Tuesday, December 15, 2009

BFF, Intertubes Style

Belt buckle from Cyndie Smith.

I can't believe Christmas is almost here. It was just Thanksgiving! I guess that's what happens when you have people visiting, a holiday art & wine show, work, and a remodeling project all going on at once. What was I thinking?

But life is good and progress on most fronts continues. Did I tell you that Cyndie Smith and I are going to share a booth at the Best Bead Show in Tucson this February? It's so exciting! Unbelievably, we've not ever met in person. She lives in Florida, and I live in California. It was supposed to happen in Miami for the ISGB Gathering, but Cyndie's mother took ill and unfortunately she could not make the trip. But in early February we're going to take a little road trip to Tucson during the Gem Show, and we'll be exhibiting our beads and jewelry at the Best Bead Show together at Kino Veterans Memorial Community Center. If you're there, do stop by to say "hi" - we'll be in Canopy Tent #2.

I feel so fortunate to have met Cyndie - ours is one of those great online friendship stories. We were both on Etsy, she was selling amazing organic metal jewelry, and I was selling lampwork beads and jewelry, and we happened to find ourselves in the same Etsy forum late one night. We both were gaga for each other's work, and we each started buying pieces from each other. Cyndie bought some of my beads, and I bought a cuff bracelet and belt buckle from her that I just adore. Cyndie had been on Etsy longer than I, and was doing quite well, and generously shared some of her Etsy lessons learned with me.

My Life Cuff, custom piece from Cyndie Smith.

We kept up with each other through Etsy convos until one day I got the notice from the International Society of Glass Beadmakers about an exhibition called "Convergence", where bead artists would pair with jewelry designers to create jewelry inspired by the four elements. I knew when I read it that I wanted to ask Cyndie to be my partner in this adventure, and she said yes! So we put our heads together and amazingly discovered that we both longed to create a dangerous, playful, over the top carnivorous flower piece. We shared many a late night in front of our computers, laughing at Little Shop of Horror videos on YouTube, and swapping ideas about the piece, until it all came together and the piece we called Mean Green Mother Earth was finished. We were absolutely thrilled when it was accepted into the exhibition. Since then we've had loads of fun making more wearable pieces inspired by this one - rings, pendants, and some fabulous brooches featuring Cyndie's metal work and my little Meanie beads. We'll have plenty of all of these in Tucson.

"Mean Green Mother Earth" neckpiece, by Patty Lakinsmith and Cyndie Smith.

Cyndie has been the best internet friend I could ever have hoped for. She isn't afraid to give me advice (or a kick in the pants!) when I need it. While I'm lucky to have friends and family who are supportive of my artistic endeavours, being an artist herself, Cyndie understands my basic need to create like few others do. Maybe it's because we're both Libras, who knows. I admire her exhuberance for art and zest for life, her organic style, and her comfortable way of being there for me. I wish we lived closer so we could have studio play days together. I know that I'd be teaching her to melt glass and she'd be helping me learn traditional metalsmithing, and for sure we'd be getting out and about to seek out fun places to visit and see art.

Right now we're busy preparing for the next edition of Convergence - jewelry inspired by a real or fictitious person, and we're busy getting inventory ready for Tucson. Oh yeah, and Christmas shopping. Sigh. But the one thing that keeps me going during all of the chaos that resembles my life of the last few weeks, is the thought of finally getting to meet and play with Cyndie. It's gonna be like Thelma and Louise without the Brad Pitt and driving off the cliff parts. Oh yeah, and swap a pickup with a camper shell for the convertible. Other than that, just like T&L! I can't wait for February!

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