Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Well, I can see I've got to get better about posting on this blog!

Ha! But it's been a busy week or two since I started this blog. I've had to get the museum ready for painting and to be winterized, line up a few jobs for the winter, and finish my instructions for Beadwork. And in between all that, I've been stitching up new ideas like mad! I love the creative energy that I feel lately when I sit down to work. Last night, we watched "Fight Club" while I tried to teach myself some new wire crochet techniques. Eventually, I gave up and just kept working on the cabs for the necklace. I may re-think that whole design until I get the wire crochet thing down better. In the meantime, there's always good old tubular Ndebele or peyote stitch with a wire through it, right?

Here is the photo of the second piece that Interweave is holding for consideration. I hope they publish it!

So, there's the jewelry part of the blog.

The life part is a little more (less?) interesting. Jill at the Adirondack Scenic Railroad suckered me into saying I would be the face-painter at their Halloween Train last Friday night. I was all set with my Harry Potter costume and everything, but by the time I was ready to head back into Lake Placid, the weather had just turned nasty. I got as far as Whiteface Mountain before I realized that between the snow, sleet and freezing rain, I was driving on ice-covered roads, and I was not anxious to make my way through Wilmington Notch on bald tires. I called Tom and told him I was turning around and coming home. "Good," he said. Instead, I spent the evening with him watching "Yellowbeard" and "Mars Attacks!" and re-organizing my jewelry studio with my brandy-new plastic cabinets! (Petroleum-based products that will last for the next 1,000 years in a landfill, I know, but they were cheap and convenient. >SIGH<)

More pics to come with new pieces!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Wow. My very own blog. Wow.

This is gonna be a little weird, at first, I think, so I'm just gonna jump right in and get to it!

Hello, World! This is MY BLOG!

So, where am I right now? Right now, I am sitting in my office at the Lake Placid North Elba Historical Society (my current day job), eating my lunch, and brainstorming for ideas that will boost my business so that I don't have to worry about having a day job. I've been thinking about starting a blog for quite a while, and I guess today is the day to do it.

Last week, I received my copy of Beadwork Magazine's 10th Anniversary "Best of Beadwork", and there was one of my designs, the "Victorian Infinity Necklace". Wow. I was just stunned to see my work alongside artists like Susan Lenart Kazmer and Margo Field. And it was the very first piece I ever sent to Beadwork Magazine. Since that first piece was published in 2005, I also had a second piece published in August of that year, and then beadwork just sent off contracts for a third piece. I've got another bracelet being held at their office while I whip up another one with some major design changes, and then I've got three more designs in the works that I will eventually submit to them. It's like, I get home and I just have to bead, bead, bead! It's not a bad thing, though. The ideas are terrible - they just come to me, usually at the most inconvenient time. Like thirty seconds before I fall asleep, or in that sleep-wake stage right before the alarm goes off every morning at 5:30. And then yesterday I got my latest order from Fire Mountain Gems with loads of new stuff for a NEW idea for a bracelet and earring set that I am just chomping at the bit to work up!

It's the ideas that really grab me. Sometimes I think that's my favorite part of the whole process. Sitting in a hot, scented bath with my sketchbook and a few books for light reading is usually when I get most of my best ideas.

It was cold this morning as I drove into Lake Placid. I mean, really cold. Winter cold. There was this huge storm on top of Whiteface Mountain as I drove through Wilmington, and then as I got into Lake Placid there was snow coming down. It was forty-two degrees outside, and it's been cloudy all day. But the best thing about the snow and the cold is our new kerosene monitor heater that Tom installed in the garage workshop with my torch! Yippee! No more torching in fourteen layers of clothing! No more hunching around the flame trying to keep my fingers from freezing stiff! We've finally got a reliable source of heat that doesn't create fumes and make my chest tighten up! Tonight, I am going to go home, eat some dinner, and finish cleaning my worktable in anticipation of a long, warm torching session on Monday. (In between everything else I need to do.)

I am also working on a few more embroidered collars to put into a new brochure to do a second mailing to fine craft galleries and shops. I don't think I made the impact I wanted to with my first brochure, so I am approaching the layout from a different angle. Designing brochures is fun, but I always second guess myself. I can be totally happy with the design when I send it to the publisher, but as soon as I get the printed product, I start to think, "Oh, I shouldn't have done it that way," and "Rats, I should have put different text under that photo." And in all likelihood, there's absolutely nothing wrong with the brochure at all.

The next juried art show at the Lake Placid Center for the Arts is going to be an elemental theme. You have to create a piece that embodies Earth, Fire, Water and/orAir, and the element you choose to portray needs to be obvious. I've got a few ideas swimming around, but nothing concrete yet. I've got to get a few of these other ideas out of the way before I can focus on that one, I think.

Next shows to work up pieces for are Beadwork's Beaded Bags juried show and Bead Dreams. I remember when Ruby came to my house for our last consult through the Northern Adirondack Trading Cooperative, I showed her the copies of the Bead Dreams special issues I have and told her about the competition. She said to me, "And why aren't there any of your pieces in here?" And truthfully, none of my pieces were in there because I never thought my stuff was good enough to enter. This year, though, I'm thinking differently.