Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Time for a Break

Taking some time off for the holidays.  I have some catch-up to do, but need a week or two to re-boot before kicking it into high gear for Tucson.  Working at the house and plotting and planning 2012.  I'll be back soon!

Friday, December 16, 2011

In the Holiday Spirit... a bit of Motown

Please ignore this post if you're not related to my kid.....

I know that some of his extended family is not a part of my Facebook world where I would normally share videos and they weren't able to attend his band concert last night.  This was his first time playing drums for the middle school Jazz Band and I thought they'd like to see it.  (I'm sending them a link to the blog because the file is too big to email)

This was his first time playing drum set in public and he was nervous, and you can't see it, but he never smiles or even looks up through the whole thing, but he did great!!

WARNING... I'm a terrible videographer because I get the shakes and it was taken with my phone, so the resolution is pretty crummy, BUT you can hear him at least and hopefully that makes up for my poor skills.

So... without further ado...  here's G on drums in Heard it Through the Grapevine.  Make sure you stick with it all the way to the end because his "big finish" is the very best part.

For everyone else (and the Lansdownes, Grimes and Griffins too)...  Merry Christmas!  I'll check back with the "everyone elses" of you later to give you studio updates.

Friday, December 09, 2011

The GGMs...

Yes... it's that day of the year... the day that I blog about the subject that my mom says you readers don't care about....  The Girls Gone Mild Christmas Party!!!!!!!!!!  As you know, if you've read this blog for any longer than a year, I love love love this day.  My 3 best girlfriends and I (a.k.a. the GGMs) throw ourselves a swanky Christmas party that only WE are invited to (ok... we do make exceptions and invite friends to the party now and then AND we have been known to take our party of 4 TO other parties, combining the celebratory powers) but it's OUR party...thrown by us FOR us!

 Girls Gone Mild Christmas Party 2010

Tomorrow night is THE night.  I'm so ready to sit and talk to my girls... all 3 of them together.  We don't get to do that often enough and we need it!  Once again, it's been a YEAR to talk about... for some of us more than others.  For me, tomorrow night is a celebration of friends who supported me and cheered me on through a "leap of faith" kind of year.... REALLY cheered me on... like called and made sure I was still alive when I was so busy I could barely breathe... called while I was on the road to cheer me up when things didn't go my way... met me for "OMG I'm going crazy" dinners now and then (which they sometimes COOKED to order) when I needed it most.  They are THE.BEST.FRIENDS.  So for me, my year is all celebration...  For others, we're just celebrating that the year is OVER (it really has been quite a year).  No matter what, we're celebrating and we're doing it together..... FABULOUSLY!

SO... because I know you love to hear it... here is the story of the Girls Gone Mild... the very best friends a girl could have!  (it's kind of like when Linus tells the Christmas story on the Charlie Brown Christmas special... only not)

So if you are with your friends this weekend... drink a toast to friendship...the kind that lasts a lifetime.

To being fabulous and being fabulous friends!!!!!!!  Cheers!!

tiny blah blah blah....

music - 80s of course!  It's Girls Gone Mild weekend!!
coffee - not enough, but yes!  A mocha!

Thursday, December 08, 2011

What I Did on My Summer Vacation....

OK...not really.  I didn't even GO on a summer vacation.  You should know that!  I work constantly!!!  I actually made this on my trip to Oakland, CA, but it turned out so cool that it has sparked a whole bunch of fun stuff and I thought I'd share it with you.

This is a mixed media piece that combines my glass with vintage metal pieces and vinyl from The Beadin' Path.  I had a lot of fun repping their stuff in Atanta and Oakland and it allowed me some time to experiment with materials I don't usually have access to.   SO fun and it turned out really cool!  I'll be making more of these and more things inspired by this too.

To see what else I've been making lately, check out this Sylvie Elise Lansdowne Facebook Photo Album.  I think you can still browse even if you're not a Facebook person.   These jewelry pieces are for sale and will be on Facebook as a preview and pre-sale until I move them to later in the weekend or early next week.  If you see something you want to purchase, make a comment below the photo that says "MINE" and I will message you about payment.  If you're not a Facebook person and can't post, you can email me which pieces you're interested in and I'll pull them from the available stock and send you a paypal invoice.

I will be listing the Christmas ornaments later today or early tomorrow.  They will be in a separate photo album, so I'll post that info here as well.

Hope you enjoy!

tiny blah blah blah... it's cold in Atlanta today!  Starbucks CDL was goooood!
music - a mix of old 80s and 90s stuff.

Monday, December 05, 2011

Playing Catch Up after a GRRRRRReat weekend

Saturday marked the end of the show/class travel year for me.  Decatur Holiday Marketplace is one of my favorite favorite shows and this year truly reminded me why.  I spent my weekend talking to people who loved my work and have supported me for MANY years (I did my first DHM in 1996!!)  It's so nice to hear that people still wear the jewelry I made back then and that those who have bought my glass ornaments in the last 3 years leave them hanging up in their homes all year long to enjoy them.  Made me a happy girl to know that I make other people smile through my art.  A great show and a fantastic way to end the year!!

It was SUCH a fun year full of wonderful people in classes and at shows, but I need some time at home.  I'm going to really really appreciate this next month (and so will my pets...although they were starting to just get used to the suitcases being in the front hall as a permanent fixture) 

I've been running SO much this fall that being home for an entire month is going to seem like a huge luxury.  Of course, being home doesn't equate to vacation time.  I have a LOT to do in this month... first of all, playing catch up!  I've had to push TOO many things to the back-burner, both personally and professionally and I need this time to get things back in order (well, some semblance of order)  Secondly, I need this month to begin heavy-duty production work for my Tucson shows (that's right... it's plural.  I'm in 2 places simultaneously this year... details on that later) and I need to work on some new projects.

If you are a facebook fan, please be prepared for me to ask a lot of questions in the next month.  I need some input as to what types of projects I should focus on for 2012... quick and easy or lengthy and WOWZA.  I'm torn and need some feedback from current customers.

If you're not a facebook fan and want to be... click on the FB icon to the right.  If you aren't on facebook and have no intention of doing so (and I know some of you fall into that category), you are more than welcome to give me feedback here in the comments section or via email.  I really need to hear from some of my regulars!!

Today I'm working on finishing the Zombie Girl AND taking photos of the remaining pieces from my show this past weekend.  I know some of you were anxiously awaiting Christmas ornaments (and non-Christmas ornaments too), so I will try to get those done as soon as possible and let you know where they are posted for purchase.  :)

coffee - YES!!!!!!!  Cinnamon Dolce latte is my best friend (ok... not really, but it sure is good!)
music - Christmas on Pandora.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Answered Prayer

I sat on the runway on Friday, ready to take off for Baltimore. That quiet time right before takeoff and during the first bit of the flight is usually a reflective meditative and often prayerful time.

Sure... I'm praying for safe travels and for my kids to be protected while I'm away, but as of late, there has also been a lot of prayer for guidance clarity and direction.

Ok... Some of you are going to zone out here... That's fine. If you have read this blog longer than a month, you know that I talk about what is important to ME... I'm glad you are here and reading, but this isn't a marketing tool, it is a place where I share my thoughts about my art and career as an artist... So if you bow out of the prayer talk today... No problem. I will "see" you another day.

Back to the plane... I sat there and said one of my "what am I supposed to be doing??!!" prayers that are necessary when door after door have been shut. (and honestly, the last month has been a WHOLE lot of door shutting). I was questioning my direction and even my career as a whole... Feeling WAY over my head.

So my prayer was something like "hey God, you have made it pretty clear to me in the past year that my career is teaching...opening door after door, but in the last month, it seems that door after door is being closed, even slammed shut. I need some help!!! I need a big "this way" sort of sign"

So, I waited for the plane to take off, knowing that I was flying into uncertainty... Classes with not enough students... A fiscal risk on my part... I was definitely not feeling that things were a sure thing... In fact, I was prepared to just go and enjoy meeting some new people, coming home, hopefully not in the hole (and coming off of the hole that was Oakland, I was feeling pretty uneasy). At the same time I felt uncertainty, I felt that it was the right thing to do, going to the class and not canceling. Risk or no risk, I knew that somehow it was something I needed to do.

And then I fell asleep (and probably snored on the plane, which I'm always a little paranoid about)

I got off the plane and had a class scheduled that night... The energy with even this small class was incredible. I had my tiniest class ever on Saturday, but I never felt like it was a crazy thing... I felt sure that i was supposed to be there. By Sunday the class scheduled had grown by an additional 3 students, putting us one spot from full and packing the room with happy. It just felt good to be in my "zone" all weekend, whether I was making "big bucks" or not.

In the end, I knew that I was still on the right path. I hadn't had any big Blues Brothers moment (where the light comes down from the sky and shines on Jake and Elwood and they know they are on a "mission")...but i knew that how i left those classes feeling was my answer.

So I sat and prayed before I took off yesterday, but it was much more a prayer of thankfulness than a prayer of request. I felt that my prayer for clarity had been answered. Maybe not in a giant "woo hoo! We're rich!" sort of way, but in a way that let me know that I'm supposed to be teaching... To be bringing some happy to people through my art and silliness.

Hopefully more doors open that keep me on this path without so much doubt, but at least I know without a doubt that my prayers (even the sort of lame ones) are heard and answered.

Off to make cute stuff...

Starbucks in hand
Christmas music cued up!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

We're gonna party like it's 1999

ok... not really.  This has nothing to do with Prince or partying, but it DOES have to do with 1999.

I don't have the official calendar to give all the details, but 1999 was the year of travel.  I flew so much that by the time May came along I had achieved "Silver Medallion" status on Delta, which meant that I had flown 25,000 miles in less than 5 months (I say less than because I know I probably didn't go anywhere in the month of January... the craziness started in late February, although I had already gone to Tucson by then)

In 1999 my then-husband left his teaching job and I became the full-time bread-winner for our family.  This was something that happened pretty spur of the moment and without a lot of planning and suddenly, I had to make a living... not just part-time income doing art.  This was before the era of online bead sales, so that meant that in order to sell the glass beads... I had to go to where the bead shows were and that meant West Coast a lot of the time... and when not the West Coast, somewhere other than home was where the shows were.  (and when I wasn't on the road, I was teaching from my studio at home... but that's a whole other topic.  This is about "the road")

The spring of 1999 was filled with weeks of me flying out of town on Friday morning, arriving in whatever town (and they quickly became a blur), grabbing a rental car, finding the hotel, crashing for the night after eating cheap drive-thru if possible (sometimes skipping meals and "eating" slim fast that I packed so that I wouldn't have to spend money eating out), setting up for a show Saturday morning, tearing down a show Sunday afternoon, catching a red-eye back to ATL on Sunday night... getting back home, crashing for half a day trying to catch up with sleep, then getting back in the studio on Tuesday to make the stuff that I was going to sell the following weekend.

It was an endless cycle. Some weekends were winners, some were losers.  I just hoped that during the month the winners would outweigh the losers and I'd end up with enough to keep us afloat. ... and I pretty much did.  

It wasn't much of a life.  It was tough on me physically and emotionally.... and tough on my family too, but you do what you do to pay the bills, right??  And that was the way I was able to pay the bills back then.... by being a factory and an on-the-road salesperson for my factory.

This weekend was the first time I've really felt that way in a long time.  The travel REALLY got to me.  The being away from home, not knowing if you're going to make money or not... and this time was a not.  It's hard to make money in art right now and harder when the show is in Oakland a few blocks away from one of the "occupy" sites.   When I have a killer show, I can sort of swallow the tired worn-out, road-weariness by doing a happy dance for the money.  This wasn't one of those weekends, so I'm just tired, worn out and road-weary.... and I do it again on Friday.

Friday is a bit different because it's a class, not a show, but it's still travel and it's still away and it's still a lot of work in a couple of days that I'm at home this week.... and I'm doing it solo (which honestly, is better than doing it as a partner... I only have me to worry about).

My kids are troopers.  Of course, I'm not sure they notice as much as they did when they were little that mom isn't around on weekends.  Most of my gigs are scheduled when they are with their dad and when something hits on one of my weekends, my parents (who are WONDERFULLY SUPPORTIVE) are there to step in and spoil them (which this time included driving to Game Stop across town to pick up a game that H had pre-ordered and paid for so that the boys would have it when they got home from a church retreat.... you rock grandpa!)

SO anyways... I'm home and I'm tired and I'm two trips away from being an "A Plus Rewards Member" on AirTran which is airline-speak for "you really do fly too much"

(I didn't get coffee today)

I'm logging back on because I think it's important for me to end on a high note.  Yes... I'm exhausted.  Yes... it's hard.  But it's NOT the first time I've supported a family doing art and I am totally capable of doing it even in an economic slump.  I have MAD skills... including business savvy and an entrepreneurial streak a mile long.  I'm going to make it.  I just have to take care of myself...which means giving myself a day off to sleep, like I did today....  and treating myself to coffee, even when it's a luxury.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Huey Lewis inspired this post.... and Nancy Reagan

I have that song "Want a New Drug" in my head this morning... not because I need a drug, but because of his whole attitude.... he needs a complete change... but also wants to remember how it feels when he's with the girl(do we know the sex of the person he's singing to?) he digs.

My take on it is this... I don't need a drug or a person, but I want to feel the same way about my beadwork as I used to... I want to feel proud of it and excited and I want others to feel that way too.

Thing is... the projects I've felt that way about in the last year OTHER people haven't been as enthusiastic about.  So, I'm wondering what the "new drug" is going to be that turns things around for me so that I can dig what I'm doing, but can also make something that other people dig as much as I do.

What is that???  No clue.  This morning I started wondering if that "new drug" is swarovski crystal.  Seems like everything that everyone else is being successful with has crystal crystal crystal OUT THE WAZOO!!!!  So... do I need to skip the lampwork and glitz it up???

Would my mom say "just because everyone ELSE is jumping off a bridge, (using swarovski crystals) doesn't mean you should!!"

Should I go the Nancy Reagan route and "Just Say NO!" or should I sell out and become a sparkle-ho just because it would sell better??????????  (and for the record, I'm not calling other designers who use crystals ho's.... seriously!  I'm just saying it's never been my aesthetic, so I would be compromising MY aesthetics if I did that... that's what I mean)

Very frustrated, and it's probably because I just got that dreaded rejection letter from Bead and Button... wondering if I'd sent them a box of crystal-encrusted beadwork if I'd be in the same mood.

Sorry for the debbie-downer posting today.  That's just how I'm seeing things today.

more coffee needed....  drug of choice.
music - switching from Huey to something else!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Re-packaging the artist

I had a fabulous weekend in Maine both in classes AND talking business with my great friend, owner of The Beadin' Path in Maine, savvy business woman and designer extraordinaire, Heather DeSimone.  I love having someone who GETS what I do available for great conversation... someone I can talk REAL business with and bounce ideas off of.  What we do is similar in that we're in the same industry, but different in that we have totally different parts of that industry, so it makes for great outside insight, but from a perspective of someone who shares the same sorts of customers.  I have no idea if that made any sense at all, but what it boils down to is...  it was a GREAT weekend of classes AND conversation!

I came home re-thinking a lot about what I do... fresh approaches, fresh markets and over-all refreshing of what I've already got.  One thing that needed refreshing is ME.  It's been FOR-EV-ER since I got my hair done... really done... made funky and fun and artsy and my clothes need a little "lift" as well... BESIDES the fact that I have none of my own jewelry... I REALLY need that (but that will have to wait!).  The packaging of the artist is sometimes as important as the art itself... and I need some re-packaging.  I'm looking forward to a "new" me via the hair salon arriving some time next week.... just in time for shows and classes rounding out the year.

ok... back to work on Head Over Heels Zombie Girl.  I know some of you are DYING for me to finish.  I'm on my least favorite part... legs.  I HOPE to get the 2nd one finished today then all I'll have to do is assembly, embellishment, a little direction tweaking (although I did most of that already) and photography.... just a little to do.  ;)

Happy Weekend ya'll!!

and p.s. this is October 28th and there has still been no word from Bead and Button... everyone else I know that applied to teach and was accepted heard weeks ago, so it doesn't look like i made the cut, although they said "teachers that are accepted will know by October 31st"  Again, doesn't look good... and I'm bummed, but not going to waste a whole blog posting on it... please don't start letter writing campaign (ha!) until I officially say "no go on the B&B thing" but I promise I won't waste blog space whining about it.... ok, maybe a little.

tiny blah blah blah...

music - nope.  Project Runway and Accessory are keeping me company while I bead

coffee - YES!  Coupon for Starbucks!!  woot!!!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Head Over Heels Zombie Girl edition.... In progress

So I am STILL working on my prototype for this. It is taking me FOREVER and I'm not sure if it's because I'm swamped with other stuff or if I'm just not prioritizing it just because I'm tired of it already... But I really don't think it's that. I think it's just the swamped factor. It is hard to have things that I know I need to do that are not necessarily money makers when I KNOW I have this thing on the burner that WILL pay some bills.

So... I'm trying to make my to do list for the day and decide where this sample falls on the list.. and I have got to move her to the top or I will never finish!!!

I need a clone (my phone tried to make that "clown"... I DON'T need one of those!!!)

Off to work... Here is a glimpse of what's to come... The back of her dress.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Very Scary

I think this one is a bit scary!!!

Another Unfortunate Pet (I fear for the person who adopts this one!!)

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Funnest Google Result EVER!

So, you know I love looking and finding how people get to my blog... what they google, what sites refer them, etc.

Well, today's research cracked me up.  Someone googled "Breaking and Entering Cupcakes" and THEN amongst however many thousands of results, chose to click on my blog for information on said activity.

When have I talked about breaking and entering??!!!  Guess we'll have to ramble through the archives at some point... cupcakes are obvious.  :)

Super quickie post... off to teach!

tiny blah blah blah...

coffee - hoping to detour through Starbucks on my way to class
music - nope... will just be the happy sounds of students laughing in my workshop!

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Wicked... the beads, not the musical

I survived my first real outdoor show... barely.

I'm not going to go into the horrible details, but I managed to get out with my ego somewhat intact, though pretty severely bruised.  I learned a LOT and that's what a lot of the experience was for... to figure the whole thing out.

Things I learned...

I need a roadie, or a team of them.  Building a portable store that looks good is HARD work and I'm pretty sure I need help if I'm going to do it again.

I need more work on my display... including signage that really explains to people what I'm selling... it isn't as obvious as I thought.

I need MORE stuff... a booth that size takes a LOT of inventory to look full.

I need to find the right shows for me... shows that have high-price-point customers in addition to happy shoppers (because this show was totally happy... that part was really fun)

Other thing I learned... always have a show or a class on the heels of a bad show so that you can revive your ego with the help of friends....  Michigan girls, I'm sooooo glad that I'm with you all this weekend!

And speaking of that...  here are a pile of beads heading that way.  Something Wicked, the ring project is included here as well as parts for the soon-to-be Spooky Head Over Heels (which the MI girls will get to see before anyone else!)

It looks a bit gory... the random "severed" heads...  at least the girlie skulls cheer things up a bit! 

tiny blah blah blah...

coffee - YES!  Cinnamon Dolce Latte to the rescue
music - no... listening to audio books this week... Game of Thrones book 2.  WOW!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Reluctant Flying Dog

Quickie from the studio! This is one of the pieces from my crazy studio day last week.

He's definitely a Flying Dog... But he's not real happy about it!

Off to make more stuff!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Something Spooky This Way Comes...

So here it is... One of the crazy things I made yesterday. It was hard to photograph because of its shape, but it's a cabochon with a spiraling cone on top and atop the cone is my spooky face!

From the side it looks like a black and white witch's hat. This was not the original focal piece for my spooky ring class, but I love it and it will be now! (there's one option that's just the spirally cone and another that's just the face.

I will hopefully have a photo of the whole thing soon! But in the meantime, here's one of the wacky/exciting things from yesterday!

Friday, September 23, 2011

The Waiting is the Hardest Part

I'm not good at waiting.  Seriously not good.  I would open my Christmas presents early if I was given the opportunity... I would go FIND them if I knew they were hidden and find-able.

Some days opening the kiln is like Christmas... you've anticipated, you're excited, you WANT what's inside the box...BUT you can't open a kiln early without ruining the work you've done.  And that's where I am right now.  I am DYING to go open the kiln, but it's not ramped down yet.

I haven't had one of these days in quite a while... where I'm DYING to see the end results of what I've made.  A lot of times what I'm making is "ordinary" stuff...meaning stuff I usually make, only as variations on a theme.  Today, however, there is some crazy-ass new stuff that I am DYING to see.  It might be horrible... I'm preparing myself for that, but it might be WONDERFUL too.... and if it is, then it puts a new spin on some things that have been brewing.

ALSO in the kiln are a few components for my class in Michigan in 2 weeks... I'll be teaching a ring and it's got sort of a spooky theme, BUT I'm doing several different choices for the centerpiece and I'm really looking forward to taking those out of the kiln as well.... because one of the HOPEFULLY WONDERFUL things in the kiln is a variation on something for that class.  (can you say "unfortunate pets as a ring???  scary, possibly... but hopefully wonderfully weird instead!)

speaking of unfortunate pets... here's what greeted me from the kiln today...

paranoid kitty

off to check and see if the kiln has ramped down....
(I hope it's not a punk Christmas)

tiny blah blah blah

coffee - yes.  Starbucks....and the new barista guy already knew my order, which was NOT good because that means I've been there too much lately!!!  (but was good for him because it means he's good at being a barista!)

music - Christmas.... but I haven't made a single REAL Christmas-y ornament YET and I've listened to that playlist for 3 days... I keep hoping that it will make me break out the red and green... but it hasn't yet.  It does make me laugh at my absolutely horrible taste in Holiday music. 

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Quite Unfortunate

Here's the latest from the kiln... Something odd!

(today's post is SUPER short due to my spending most of the day learning to set up a tent... SO not in my skill set, but I think I can do it!)

Here's the eye candy to hold you over till I can post something longer...

P.S. The remote blog app doesn't lend itself to my tiny blah blah blah, but I will tell you that more coffee was needed!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Live from the Studio!!

This post is just for Deb (but you can read it too). Deb isn't on Facebook (gasp!) so she gets to see pictures waaaaaay after everyone else who follows my page there. So Deb, I downloaded the Blogger app which allows me to post from my phone!

AND I can post from the camera, so JUST for you... Here's another "unfortunate pet" that came out of the kiln this morning. I didn't post it on Facebook, so you're getting a blog exclusive! :)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Back to Blog Blog Bloggity Blog Blogging

Sorry I've been MIA for a few days... I've been busy teaching and making stuff!

I had 3 classes this past weekend at Beads by Design in Marietta.  I loved them, even though they were very small classes.  We had a really good time and they were great beta-testers for the new projects!  Thank you bead divas of BBD!!

As of Monday, I was back in high-gear in the studio making pieces for my show in Norcross in a week and a half (YIKES!)  This will be my first real outdoor art show (I think I said that already, but it's a bit intimidating!!)

I was feeling unprepared last week, but looking at the pieces as a giant pile of glass orbs, I have more than I thought I did and there is a somewhat cohesive collection starting to happen.  WOO HOO!

This is a super short post because I'm exhausted... working glass all day and beading all night has my eyes just about as tired as they can get.  I'm pretty sure that Starbucks will be calling my name tomorrow morning whether I like it or not!

Here's something to make you smile...
(I love his flying ears)

tiny blah blah blah...

music - CHRISTMAS PLAYLIST!!!!!!!  (it was time)
coffee - yes... I indulged in starbucks.  It was a must-have for today!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

You've been warned multiple's MY blog.

I was about to write a post about how I am ALL over the place...that I have too many balls up in the air and they're all going to fall on my head at any moment...that I'm stressed out about being a self-employed artist in unsure economic times...  and then I stopped suddenly....

I realized ONCE AGAIN that I am not in control of this... I never have been and never will be and I need to just  I have God-given talents and He has made opportunities for me to use them and I just have to trust and pray and follow His lead and I'll be ok.  I might not be rich or successful or anything that someone might want to put high on the priority list, but I will be ok.

I did a bible study all last year and through the whole thing, every single week, I was reminded that I am NOT in control and I need to just get out of my own way and let God paint the painting of my life instead of me try to paint myself.  (I was never a great painter and I tend to make a mess)

This might not make sense to anyone else, but it's what I needed to write about today and once again... you all can say it with me... IT'S MY BLOG AND I CAN WRITE ABOUT WHAT I WANT TO!!!

So today I'm writing that I'm ok.  I might have  heap of glass that is not anywhere near a cohesive body of work and a show in 2 1/2 weeks... I might have three projects that I'm planning to teach this fall that need direction tweaking and no kits made up for those projects... I might not have any idea how the bills are going to get paid (being honest) BUT I know deep down that this is what I am supposed to be doing and I'm continuing to take a step of faith... believing that He's got this beautiful painting of my life in His hands and I need to stop moving the paint around and just be.

God is a creator and I'm pretty sure he digs it when I get creative.  He has given me some pretty bizarro ideas lately and I hesitated to post some of them....especially these funky crazy animals I've been making.  I know now that they had a purpose that I wasn't aware of, so I'm glad I went with the flow.  I have been more spontaneous, making the things that were coming into my head even if they had NO place in my body of work.  I know now that I was supposed to... that I was supposed to post them and I'm going to continue to work from this place of peace and joy and I'm going to be OK.
(and so are you)

SO... because it's happy and fun, here is another wacko animal from my recent studio time.  This one made me laugh.  I'm calling him "Smug the Fat Cat."

I start back with my study group tomorrow after taking the summer off.  I am SO ready to find out what He's got to say to me next because I have a feeling it's a doozy.

(thanks for sticking with me, readers.  I know this was a more personal posting than usual.... but that's what the blog is for sometimes.... for me to think "out loud" and share things with whoever happens to google "ick stractors for pools" (inside joke for all my long-time readers)

Tiny blah blah blah...

music - MORE Sara Bareilles Pandora.  I might need a new station tomorrow...they seem to get in a rut.
coffee - no, it was another iced tea day, BUT I have a free coffee coupon, so I'm indulging tomorrow!!!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Fresh From the Oven...

Twisted components!!!!!

I talked yesterday about my experiences using the Twisty Tools for making the components for my earrings and Deb (hi Deb!!) requested that I show a photo of how they turned out... so here they are!

Only 4 of them made it into the photo, but of the 7 components I made, SIX were the same size!  WOO HOO!!!

These are components for my College Colors collection of ornaments and earrings.  These are the beginnings of the Georgia Tech earrings... the hipstamatic app that I use on the iphone to take photos in the studio made the colors a lot brighter than they actually are, but you can see the twists and the happy matching components.  YAY me!!

Here's a little preview of the Auburn ornaments.  This one was a prototype and it's not quite the way I want it, but it's fun AND it made my friend Halee happy... so I did ok.

Again, the colors photographed brighter than they actually are.  My favorite Auburn fans said that I got the colors just I'm going with it! 

I've got GA Tech, UGA and Auburn in the works right now, but I plan on having Florida, UT and maybe FSU in time for the show... or at least some of those!  I'm going with the teams that belong to my good friends FIRST, then adding the others.  (it's not like I don't have enough OTHER things to make for the show as well!!)

My mom asked if I felt like I was selling out doing college colors (I'm not sure if she used the word sell-out, but it's what she meant)  I decided that I don't as long as I stick with my OWN designs and just use color combos from the colleges.... and this mama needs to pay the bills, so sometimes a tiny bit of "sell-out" isn't a bad thing.

HOPEFULLY they WILL sell... we'll see.  They will be at my booth at the Norcross Arts Festival, October 1-2 in Norcross, GA...  all the cool kids will be there!  (well, I will anyways!)

Till then... Go Sylvie!!  and Go Team!(s)

tiny blah blah blah...

coffee - nope.  tea instead.
music - a repeat of the Sara Bareilles pandora station.  love it!

Monday, September 12, 2011

I've got a new set of tools and they go like this...

Bop Shoo-bop, Bop Bop Shoo-bop

(Of all the twisting songs out there, that one's my favorite)

And that's what I'm talking about today... TWISTS!

I have been "twist-challenged" since I started working with glass 15 years ago!  Try as I might, I just could NOT make a decent twist.  I've taken classes where we made twists and there were passable ones... but not many... and not enough that I would ever use them in my work.

And then, I was working on one of my flower centers...the kind that are on wire and something went horribly wrong... the glass shocked as I was adding dots and instead of cute bumpy polka-dots, I had a big glob of one color on the base of the other color.  "hmmmm,"  thought I... "what can I do to this to avoid wasting it?" (I'm assuming that I was thinking positive things like this and not saying "OH CRAP CRAP CRAPPITY CRAP!" but it's VERY possible that I thought that first.   I melted the 2 colors together.... at some point, I decided that it was too big and I was going to pull some of the glass off... in doing that, the two colors of glass swirled and I liked the way it looked... so I added some embellishment to hide the remaining flaws and stuck it in the kiln.

When it came out of the kiln the next day, I loved it, BUT I had no idea if I could do it again..... and I needed to.  I had already mentally designed a project around it!!!!  So... I made bunches of these things, trying as best I could to recreate the mistake... and for every 10 or so I made, 4 would end up usable (ugh)   I LOVED how they looked, but I was NOT loving the production method OR the failure rate.

Here's the cutie-patootie project showing the little twist at the bottom.... Cirque du Sprout
(Ok... I'm gonna be real honest here...  Those are actually the SAME earring shown twice from different angles.  I just couldn't get them to be the same size no matter how hard I tried!  Which was the whole problem!)

And I need to let you know... I was LOVING this earring design and I was determined to make it work... I probably would have gone ahead and had that 10 bad to every 4 good production thing going if I hadn't seen Heather Trimlett do a demonstration at the glass-beadmaker's convention ("The Gathering"... have I said recently how much I hate that name???  It really does sound like some sort of bizarre Stonehenge ritual thing... but I digress)   Heather's demonstration showed her new set of tools which are used for pulling twists evenly... something I NEVER had done.... but would they work for what I was trying to do???

I talked to Heather about what I was wanting...which was NOT what the tools were intended to do.  The tools hold the heat and allow the colors to twist evenly ALL the way to the ends.  My ends usually were big and globby and often the mid section was skinny or globby.. this tool was designed to eliminate that.   Even this earring design depended on one end being globby and the other pulling thin.... would it work???  In our conversation, Heather told me that they might not work for what I wanted since they were designed to make the twist happen evenly, and as you can see above, I wanted something tapered and not really even.

I ordered the set anyways.  I had allowed myself one "new tool" purchase at the convention and this was it.  If nothing else, I liked the brass poker-shaper thing that was included as a part of the set  AND they came with pretty colored handles!!   (I'm deep like that)

I received my oh-so-cute set of tools in the mail about a week or so ago and wasn't quite sure how I was going to make this thing work.... so I experimented in about a gazillion different ways while making the twists for the College-color ornament collection.  I was able to get a BEAUTIFULLY even twist..... WOW!  The tools did what they were supposed to do..... but wait... that wasn't what I needed.  I needed those tapered twist parts for earrings!!!!!

So, I tried about ump-teen different ways of re-creating the first "mistake" twist and had a big "aha" moment when I saw one of the pretty-twists I'd made using Heather's tool as it was intended to be used.  I thought to myself, "self... what if we made a big fat twist using Heather's set of tools... it would be nice and even THEN we could attach that fat twist to the wires and taper the opposite end using ONE of the twist tools again"  and BOO-YA!  Success!!!  (this was the quickie description of what I did... it's actually a little more complicated, but it's easier than my FIRST method and it's consistent... THAT is what matters most!)

I have to say that Heather's tools... all of them, rock.  I've had her "round up tool" for a year now and I love using it for tiny cabochons (not how it was intended, but that's how I use it!!  It's the graphite tool at the top of the image above)  The Twister Tool Set arrived in a cute tube, wrapped with dotty-tissue and ribbon (I'm a sucker for great packaging).  Like the Round Up Tool, they are embellished with Heather's beads (which without knowing, she sent my favorite colors AND they match my round-up tool!)  Along with the tools, there are tutorials available, but being the independent spirit that I am, I sort of went my own way with all the tools... but I intend on going back later and really using the tutorial for adding twists to beads... the instructions look fabulous for conquering that challenge.... but one big twisty success at a time! 

I'm just AMAZED that I got these pretty, even and HUGE twists!!!  AND that I have consistently sized earring components in the kiln right now...YAY!!!

Here's a link to Heather's tools.  I give them 2 thumbs up!  Seriously!!!  (have you ever seen me plug anything besides Starbucks and a few books here?????)   I don't give testimonials lightly... I didn't even expect to give this one because I thought I was twist-impaired no matter WHAT the tool.... but it does what it says it does and THEN SOME!!!

and now we dance...

 "how to do the peppermint twist" 45rpm record!!  Not kidding!!! The full instructions are on you-tube!!  TOO FUNNY!

Have a great Monday ya'll!

tiny blah blah blah...

coffee - YES!
music - Sara Bareilles Pandora station - which I LOVE!

Friday, September 09, 2011

Yet no one clicks....

Do you see those little things at the bottom of the blog postings?  Something about "funny" "interesting" "cool"  WELL... no one, NO ONE ever clicks. 

On Facebook, people are all about the click!  Like-like-likety-like-like all day long on my Sylvie page, but here on the blog????  Nada.  And the blog has been around a lot longer than the facebook page.  Are you age-ist readers???  You like the Facebook page because it's younger and sexier?  I don't believe that. 

Give it up for the blog!!!  It's 10 years old now... TEN YEARS I've been blogging, bringing you scintillating conversation (albeit one-sided conversation, but still!) and fah-bulous images (ok... the images are not consistent, but I'm TRYING to post more lately)  Anyways... I blog away and get nothing in return (sniff sniff)  not even a little click of the mouse.  I'm hurt.  ;)

I've put up with stalker-blog readers, critical blog-readers, snoopy-blog readers, LOST blog readers looking for pool-cleaners... all for you... my REAL, favorite readers, yet do you click?????  nope. 

SO... I'm posting another picture of my new work... another wack-a-doodle animal ornament (these are big pieces... not little beads, these are big Christmas ornament-sized pieces).  PLEASE click "interesting" if you hate it (because that's what people say in Art critiques when they really don't like something... and it really is OK if you don't like it.  It's weird!) OR "cool" if you do.... funny would work too.... because it's pretty funny looking!  I'm still not sure about these pieces.  I know that they are a part of my dealing with sad by making happy... but is it going to go somewhere???

I liked the funny ears on this guy.  The photograph makes his eyes look different because of the glare, but now I'm thinking that the eye on the right looks like it has a funny eyebrow... and I might try that intentionally next time.    SO what do YOU think???  Feel free to comment, but DEFINITELY put that mouse to work and click SOMETHING!

Ready?  Set?  CLICK!!!!!

Happy weekend everyone!!!!!

tiny blah blah blah...

music - yes.. a fun Genius mix on itunes that was based on a Jason Mraz song.  I wish I had saved it before switching to another list because it had some good quirky songs on it!

coffee - yes.  I indulged at Starbucks again.  That might be the last time until after upcoming shows/classes.  I have to reward myself, but Keurig's gonna be my buddy for a little while.  Maybe my coffee sponsors will show up again.  Where's Ramundo when I need him???!!!

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Stress Free Thursday

I know I've mentioned "stress free Thursdays" in prior blog posts.... here's the story behind them....

My friend Keith and I used to e-mail each other all the time and one of our "things" was that each day had a theme... emails must conform to the theme (we were weird like that).  Thursday's theme was "Stress Free Thursday"  Both of us realized that Fridays, even though they were still work days were seen as the "fun day" of the week... and Thursday was often stuck bearing the workload so that Friday could be fun. 

My days are all kind of wack-a-doo.  I work on weekends almost all the time, so there is really no "Friday" but I still seem to feel that "woo hoo" when it gets here.  My workload is only what I choose to make it, BUT Thursdays, a lot of times are the last studio day before I leave for a show or a they're often stressful for me too.  SO...  we decided to make Thursday's emails officially STRESS FREE.  Neither of us would talk about stuff that was stressful and our goal was to make the other person laugh.  We were good at that.

Now that Keith is gone, I'm sharing stress-free Thursday with you.  Try not to dwell on the stupid life-stuff that comes up....because it will INEVITABLY come up on a Thursday  Trust me... Thursday has already tried to throw junk at me today.  I ducked.

I'm now headed to the studio to make fun stuff.  There is PLENTY I could be thinking of that would send me over the edge of stress-dom today, but I don't have a show this weekend and I could use a day of "research and development" making some things that don't really have a purpose yet... trying some new ideas with the hope that something comes from the experiments at a later date (because, that's how things work for me...  it takes a while for an idea to gel)

Here's a sneak peak at one of the crazy ideas I'm playing with....
The idea came from a series of stuffed toys that I saw at Target.  It turned out nothing like the original inspiration and I have NO idea where I'm going with this, but it makes me smile, so I'm going to play around with the idea a little more today.  Opinions about it on Facebook (I posted it yesterday for some feedback) were all over the place.  I like it enough to give it another couple of tries and then will let the funny creatures sit in the studio to see if there is an "AHA" moment or if they were just meant to be a fun diversion.

Time to go make some more of this silly stuff....

Happy Stress Free Thursday to you all!!!

tiny blah blah blah

music - I plan on a very 80's soundtrack
coffee - oh yeah... it was DEFINITELY a Starbucks kind of day!

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Head Over Heels never dies...

It's that time of year.... time to roll out the Head Over Heels limited editions for 2011. 

Two years ago, I brought out a Halloween Head Over Heels... sort of quietly without a lot of advertising.  I just took it to Bead and Button and a couple of other shows.  It was the first of the Limited Edition kits and I don't think people really believed me that it was a LIMITED thing.  I still have people wanting that little witch and I feel bad telling them that she's not coming back (but seriously... she's NOT coming back)

I followed it with the Christmas jester and the Queen of Hearts, but what I have up my sleeve for 2011 is quite different.  It's a bit scary how different it is... ok, it's just a bit scary PERIOD.  She's not finished yet, but here is a little sneak peak at some of the heads for this crazy kit...

See?  Pretty spooky!  I'm working on a companion piece that will be available at my October class at Pam's Bead Garden, so you Michigan girls... get ready  Something spooky-sylviebead this way comes!

tiny blah blah blah...

coffee - YES!  Cinnamon Dolce Latte... yum!

music - my long mellow playlist.  Full of sentimental stuff that made me a little blue, but was good just the same.

Monday, September 05, 2011

So... I'm addicted to

Imagine your bookmarks list, but with photos instead of words AND imagine it sorted into groupings of your choosing. FABULOUS, right?? Well THAT is Pinterest! And what makes it even MORE fab???? The fact that you can look at other people's pin-boards and see the cool stuff that they've pinned as well!

And what does this have to do with beads/beading/art, etc?? EVERYTHING! Seriously! It's like a giant scrapbook of ideas and visual inspirations right at the click of a button... all the photos and links to websites (and directions if those websites are "how-to" oriented) right there on my pin-boards.


But before you run and join pinterest, I must warn you that you too could be addicted to all the visual stimulation that is there. Seriously... you can get a bit carried away pinning. If you DO decide that you're going to join... make sure to add my blog/website/projects/eye-candy to your pin board!! Because I'm one of your favorite places to visit on the web... right???? ;)

Follow Me on Pinterest

tiny blah blah blah...

no coffee today. Slept in for the holiday!

music - not really. Watched movies... most of them lame.

Monday, August 29, 2011

SO... this whole having a friend die thing really sucks.

(yes, this is another personal life blog posting... but it's also art oriented, not that I have to justify my blog posts)

ANYWAY... it sucks.

And not only do I have a hole in my life, I'm not getting anything done in the studio AT ALL and that is messing with me BIG TIME because then I'm sad AND disappointed that I haven't finished what I need to finish.

I know that this will pass and that a new kind of normal (which is what my friend Halee has dubbed life after loss) will happen, but as a friend told me last Thursday (paraphrased) "when you have a friend like this, who has been in your life for a long time... even when you don't talk every day, they're a constant... something you just KNOW is out there... sort of like the moon. You know it's there even if you don't notice it every day. You would notice if the sun was gone, but you don't always notice the moon.... but once you realized it was gone, you would miss it. Its absence would throw you off kilter and things just wouldn't be right."

And that is EXACTLY how I feel. I'm off kilter. I miss my friend and the fact that he was a constant. (wasn't that what the word was in LOST too??? I think it was and it was the character's "constant" that kept them from going off kilter when time-traveling)

So I will keep putting one foot in front of the other this week... figuratively as I try to get work done and literally, at the gym. Waiting to find a "new normal"

tiny blah blah blah...

skipped the coffee and had a cold unsweet iced tea after the gym
music - not really. I wasn't doing anything long enough to really listen to music.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Today's post has nothing to do with art or glass or beads... BUT (say it with me... you should know this by now...) It's MY blog and I can do whatever I want to!!!!!!

Instead of the usual topics, today I'm talking books.... book, rather.

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane

Get it.

Read it.
(with a box of tissues)

Love it.

Share it with people you love.

And YES it's a book about a toy bunny and YES it's a children's book, BUT it is so full of hope and love and life-lessons and it was shared with me by a dear friend... so I'm sharing it with YOU! Go read it!!!!!

"You must be filled with expectancy. You must be awash in hope. You must wonder who will love you, whom you will love next."
— Kate DiCamillo (The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane)

beautiful.... right? I promise you'll love it!!!!!

tiny blah blah blah...

coffee- I treated myself to starbucks today. I needed the treat. It's been a rough week

music - Pandora- Chris Tomlin

Thursday, August 25, 2011

I've been all over the place on what today's blog post would be. I lost one of my biggest cheerleaders yesterday and I've kind of felt a little out-of-sorts all day because of it. I'll talk about it more on another day when I feel more myself.

SO today, instead of more talk talk talk... I have a short film! Do you feel like you're in high-school? Like I'm going to lower the screen and you're going to zone out to the clickity clack of the movie projector??? Hopefully not. This is a video filled with excitement and FIRE!!!!

(ok... maybe not so much excitement, but it does have FIRE!!!)

This a clip from a video that was shot of my demonstration at Flametree Glass in June. My good friend Marcy Lamberson was also featured as a demonstrator that night. If you go to the Flametree Website and click Demo Daze at Night you can see the full video that includes Marcy AND you can choose from other videos that were shot on other Demo Daze Nites. It was a LOT of fun and now I have a video of me doing what I love!!!

It's funny to watch how spastic I am when I work. I seem to be all over the place (but I'm going to pretend that's just how the film makes it can pretend that too.)

So... without further ado... roll film!

There will be a quiz on Tuesday. :)

Tiny blah blah blah...

music - Pandora Chris Tomlin channel, which I listened to while bawling my eyes out... being honest.... and then I gave up making beads for the day.

coffee - yes and it was wonderful. I plan to treat myself again tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

I've been busy making "spooky-cute" things lately. Here's one of my favorites...I'm doing a series of ornaments that are whimsical and a little Burton-esque for my art show this fall. I loved doing my zombie-girl totem last year and wanted to have a series that centered around that look. I knew that I couldn't do the Jack skeleton head again because it truly is taken from Jack... I needed my own spin on a similar shape. The funny pumpkin head above is the direction I took instead.

SO... what to look for in the weeks ahead? Zombie-girl and Mr. Quiet (that's what I'm calling him) totems and ornaments, as well as funky black and white spooky-cute stuff! AND a new version of Head Over Heels that is a little dark and spooky (cute) too!

It's a little bit of a departure for me, but sometimes I need to take a little trip!

tiny blah blah blah...

music today - more praise music (to keep my head in a good place while i make sort of dark stuff)

coffee - no... too hot. Chick fil a tea instead.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Where Inspiration Comes From...

Today, I was sitting in my studio, finishing up the day's work (which went really well and I'm dying to see when it comes out of the kiln!) and I looked at the clock... the same clock that has hung in my studio since 2000. It's a hand-painted funky clock... She's a Garden Angel and her feet are the pendulum that swing back and forth (but to be honest, I'm not sure where her feet are right now. She got moved from one spot to another and the new spot didn't have a place to hang, so she sits instead) OK... I got off track a little.

ANYWAYS... I looked at this angel clock and went WHOA!!!! The face looks SO much like the little faces I've been making in my studio lately. Then I went WHOA!!! (again, but not audibly) The dress and wings look like my fairy godmothers!!!!! OMG! I've been influenced by someone else's work without even knowing it!!!!!

At first I felt a tiny bit guilty, but then I let that go. I find inspiration in other art forms, so this isn't unique... it just wasn't PLANNED and it kind of threw me a little. Seriously, the face on this little Garden Angel could have jumped right out of one of my kits! If she was tiny, she'd be a Sunshine ring face!!

My work started making a shift from serene and lovely to whimsical back in 2000, so it makes sense that I was drawn to this clock. But over the years, as my work has progressed, I can definitely see that this one clock had a bit of an influence! (and this is why I don't go look at the galleries on the glass forums or at anyone's glass pictures on Facebook or Etsy. I just don't want their images seeping into my work!! And it's so easy to not notice it happening. Better safe than copy-cat!)

SO... a big thank you to Michelle Allen who created this wonderful clock that has seeped its way into my subconscious over the last 12 years. Hopefully the bracelet (?) that I traded you has made you as happy as my clock has made me!

Visit Michelle's FUN work at her etsy shop... Allen Designs

tiny blah blah blah...

music - yes.. my praise music mix. I need to focus on what's important lately

coffee - no and I really needed it!

Monday, August 15, 2011

It's the MOST wonderful time of the year!!!!!!!!

(ok... I know it's not the holidays, so it's not THAT "wonderful time of the year", but I'm definitely feeling wonderful because I can be a little more productive today with my kids back in school!! WOO HOO for the first day of school!!)

Working at home is NOT easy when you have 2 teenagers around... or little kids for that matter (been there too) I've played taxi and tour-guide and short-order chef for a good portion of the last couple of months while trying to balance running a business from home and for as little as I feel like I accomplished, I am WORN OUT!

When it comes down to it, however, they're my priority and as long as they're under my roof... sometimes work will have to take a back-seat to important things (like driving a kid to see his girlfriend or another one to get crazy orange and green shoes at the mall)

You would think I might spend today celebrating since I affectionately call this day Margarita Monday... but my big celebration was going to the studio to blow glass ornaments. I've been out of the glass studio for a couple of months other than little things here and there that had to be done for a particular piece... NOW it's time to get down to business and get ornaments made and sculptures made so that I'll be ready for fall shows. I wasn't REAL successful today (some wonky pieces or ones that have blown-out sides), but it was a good first step. I just have to get back in the groove again!

So, it's not quite time to crank the Christmas tunes in the studio, but my friend Lisa called today "The Most Wonderful Day of the Year" and I thought that Andy Williams' song of the same sentiment would be perfect!

To all you moms out there... HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!! (I mean back-to-school!)

tiny blah blah blah...

coffee - DEFINITELY! The only bad thing about back to school is back to 5:50 wake-ups. It takes my 13 year old a good 30 min. longer than it takes me to get ready in the morning!

music - what a crazy mix... started with Bob Marley's 3 Little Birds, went to Starbucks and heard Marvin Gaye and Otis Redding then picked the other kid up to take him to school and George Michael was on the radio. Add in praise music in the studio and it's been a very eclectic soundtrack so far!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

I'm doing the Happy Dance today, but I'm torn... torn between the Balki from Perfect Strangers version (aka The Dance of Joy) OR the Carlton Banks dance... or even this NEW happy dance that my friend Susan posted on Facebook. I'll let you decide which you prefer. I have my favorite... I'll tell you after you watch and compare.... and after I tell you why I'm dancing in the first place.

I think you can probably guess... I'm doing the Carlton Banks version. I'm a little nerdy like that (not that Balki isn't nerdy... Carlton just OWNS his nerdiness and I'm all about owning it!)

SO... why am I dancing you ask??? Because I found out today that I'm teaching 3 classes at BABE (Bay Area Bead Extravaganza) in November!!!! How cool is that??!! I'll have a link to the classes later next week when registration info is posted, but for now...


(is a tiny blah blah blah even needed with all this dancing??!!)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

I did it!!!!!!!!

I got my application in IN TIME for Bead and Button 2012. I sent them SIXTEEN, that's right SIXTEEN class submissions and they received several recommendation letters as well. I put myself out there and now it's up to their jury.

I sent 4 lampworking classes, even though I would hope that if they choose a lampworking class, they ALSO choose beadwork. Mermaids and Fairies were the focus of the classes.

For beadwork, I sent them older stuff like Splish Splash and Halo Necklace and newer stuff like Flora Flora Bloom Boom, Sweetheart Bracelet and Springalicious, but I ALSO created new things this summer so that I could propose shorter classes (half day and more one-days) because that's what they need... choices and variety.

For those who aren't on Facebook, here are the new things...
Cirque du Sprout Earrings
Flora Florette Bracelet

Enchanted Blossom Earrings

SO, hopefully in this field of over 2,100 class applications (that was the count when I submitted...they assigned a number when you sent in your online app for each project) my 12 beadwork classes will catch their eye and if not maybe ONE of the lampworking classes will.

Cross your fingers and toes for me!! We won't find out until late October (which means that my samples are held hostage until then and I have to make new ones for all my teaching gigs!) but I will let you know once I know something!!!!!!!

For those of you who emailed Bead and Button... thank you. It really meant a lot to me to hear from you that you sent things in unsolicited asking them to have me as an instructor. :)

Time to design new stuff!!!!

tiny blah blah blah...

iced Cinnamon Dolce Latte was the drink du jour.
music - the new 80s/90s station in Atlanta... "Journey 97.9" LOVE IT!

Thursday, August 04, 2011

I need the blackboard of bossiness in the bead room.... not just the glass studio. I have a ton of stuff to do this week, but I feel like I'm sort of spinning around in circles, not getting any of it done the way it should be.

I know that part of this is simply because I'm exhausted. I was on the road for almost 2 weeks straight and "ON" most of that time. I loved every minute of it, but when I came home with a scratchy throat, I knew it was from talking too much, which verifies the "ON" thing. I need some rest and relaxation... but that is not a part of the life of a self-employed single mom.

Big deadline on Monday, so maybe I can take a tiny breath then.... maybe.

School starts in a week and a half and that will help a bit... maybe.

I just seem to look from one deadline to the next and there are some big kahuna ones out there right now.

and on that note.... back to beading samples!

tiny blah blah blah

coffee - NEED, but don't want to go out. No half and half, so that means no coffee.
music - listening to business strategies on itunes. I know that sounds lame.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Oh Bead and Button teaching application, how I love thee.

Let me count the ways...

I love thee for your confusing online instructions.
I love thee for your request for a million gazillion projects.
I love thee for your request for instructions and samples for all those million gazillion projects.
I love thee for your strict packaging/mailing guidelines.

But most of all, I love thee because thou mightest give me a chance to sell at the Meet the Teachers night.... so I put up with your other flaws and keep plugging away at this thing!

back to work!!!

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Back from Kentucky.... brain on creative-overload

This happens every year. I come home from the Gathering (the Glass Beadmaker's Convention) with SO many things flying through my head that I just can't focus.

I made it through the social anxiety things with flying colors. I think I'm back in my "zone" again, having been away and come back. I know who I am, I know what I do and I'm comfortable with it.... that wasn't always the case in the past PLUS you throw personal life stuff in there and it made for a few years of explaining why I'd been away, etc. Now things are just normal again and it's nice. I had a great time with friends AND was so flooded with ideas that I'm about to burst....

but first, that darn Bead and Button application! I can't do anything new and creative until that is DONE!

so, I'm off to work on samples (while day-dreaming about the new stuff)

tiny blah blah blah...

Starbucks coffee that is NOT from the horrible Starbucks at the Louisville Convention center. I can tell an unofficial Starbucks a MILE away!

Music - nope. I'm catching up on shows I missed!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

I love Michigan... and Michigan loves me.

Just got back from teaching for the Great Lakes Beadworkers Guild. Those girls ROCK (and I'm not just saying this because Deb is reading... it's true!) They've become family over the years... and I love coming back year after year to see them (sometimes more than once a year!)

(some of the guild girls from the first class with me at lunch)

This was the first time I'd taught for their guild, however and it was a wonderful experience. I had some new students, who hadn't taken classes with me at Pam's Bead Garden, so it was really nice to add to my Michigan friends! They made the Flora Flora Bloom Boom necklace project and I think they all really enjoyed it. It's such a fun project because the parts are individual and you see all sorts of ways you can vary the look by changing/adding components. LOVE THAT!

I came home with GAZOODLES of ideas thanks to these great girls. I'll be back to see them in October, so hopefully I'll have something to show them that came from our brainstorming sessions!

But before I start on those ideas.... I have to get through the ISGB Gathering (my social anxiety weekend... the convention of Glass Beadmakers) and the Bead and Button application deadline!

so I'm off to pack....

tiny blah blah blah

coffee - NEED
music - interested to see what playlists,
created by a 13 year old await. :/

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Packing... it's my verb

(do you remember that public service announcement? It always made me laugh) But seriously, I feel like I pack and unpack a LOT and I'm not good at it! I need different things for each venue, so i can't leave the bags packed PLUS I need things in between trips... so pack and unpack I must do.

In 1999 or 2000 (I can't remember which) I traveled almost every weekend and I just left bags packed... but that was a different era for me. I was doing shows, not classes and each time I pretty much needed the same stuff. It's different now. Not as many trips means that things DO get unpacked which means that I have to re-group every few weeks and RE-pack.

So, packing is my verb. Maybe I'll get good at it eventually.... but don't cross your fingers!

tiny blah blah blah...

too late at night for coffee, but I will definitely be indulging early tomorrow morning!
music - nope... watching The Closer while I make to-do lists! (and blog)

Monday, July 18, 2011

Just READING the instructions to apply to teach at Bead and Button stresses me out. I keep visiting their site again and again to re-read these scary (and a little bit confusing) instructions so that I will be ready to go when all my samples/instructions/photos/recommendation letters are.

I'm not giving up or letting my confusion/frustration get the best of me. I will continue to apply until they accept me.... or I die. Whichever comes first.

back to beading samples. This is my life this summer!
Today is the beginning of a CRAZY few weeks...

I have 2 back to back classes THEN a convention....and THEN one week to get everything together to apply to teach at Bead and Button....THEN back to school stuff. That all fit into a couple of lines here on the blog, but it's a HUGE undertaking in just a few weeks.

Not to mention there is other behind the scenes stuff that has to be done in these next weeks as well.

Someone please send me those wonder woman bracelets. I think I might need them.

Friday, July 15, 2011

I am chicken. There... I said it.

I never apply for anything that requires jurying.... never. I procrastinate and then at the last minute come up with reasons that I shouldn't submit OR I just allow myself to miss the deadline.

The ONLY things I've ever submitted have been rejected... maybe that's part of it, but I don't think it's ALL of it.

Not sure what the block is, but today, I'm sticking my toe in the big scary pond of possible rejection. Hopefully I won't fall in.... and hopefully I finish my stuff in time to get to the post office.

UPDATE.... just had to pop back in and say that I finished all the things that had deadlines today. NOW onto the next daunting application... Bead and Button 2012!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Doggie emergency surgeries can really screw up a "plan"

I'm way behind finishing things and meeting deadlines and now I've got a major monkey wrench... a big furry one. My poor dog had emergency surgery on Sunday and is now recuperating back at home... needing constant attention and near hourly feedings. I have a tiny baby again (only he's 85 lbs. He's sleeping just about the same amount as a human baby... in spurts and crying (whining) when he wants something. Very sad.... and very time-consuming.

SO, I'm trying to work during breaks and hope that anyone who I owe something to understands that I can't really GO anywhere until he's on an upswing. Hopefully that will be by the end of the week. The dr. says he came out of a scary situation doing way better than expected.

Yay cooper!

In the meantime, I will be operating on small amounts of sleep, HOPING to have my pieces finished by the Friday deadline. cross your fingers for me!

tiny blah blah blah...

coffee - I would really like some. Starbucks please start delivery service!

music - kid #2 is playing uekelele... unidentifiable tune

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Happy Saturday!!!!!

I have 2 items of news...

1. There are still spaces in my Flora Flora Bloom Boom classes in Detroit in 2 weeks and they are a GREAT deal... great enough that I'm telling you that don't live in Detroit that you should STILL look into this! The girls of the Great Lakes Beadworkers Guild are SO fun and they've worked hard to make classes affordable for their members (and many of their members live as far away as Texas, but know how worth it it is to belong!) The 2 day class is EIGHTY DOLLARS for members (and membership is $30!) I've given the girls of GLBG a special price on the Flora Flora kits just because I love them so much. The kits for this class ALONE (so don't expect to see this price again) are $175 ($50 discount!) SO... if you do the math, it's worth the travel!!!

2. It's official! Two Babes and a Bead Party is hosting its FIRST New Years Eve Party!

Jill Wiseman and myself (the 2 babes) are hosting a 3 day retreat (the party) in the North Georgia Mountains this New Years Eve. You can keep up with all the details at our website OR through our Facebook page. (and you know once there is a facebook page it really IS official) There is some basic info on the retreat there now , but more will be forthcoming (after we get through the deadlines that loom over us this month...and there are a LOT of deadlines for bead instructors this month)

So, that's some good news for your Saturday!

tiny blah blah blah...

coffee - mais oui!
music - movies instead... not sure what, but I'm doing some major sample-making today which goes better with movies than music.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

I'm back! Sorry for the away-time.

Here's what you missed...

Went to Baltimore for Best Bead Show
Came home and worked on class samples for upcoming applications (still working)
Booked new classes



Started planning not ONE but TWO bead retreats. Watch for more details soon, but these will be FABULOUSLY FUN! Two Babes and a Bead Party - New Years Eve (Georgia) and a fall event planned in Texas featuring classes with the oh-so-fun Jill Wiseman of Tapestry Beads and myself.

Stay tuned for details!

tiny blah blah blah...

need some coffee