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.