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?