Monday, August 31, 2009

After the Show...I will

Well, I made it back from Bead Fest in Philadelphia! We rolled in at about 6 in the morning on Monday which is way too early for me but being nearly shot at a Waffle House in Ohio gave me the adrenaline I needed for that last push in to town.

I had a good time and a good show; thanks to all who stopped by to say hello including Julie Ryan. My email address is and if the zero after jules is left off then the email goes to Julie Ryan. This sweet lady has been forwarding my emails for over a year now and I thank her tremendously for this kindness.

I’m good at remembering to pack the camera but not so good at taking pictures mostly because I’m afraid I will be caught in front of the camera and be digitally reminded of how I really need to get my butt on a treadmill. Anyway, no pictures of the show; sorry!

I started making a list of stuff to be done “after the show” but since I had Bead and Button in May with only a little torch time in between, I opted to keep adding to the list until after Bead Fest here in August. That was maybe just a little too long.

One of the big items on the list was a clean out and reorganization of the studio. It’s been unnavigable since April but I had my excuse. No excuses now so that’s some of what I did this week. I didn’t take any “before” pictures but hey, if you don’t know what a mess looks like… The big part was the closet. It became one of those where you throw something in and close the door really fast. Everything had to come out. The left side has all of the mismatched storage drawers stacked up on either side with a board running across. This gives me a little workspace to package things up for shipping and, bonus, all of my shipping supplies are in one place now. The other side of the closet has my EZ up and light bar in the corner with a shelving unit to hold bins full of my show display stuff.

All of this new space gave me a chance to clean out my work bench area and even give the right half to Ann (my mom). As you can see, she is gearing up to do some serious jewelry type stuff including making jumprings.

Lastly, I hooked up my new torch, a Mega Minor. This is a small upgrade from my Minor but…well…it’s red and that’s cool! I need to tighten up the front screw so it sits upright without the film canister to prop it but it works and is ready to go.

I have a class with a bunch of lampwork buddies at Boca Loca Beads this Sunday so I’m looking forward to getting back to work next week creating some new goodies.

Monday, August 3, 2009

List and Notebook Obsessed

Where's my note book? No, my other notebook. No, my other, other notebook.

Hi, my name is Julie and I am obsessed with lists and my notebooks.
There's a little memo pad I carry with me for grocery lists or items from the store. In a pinch, I might use it for ideas that should go in the other notebooks and I staple them in to the correct notebook later.
My glass notebook never leaves the house. I would die if anyone ever saw how badly I draw. Worse, that I draw so badly I have to add arrows and explanitory post-its to my drawings so I know what the heck I was drawing in the first place.
Another notebook is for the list of appointments and things I need to do each day of the week. I HAVE embraced technology in that most of this is on my Outlook calender but not everything. A foot in each system and brains in none.
The last notebook is Big Red. He keeps my check list, lists of inventory I want for a show, what sold well at which show and ideas for the next year. He helps me budget my time for deadlines although not as well as I would hope and he keeps track of the signs I will need to make for my table.
The back page of a notebook is very important. This I reserve for stuff I will need through out the life of the notebook. Lists of movies to look for in the discount bins. Mere proximity to any place where movies or CDs are sold automatically erases the mental list of such and I have just finally accepted this about myself. The back cardboard is a really good place to keep phone numbers. I know I can program them into my phone and I have done that before but I think it's just like texting...I'm never going to "get it."
I can't even bring myself to get rid of my old notebooks. Lucky thing too since I had to reconfigure the router the other day and my list of steps was in my old lavender notebook from 2 years ago.
I think I'm a part of the last generation to remember life before computers or atleast home computers. There were those big ones in large rooms administered to by really smart looking scientists and the computer the Superfriends used each week to figure out who kidnapped Aquaman (why did they bother...he talks to fish and that's his super power?!?!). I guess I just thought by now I would be using a computer for everything and it seems like the more they do, the more attached I am to my notebooks.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Bead & Button

I've been "getting ready" for Bead & Button for months but now is crunch time. Yep, like Sunday night 9pm with a book report due the next day, I'm a torchin' fool. The countdown on their website says 54 days until the show and my bounty of inventory is feeling a little light. I know I'm short on vessels and weessels and I have no buttons for this year. I've had a plan that was supposed to put me right by the end of April so I could enjoy the chaos that is the month of May in my family. In addition to Mother's Day, there is Mom's birthday and my Niece's birthday. We are also Memorial Day traditionalists which means visiting the family graves around Terre Haute and decorating them with flowers. Virtually every weekend has something big all over it and I will have to be careful not to slack off on my "work" days. That's a big temptation when you work for yourself. Afterall, if you slack off, you can fire yourself but eventually you will just re-hire yourself when you do get out of bed or up from your nap. On the other hand, with no health insurance, a nap might count as an alternative therapy.

I will be at the Bead and Button Bead Bazaar in booth #2 and for those who are interested in a sneak peek, the pictures above show some of what I will have. I look forward to seeing you there!!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Indiana Art Fair

Photo property of Valerie Jean Schafer

Hello! I just returned from my two day show at the Indiana State Museum. No, no pictures from the show the one above is from their website (no credit given or I'd give it here) but it's a lovely photo of a lovely building.

I have to admit I was a bit curious about how sales would be this year given the state of things right now. Suprise, I did a little bit better than last year; go figure! I tried to say it to every customer and I will say it again here, Thank you for supporting artists!! Whether it's me or another Indiana artist or one of the many talented people on Etsy, thank you for helping us keep the lights on, the supplies in hand, and the cats in kibble!

I was in good company this year. I was next to some ISLAGA buddies Fran Carrico and Jen Cameron. It's always nice to do a show with friends and I think the three of us represent a pretty broad spectrum of the lampwork range.

There were some very talented artists around us and I would like to give a shout out to them now: Andy Chen (nature photography), Teri Barnett (paintings) and Valerie Jean Schafer (bronze sculpture). Please click on their names to visit these very talented and nice folks.

I hope Valerie won't mind if I "borrow" an image from her site but I love cats and cats on art work is the best.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Chain Maille II - The Sequel

Hello and Happy New Year!!

I have been reflecting on everything I've done in the past year and what I want to focus on this year. I realize it's the middle of January but I'm a little slow that way.

One of the things I dabbled with last year was chain maille embellishment for my vessel necks. I liked how they turned out and wanted to do more. I have no education in chain maille and have done very few maille projects so frankly doing these collars is like a puzzle, a very frustrating puzzle where you can't use a hammer to make certain pieces fit no matter how much of a good idea it seems. Of course, completing one is immensly satisfying. The latest one, the sky blue featured above, came together as an accident. This was not the pattern I intended but the chain flipped over on itself and like a happy accident I decided to go with it.

I will be doing more of these in the future especially since I bought myself a belated Christmas present; a Pepe jumpring maker. I received it and put it together and see that now I AM going to have to break down and buy a flex shaft to cut the rings correctly. I was resisting this idea because I'm stubborn that way and overly attached to my Dremel Stylus.

The sky blue vessel above is available on Etsy and I will be making more especially for Bead and Button in June this year. Until then, below are the two I made last year.
Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Caps are Back!

Awhile back, I made caps with wire daubers and fitted each to the vessel to ensure a proper fit both at the vessel opening and within the body. I took these to a show and more than a few ended up being switched out by customers. The result was that some had daubers that were too long for the vessel body and left the cork unable to fit securely. They were popular and I have been trying to find a way to offer them again but to ensure a correct fit. As a result, I will be offering these as a part of the ala cart process in which customers choose a vessel and then a cap and or neck cord. This will allow me to double check the fit of each cap to the selected vessel and ensure that there is a good, secure fit.
I have a few up on Etsy now and will be adding more this week. I'm still not happy with the photos but I think the close ups are necessary to show the detail.
I also have some new chain maille offerings to post soon.
Thanks for stopping by!