspirational words for you. Shipping anywhere in the USA is only $2.00. These make great gifts anytime, but especially Christmas!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Done with Shows, now I'm teaching.....

My last show for the year went very well, but I'm glad I'm done for awhile! I spend the day cleaning and putting things away in my studio. Boy, did it need it! I get so busy when I'm doing shows back to back, I never seem to put things away right. I tripped over some projects I didn't have time to work on, I'm researching kilns ( and hoping to own one by the end of the year!) and looking forward to brushing off my lampworking and metalsmithing skills. I've got ideas dancing around in my head, and I can't wait to get them.

I'm not completely foot loose and fancy free however, I'm going to be teaching a class at a local bead shop, my original design of wreath and earrings for Christmas! If you are in central Iowa check it out, here is the class link.. my class is on December 8th. It will be loads of fun!

I'll be working on my website and networking as well. Look for new sale items coming soon!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy ThanksGiving! and no deer hitting......

Just Wanted to wish everyone a Happy ThanksGiving! OR Turkey Day, or Paid Holiday, or simply Thursday, however you choose to celebrate today! I'm very please to report no deer hitting on the way home from my Aunt's house this year, so I'm very Thankful for that! I'm also thankful for my family and friends, a good job, more or less healthy, and mad wire skills. Hope to see everyone at Black Friday at the Market ... see yesterday's post!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving and Fridays Art Show....

We are doing our more or less Thanksgiving tradition of the last several years... going to visit my Great Aunt in Missouri. I think we will go without the optional but exciting hitting of the deer on the way home... once was enough! We need to head back early though because I have such an fun sounding show on Friday, Black Friday Market!! here is the blurb from them:

Market Day: Black Friday.
November 27 from 10am-4pm.
Buy Local, Start Here.

We want you to make a commitment. We want you to buy locally – truly locally – for all of your holiday gifts this year. Buy vintage. Buy handmade. Buy upcycled. Buy creative. Hell, buy a sewing pattern or some art supplies and make all your gifts yourself. Just don’t throw your money down a benefits crushing, out of state tax sheltered, sweatshop-made-stocking black hole of a big box store.

There’s a lot of ways to Buy Local. A gift certificate to a great local salon. A basket of wine and cheese from an organic, local grocery. Hip and funny shirts that only a fellow Iowan would understand. Cool, one-of-a-kind handmade art bought directly from an artist – story included, no extra charge.

We want you to Start Here, at Market Day. We’ll have over 30 local vendors selling cool handmade stuff, vintage finds, and original art. There’s something for everyone, and that’s not just hot air – baby clothes, furniture, prints, coloring books, hair pieces, beautiful jewelry, paintings – all kinds of cool stuff. We’ll also have a food vendor, goodies from local businesses, and some activities to keep the kids (big or little) busy while you sneak some gift items out to the trunk.

Hope you can make it out. Buy Local, Start Here. And today on the market's facebook page they posted free paper arts at the show: . Very cute!

So if you are in Central Iowa, and in a shopping mood, stop by the Market and get the prefect, made in Iowa by Iowans Christmas gift! I'll be there with bells on, and art jewelry on my table!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

I want a KILN! reasons why

As an artist, you grow and evolve. If you don't, you are not an artist. You can't make art without wondering what is beyond the next brushstroke, the next technique you want to learn. You are always thinking, "what if"....... what if I do this in a different color? What if I do this with wire, or cut out metal? Each piece of art is the sum of all the choices the artist decided on. Once choice could completely change the piece's character, the meaning. The more the artist learns in techniques and in life in general, the larger the set of possible choices grow. The more tools and materials kept handy, the larger the pool of choices. I think that's a good thing, the more choices you have, the more decisions to make, the better the art will be.

I started making jewelry using only seed beads and purchased findings. As I grew skilled making seed bead jewelry, I took that next step.. I asked what if I used some bigger beads to make something? I added stringing to my palette of skills. Then wire working. I tried lampworking alittle. I took a class on PMC earlier this year, fantastic stuff! I added basic metalsmithing skills, and I"m learning more techniques all the time.

Three months ago I started to fuse glass using this very cute kiln with a usable area of about 2 inches. I find that is limiting. I want to do larger pieces.. I want to be able to do more than 1 or 2 pieces a night.

Choices = good. Limits = BAD. I don't think there is a worse feeling as an artist than being stymied in the choices I can make. If I cannot translate what's in my head due to my lack of ability, fine, I'll deal with it either by becoming more proficient or changing the design to something more workable. BUT to be limited artificially by lack of tools is just not right!

If I have a kiln I can make many pieces at once, which increases my ability to test out ideas. I'll get more practice in a smaller time period, which increases my skills. If I have a kiln I can make something larger than 2 inches. I have several ideas bouncing around in my head and sketch book that would end up being just over 2 inches long, and I CAN'T MAKE THEM. I want to experiment with molds, which are larger than the kiln I have. (2 little ity bitty inches. blah!)

A kiln would open the door on making PMC pieces in my studio. I could experiment with PMC bronze and copper, which sound so exciting and I'm chomping at the bit to try!

I could try lampworking again. One of the limits on it is I can't sell beads I make until they are properly kiln annealed. Once in a while I get a friend to do a batch for me, but that makes the process so disjointed. Now I could do it myself.

I could try enameling on silver or copper, something I've been wanting to try for years.

And back to fusing, I really love working with glass in this fashion. I feel the urge to maybe try larger non jewelry pieces. A small bowl maybe.

I want a kiln. OK, done whining now.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Today Des Moines, Tomorrow Waterloo....

Today had a show at a local venue, and while traffic was slower than I would have liked, I had a thoroughly pleasant day. I had a great space, it allowed me to put up most of my normal displays and my special Christmas display, and I had a nice little space to demo. Most art shows I have a back table where I'll make adjustments, but since it was a low traffic type of setup, I put my table in front. I made 4 pendants and 1 pr of earrings while chatting w/ fellow vendors and customers, and generally having a great day. Sooo.. while oodles of money is great, having a nice, laid-back type of show has it's benefits. Tomorrow I'll be at Waterloo Holiday Arts, from 9-4pm. I've been at this show in the past and it's a great variety if you are in the area. They always have lovely food and baked goods, which is part of fun-raiser, so you know if you by cookies for charity, they have no calories.. a little known fact!

I'll try to have pictures next time, blogger is being fusing right now. Hope to see you in Waterloo!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Things to be Thankful for.......

On facebook, the following message is floating around:

"In honor of Thanksgiving, a friend had this idea....I like it. Every day this month until Thanksgiving, think of one thing that you are thankful for and post it as your status."Today I am thankful for..." The longer you do it, the harder it gets! Now if you think you can do it then repost this message as your status to invite others to take the challenge, then post what YOU are thankful for today.... "

So I dutifully copied it and then posted how thankful I am that I"m not sick anymore. I hate being sick, course who likes it??

But I've been thinking about it all day at work now, what am I really thankful for?

What I am thankful for --if I really drill down to it, is the people in my life. My daughter, the single most important person in my life. My husband, the very close second, and partially responsible for the 1st.

My family... Mom and Dad who gave me life and a sense of humor. My sister Gretchen - who can drive me crazy, but would sunder the earth in halves for me if I asked. My brothers Kim, Kirk, and Kit. My Great Aunt Poss who will be 90 this year... the toughest old bird I've ever met!

Friends... Sue & Cathie from South Dakota, who have from time to time saved my sanity. Kelly who has shown so much courage and compassion despite having a crappy year. Tammy just for being who she is, one of the nicest people on earth. Angela, for being my newest friend. All my beady/jewelry friends, who I won't list because I'll forget someone (not because they are not important, but because my brain doesn't always work and I'm doing this on my lunch break) Friends at work, who make the workday that more pleasant by the cheery hello in the morning and the helping hand on tough orders.

I really seriously could go on, but the point is that people in your life make your world go round. I have heard people quote the famous line from Jean-Paul Sartre, "Hell is other people" I'm not sure I would say "heaven is other people" but life on earth sure would suck without them.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Earrings to go with the bracelet....

These earrings go with the bracelet from my last post. I'm hoping to have pictures soon of some of the Christmas items I"m working on... My first November show is Saturday, so I've been working as hard as one of Santa's Elf!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

OK, it's not all Pendants....

I've been working on bracelets also.... and Christmas items, but I'll show those later! This is a "charm" style bracelet made with sterling silver wire formed into "s" shaped links ( I used 18GA) then joined by my special split rings.. it's hard to see in the picture but I make little spirals on the ends instead of just cutting them. they keep things from sliding off and they look great to boot! The charms are all different styles using fancy jasper stone beads. I made matching earrings, I'll post this tonight. Enjoy!

Friday, October 30, 2009

November shows are coming up... I'm making pendants!

WOW! I cannot believe October is almost over! I've got 3 shows lined up for November, and possibly 1 more, so I am making Christmas goodies, and working on Pendants for the booth. The top pendant is sterling silver, crystals and white pearls. The bottom pendant is sterling silver and a polished piece of agate. More pictures coming all weekend!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Grand Opening of the Gallery & Serendipity

I'm getting very exited! the Coop ( Official opening is this Sunday, Nov 1st!) has been open "unofficially" for 2 weeks now, and I've sold pieces! I stopped by the gallery in Merle Hay Mall yesterday and talked to one of the Coop partners Monika. She's a fabulous painter in her own right, and quite interesting to talk to. Among the good news I've already sold some jewelry, we talked some about how important the Internet is for artist to self-promote. She didn't realize it but her opening the gallery galvanized my actions. In the last 3 weeks I've opened a business page on facebook, a twitter account, and a new shop on . All of this was inspired by being invited to join the gallery.

You see, I did a gallery years ago and it ended badly, and it's just been this year I started to seriously think about galleries again. Early September I looked up all the local galleries and made plans to visit them, checking them out for possible venues. As I still have a full time job and full time family responsibilities, and I still had shows every other weekend, the list was about as far as I 'd gotten.

So out of the blue I'm invited by an artist I met at a show earlier this year to submit my jewelry to a gallery coop that was opening soon. The artist was Monika BTW. She sent the invite via email, and I saw she had a twitter account and a facebook page for both her as an artist and one for the gallery. Now I've thought about using the Internet more forcefully, but time constraints made me hesitate. I haven't kept my website up to date in the last few years, but I've been blogging regularly. Last January one of my goals was to blog at least weekly... more if possible. Part of that was a test for myself, to see if I could provide reasonable contact in a timely fashion. If I'm going to do this, I want to do it right! I'm pretty proud of myself, I have posted weekly, and more all year.

So getting into this gallery was the best kind of luck... it is serendipity. Serendipity is being lucky.. knowing your lucky, and actually doing something with the honey pot that falls into your lap! So, take a look... I have links to my facebook page and twitter on the right side of my blog. I've also updated my website with links. I'm trying to list something everyday on artfire, and I put it out on facebook/twitter when I do. And while this is all work, it's fun also. I know I won't be able to post everyday, but I've made the commitment to myself. Reaching out on the web is a priority in my life. I am ready to grow my art business.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Abstract Painting Pendant

I don't always name my pieces.. I know, I should! But this one was just so kewl to shape the wire! It is the product of a happy accident.. I had a new texture hammer, but no sheet handy to try it out. the thickest bit of metal I had on me was 14 GA half round wire. So WACK! The new texture hammer by the way is fabulous! But then I had 8 inches of lovely textured 14 GA half round. Just can't have that laying around!!! So I experimented with twisting it this way or that... and realized it made a great do- dad for hanging a pendant from. A quick look through my travel stash, and I found the perfect bead to go with it... a handmade lampwork bead with sterling wire drizzled on it. I think the random pattern of the silver on the bead perfectly compliments the randomness of the bail. Enjoy!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Birthday prezzies given and recieved....

OK, this is my last post on my girl's weekend... but the reason we get together in Oct is it's Cathie's and I's birthday month, and February is - you guessed it - Sue's. So much exchanging of gifts happen, and this year the Ladies from South Dakota outdid themselves!!! I got both birthday and Christmas gifts!!! I got these kewl kitty-cat stacking trays, 4 great musicals ( one of them is "On the Town" which I was raving about in my blog awhile back... again I endorse it as a great movie!! ) and they found the cutest tiniest fridge I've ever seen in my life, and then they made it cuter! Sue and Mathew (Sue's hubby, hi Matt!) decorated it with my company name, artistic swirls and tiny black cats! It's a work of art in and of itself! WOW! Once again, thanks so much for my prezzies gals! As you can see it's all decked out in Diet Coke (evil artist drink of choice) and yes, that's a bag of butterfingers lurking in the cold depth of the fridge. Bonus, little girl hasn't thought to look in my fridge for treats, so I might get to eat a few this time.

Now you are wondering what I gave Cathie for her birthday.... well I'm very proud of myself. Last time we got together, she saw these great vintage crystal cabs of mine, and said make her something with them. They are 12x18mm maybe?I've never wrapped anything that small before, it's quite challenging! But very rewarding, she loved them!! I tried to wrap them as open as possible, to allow the light to really filter through and make them glitter.. and boy do they ever! I love my vintage stock, especially when I can use them to make someone so happy!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

I've gotten some questions on the challenge beads....

so here are the answers. Every year my friends Cathie, Sue and I get together and do a challenge. We take turns buying the beads for the challenge, and it was my turn so when I saw these new beads by one of my favorite lampwork artists ( and friend!) Jodie Marshall, I knew I had found the perfect beads for this year! (you can see more of her famous beads at her website: )The faces are different on each side...

one is definitely happy, the other.. sad or grimacing. They remind me of the Mayor from Nightmare Before Christmas. I just cannot believe the concentration it takes to make beads like this! I also bought a handful of matching spacers for each face. It was great fun, Cathie did the honors of picking the first set... I had them wrapped up so everyone would get a face randomly. The only bad part is the challenge isn't due until Feb, when the three of us get together again!
Just to have something that's actually finished, here is a recent pin I made. It's called "Cloud Nine" as it has 9 spirals.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

My Halloween Piece!

I asked last blog what is orange, yellow and white? Candy Corn!! I love candy corn, not just to eat.. there is just something so wonderfully happy about candy corn. I don't get people who don't like it, and that includes my husband. (It's one of his few faults) I see candy corn and I instantly think Halloween, and I bet I'm not the only one! The Iowa Bead Society's challenge this month is Halloween, so I thought it would be very challenging to make a candy corn pendant! Since I've been fusing glass this month, I thought a fused glass piece that I could wirewrap would be perfect!

I wasn't sure which colors of bullseye glass would work the best, but I think I guessed pretty well. I'm getting better at figuring out how to cut the glass and position the peices so they fuse properly. I use clear on top to give the cab a nice rounded shape.

Here are a couple of photos of the wrap in progress. I used 21Ga sterling square as the frame, 20GA and 18GA half round as the binding wires.
We had a bead show this weekend and I found these cute candy corn beads that I am making matching earrings with. This pendant is for me, but if anyone wants to special order one, just let me know. I bought 3 square inches of each color, and since the cab is only 1-1/2 inches tall, I've got lots left!

I'm in the mood for melting glass......

Here is a completed fused glass pendant. It's currently at the gallery that opened this week... . I'm so pleased to be one of the artist featured at this great new Gallery in Des Moines! If you are in the Des Moines Area, be sure to stop by.. Tell them Kat sent you!!
I received a shipment of new glass on Sat, so today I'm happily melting glass gobs into hopefully wonderful cabs to wirewrap!!! I bought very specific colors this time, as I wanted to make something very specific. Up to now I've just been experimenting with colors and dichroic effects. Great fun, and I'll keep doing that.. I love the abstract colors and sparkle that creates. But Halloween is almost upon us, and I wanted to make something on theme! I will give you a hint: what's yellow, orange and white? See the next post for the answer and hopefully pictures!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Bead Con Wrap up

In this our final report, we will explore some of the early results of the BeadCon weekend attended by our subject Kat. Was it a success, was there Fun and will it happen again. In our estimation, the answer to all three is yes. Most definitely yes.

In our 3-part series, we reported that Kat and her entourage of Sue and Cathie, took over a hotel room in Omaha, went beady-mad and laughed.

In pictures below, you will see a small sampling of the results of that weekend frenzy of beading. In this reporter's estimation, after the 14th BeadCon these beady-eyed women have arranged and attended, this is quite definitely a success and most certainly occur again.

Three challenge pieces

Laborodite pendant with a border wrap

This was a gift for Cathie

Saturday, October 10, 2009

This just in

Our news hounds have managed to get their hands on pictures of our jet-setting Kat at BeadCon in Omaha. See for yourself.

Sue, your intrepid reporter.

The exclusive gourmet kitchen.

Kat and one of her entourage, Cathie

Our papparazzi caught Kat in the act...of creating!
Stay tuned for more pictures tomorrow!

****Bead Con in Omaha NE Update****

This is your reporter, Sue reporting. Kat is currently on assignment.

This just in, the twice annual BeadCon has been launched successfully at the DoubleTree Inn. The 'bead ladies'; Kat, BaronMiller, Cathie Littles and Sue Wilcott were spotted entering the hotel on Thursday evening with 6 luggage carts of beads, findings, supplies, food, drink, and music from their respective work shops in Sioux Falls and Des Moines.

Without their usual roadies, the ladies paired down to only the 6 luggage carts of bare essentials. This, of course, prompted trips to several local bead stores in the area to help boost the local economy.

A reliable source has reported that their courtyard-side room was the scene of great laughter, fast-flying jokes and beady inspiration. The staff even spotted the beaders traipsing back and forth to the bar in search of ice and umbrellas for their cocktails.

Hotel guests were treated to invitations to enter the impromptu workshop for idle chat and one woman was even lucky enough to have Cathie repair a necklace for her daughter's wedding the following day.

It is clear there is more fun and mischief to come from these three great friends before they must pack up, somehow squeeze everything back into their vehicles and return home on Sunday.

Our news crew should have pictures from location tomorrow, stay tuned.

Back to you, Kat.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Gallery Meeting went very very well.....

woooo hooo! The gallery meeting went very very well, I'm pleased to say! I took in 30 pieces and they accepted all 30... so all the hard work this weekend paid off! I really wanted to take some of my best, but they also requested a few more affordable pieces... so paring down my inventory to just the 30 took some effort on my part. worth every minute!! Here is a crappy group shot I took before I packed everything away. "Fall" is in the middle! The gallery will be opening soon, I'll write about it just as soon as I know the actual date! You can follow the gallery's blog at .

This is going to be a great week! I get into the gallery, I have my 41st birthday, and I get to visit my
South Dakota Friends this weekend! You can see some of our past adventures here: , , , among others. We get together 3-4 times a year, often meeting in Omaha, NE as it's dead middle between our homes... we always have a great time and learn from each other!! I live for these girl weekends! So Happy Birthday to me!

"FALL" and it's going to the Gallery!

The challenge from the Iowa Bead society for September was "fall" . I had this lovely, copper crystal pendant that was vaguely leaf shaped, so I started to think about it, the leaves falling off of the trees this time of year. I dug trough my pearl stash, and I was in business! There are 5 strands total twisted together, using 8 different pearls, and 3 different crystals. The real challenge to this piece was attaching the crystal. Originally I wanted to make a bail that have a tree on it, but I couldn't get it to look right at that small scale, and it faded too much into the pearls going through it. It was a good idea, and it's tucked away in a sketch pad, maybe it will come out at some later date. I ended up just doing netting, and I did the same technique in the earrings, which turned out great!
I'm really pleased to announced that I will now be in a gallery, which is opening soon in Merle Hay Mall here in Des Moines. I've decided this is one of the pieces that will be in the gallery... I've only had it out for 2 show and it attracted a great deal of attention.. so I think it's a good choice for a gallery. I'm very excited about being in a gallery again, I tried one years ago but it wasn't a good fit.. this one however is being run by a artist co-op, so I'm thinking, hey, this is home! You can check out the gallery on their blog: . They put up an artist profile for me: . Kewl huh?

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The fusing process.......

The red thingie is a glass cutter, but it really doesn't cut anything, it scores the surface of the glass, and then you apply pressure to break the glass. If you have done a good job of scoring, and the glass gawds like you, you get a nice even break more or less where you wanted it. If you couldn't tell from my tone, this doesn't always happen. I've gotten better at it but sometimes the glass won't break where you want it to save your life! I know there are glass cutting systems out there, but for now, the red thingie is all I've got.

This photo shows 3 layers of glass... a lovely bottom color, dichroic and a clear topper. You want to have enough glass to "ball up" on the edges. Dichroic seems to work better with clear on top also. Below I tried to show the dichroic glass better.. so it's a darker photo.
After it's fused it looks like this.. again I took a darker picture to try to show you the dichroic better. This cab came out pretty good, the glass sort of drifted down, but it's such a pretty color, and I can hide that "flaw" if it is a flaw when I wrap it!.

I got some new glass in yesterday, so in a few days I'll have the 3rd generation of fusing to show!