Monday, September 27, 2010

Ready for another tease?

Maybe I should do a tease a day (or is that too pornographic?) until the show this weekend. Sorry for the radio silence but my fingers have been working faster than I can keep up with. Yesterday was "sew the pleated cover for the tall corner pedestal" day, along with PMC bead cap day, Soldering Day (Every Day is Soldering Day now), and focal pendant day. Thank goodness today wasn't Torch Day or Soldering Day 'cuz it's been blazing hot around here. But if it ain't nailed down, I've pretty much soldered it, so look out.

I have some new, New, NEW stuff to show you, that's for sure. These are the vintage looking pieces, and I guarantee, it's going to get much, much wilder than this.

Amulet Redux, with some carnelian, African yellow opal, glass and more gemstones.


Meanwhile, Team Treasury International is rockin' the fall and Halloween themes big time, and getting lots of Etsy front page exposure. Check out their fabulous curations, if you've got some coffee and a few minutes. The team has some wonderful Etsy talent, and you've just got to check out their shops.

And do head over to Deb's blog to see the awesome Photo of the Day shots she's posting. Just yummy!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - David Orr Photography

Marbled gravity beads, by Patty Lakinsmith

Have I told you how much I love this guy's work? He has a way with glass like few I've seen.

Green and Lavender Amulet, in my Etsy shop.

Autumn themed bracelet made using Nicole Valentine's Garden Bracelet tutorial.

Fancy encased and gravity swirled focal, by Patty Lakinsmith

Glass is just one of many different types of photography that David does well. Do check out David Orr's website to see his amazing portrait photography.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Thank you Laura!

Thanks to the lovely and super talented Laura Sparling, I have fixed my page label salience problem. I visited her fabulous blog and saw that she was using Blogger, and her page labels were just like I wanted - noticeable. So, I paid a long overdue visit to the Blogger tool shed and they have some new templates that solve my problem. I chose the "Simple" template by Josh Simpson (probably not the famed glass artist, nor the Canadian or English soccer players, but undoubtedly a guy who knows his way around code), and with the click of my mouse it was so.

Hip hip yippee!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Is It Wrong

to lust after something you already have? If it's wrong, I don't wanna be right.

I heart these colors and this style so much I fear I'll have to marry it.

This is the piece I told you about in last night's post. It features some of my newer etched hollow beads in delicious lavender and taupe, and my current favorite gemstone, ahhhhhhhhmetrine. I'm not so sure I can let this go. I may have to do more like this.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

I Missed It

My 3 year Etsyversary, that is! How pathetic is that? I've done it up big for the last couple of years with a sale and all, and had the best of intentions this year too. But you know what they say...

My excuse for missing my own Etsyversary is that I've been super busy preparing for the Sacramento Arts Festival in a couple of weeks. I'm making lots of jewelry that will hopefully get me through the rest of the year, so I can focus next on beads for Tucson. I'm thrilled that my friend Heidi will be joining me there to help run the booth, and I know we'll have more fun than two grown women ought to. For gosh sake if you're anywhere near Sacramento the first weekend in October and would like to come, let me know and I'll hook you up with some free passes, or at least with some discount coupons. There's live music the entire weekend, food, and some art that will make your heart swoon.

For some time I've been itching to try some new jewelry styles, something more up to date than the far too symmetric designs I've been making. It pushes me beyond my comfort zone for sure, mixing metals and other media, and thinking harder about affordability. Once again I find myself straddling that fence between bead maker and jewelry designer and it both thrills me and terrifies me.

The best part is shopping in my own bead store for just the right lampwork beads, and so far I'm happy with what I've got. For the first time, with this new style I'm not running back and forth from the design table to the torch for just one more bead - since I've been making sets and trying to think more like a designer I'm finding that things are hanging together better for me. Part of it is a more relaxed style, with less emphasis on symmetry and more emphasis on color and fun. I still have some patina work to do (I've hammered, fused and soldered a heckuva lotta metal lately), and some PMC to form and fire, but I'm excited about all of this coming together. There's at least one piece that I'm going to have a hard time parting with, and I'll give you a peek at that one soon.

Meanwhile, thanks to everyone who commented on my last post about blog pages. I've done enough mucking around the Blogger tempalte code to be slightly effective but dangerous, and making the mods to make the page labels more salient will have to wait for a few weeks. Truth be told I've been all over that html and can't find the part that controls the font size for that part.

Hope your Friday kicks butt. Do something creative!

Monday, September 13, 2010

My Blog Pages - Yes, No, Meh?

So, I'm just curious. How many of you have noticed the "pages" for this blog, you know, the ones right under my Meanie banner that say "Home", "Shop Online", "Upcoming Shows", "About Me", etc.? Are you finding them useful? Did you even know they were there?

Blogger added this feature a while back, and I was thrilled to learn about it. For some time I've been meaning to fix my dusty old website, but for various reasons it hasn't happened yet. In the meantime I wanted to have an easy way to point followers to static information, such as upcoming shows, my Etsy store, etc . As with most of the Blogger stuff it's not hard to use, but isn't terribly flexible. I'd like to make them more salient on the page but after fiddling with the html for a while I still haven't cracked that nut yet.

But the pages are working for me - are they working for you?

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Beautiful Watsonville, as seen from the site of a fantastic Labor Day barbeque.

Before the sun gets too low in the sky, please enjoy some images from the last few weeks' worth of late summer fun. These are memories I want to savor.

We enjoyed a bumper crop of beans and cucumbers this year. Let's not talk about tomatoes.


Hiking in the Cascades was an invigorating treat for my soul and eyes.


Float fishing the Methow River for cutthroat trout was awesome.

On the top of my list for adorable couple (and party hosts supreme) of the year.

Mom and me.

AT & T Park in San Francisco, where you can sometimes get cellular service on your AT&T iPhone, and the Giants will sometimes hit back to back home runs and beat the Cubs, and you'll always have an incredible view and fabulous time.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Renewal

The theme for this month's Art Bead Scene Carnival Blog post is...Renewal.

Renewal is a wonderful thing, and there are various ways that I like to engage with it. Doing any of these things makes me feel fresh, alive, and unburdened from either physical or mental baggage, and reminds me to appreciate what's important. Here's a list (in no particular order) from my bag of tricks for achieving renewal.

1. Clean my work space. While I find a great deal of inspiration from a torch table piled deep with remnants from countless creative moments, the clutter can take a toll on my psyche. I sweep it clean periodically and find that new ideas will stream in. If they don't I just wallow in self pride for having cleaned my space. It doesn't happen regularly, so it's noteworthy.

Nature has a way of cleaning her work space as well where I live in the coastal mountains of California, through forest fires. These types of trees actually need fire to thin out competing species and to help their seeds to germinate.

This picture taken on one of my walks shows the charred outer bark of a redwood burned in a fire in the 1980s, with fresh new growth visible through the split. It's a visible historical record of how the tree survived and is growing.

I find some metaphorical inspiration in this observation that through fire (difficult, challenging times) comes new growth, and more importantly, survival and triumph.

2. Deprive myself. Whether its food, activities, routines, or people, sometimes doing without something that makes up a regular part of my day brings me a new outlook, and a refreshed feeling. I don't have to banish this thing forever, but find that even avoiding them for a little while helps me feel renewed, and makes me appreciate the value of this element in my life.

3. Get rid of clutter. My husband (who for the most part requires a lot fewer possessions in his life) is jumping for joy reading these words. Things have a very sneaky way of finding their way into my home, and then going unnoticed for long periods as they gradually weigh down my spirit. I will forever be searching for balance in this regard; to have exactly the right amount of "stuff" to keep me feeling secure, creatively inspired, yet footloose and ready to go at a moment's notice. Occasional purges definitely help me feel renewed.

4. Travel. Sometimes even a weekend away from home can seem like a much longer trip, and when I return everything in my home seems different. I gaze upon things with a fresh eye, and the experiences I have when away help me view my every day routine at home differently. I have my most creative inspiration when I'm traveling and seeing new things. Well, then and also when I'm lying in bed waiting for the elusive sleep fairy to visit. I guess sleep is a form of renewal too, isn't it?

5. Shopping. There, I've said it. The complete opposite of decluttering, but I find that I can do either (or both) and feel renewed. What's up with that? Sometimes carrying a new handbag or having a new bedspread or plant in the garden is all it takes to freshen my outlook.

Anyway, when I'm worn out, and need to feel refreshed, I try these things and they help. What does renewal mean to you?

A Big Win for Beads of Courage

Just wanted to help spread the great news - thanks to all of your help the Beads of Courage program has won a $25,000 grant from Pepsi in their Refresh Everything Challenge. Read all about it here.

Congratulations Jean and the team! And a big, huge heartfelt hug and thanks from me to all of my friends and family who faithfully cast their votes for the cause every day. You guys rock!

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