June 27, 2010

Not working - but work!

Okay, in an attempt to do more with life than make beads I'll share some non-beading projects with you. I know, beads aren't enough?  No!  I'm in serious need of balance and spending more time with my family.  The girls and I are working on two summer projects, gardening and creating an outdoor studio.

So I found this cute little nursery on the west side of town (great prices) and picked up some finds at the local flea market.  Today we are going to work on the front of the house.  There is a small neglected flower bed that is filled with Purple Queen and some kind of flowering bush.  I have planted various things and killed them all over the years.  (We'll have been here for 6 years in August.)  The Purple Queen and a few succulents are the only things I've managed to keep alive.  Hopefully I'll have better luck with this batch.   I would love to be a gardener, my sister is an amazing gardener.  She is always planting, moving things, arranging.  It's a skill that has been lost on me!
We have a huge yard, front and back with nothing but grass.  Although this year it's probably more weeds than grass, maybe I shouldn't confess that.  But I will be honest about what we are starting with here - hmm maybe I should apply to be on a few home & garden yard/garden shows - I might get lucky!

Along with the front area I bought a few herbs to do a little container gardening on our porch.  So I'm off to work on that while I'm waiting for the heat to subside and I can start digging later this afternoon.  Hope you are having a peaceful Sunday.

June 26, 2010

New Necklaces

Over on the Art Bead Scene today it's my turn for Studio Saturday and I shared the inspiration and new collection of Birch beads.  Here are two necklaces I created using them.  This first one features my birch bead and willow disks in pumpkin.  You'll notice the copper and resin branch by Jade Scott, one of my favorites! 

This simpler necklace features some awesome leaf chain that I picked up at Bead & Button and Czech glass leaves from Raven's Journey - oh how I love them and wish they had an online store - don't they know they would make an even bigger fortune than they already do!!!

I whipped this necklace up during the Bead & Button show to display some of my antiqued dogwood pendants.
And a sample project using my toggle clasp/pendant in a simple design. 

June 25, 2010

Willows, Berries and Leafy Green

A scrumptious round up of some new items.  I'm loving the berry color toggles and pendants.  I picked up some Job's Tears at the show and they are perfect with willow designs. The acorns are some extras from a special request.  I have to say, they have me thinking of other colors for acorns - like teal. 

Stop by my Etsy shop to see everything that is new.  I added 23 beads, pendants and toggles yesterday!

June 24, 2010

Photos from Bead & Button

As promised, photos from Bead & Button!  Oh my gosh, it was too much fun.  I loved meeting everyone, too many to mention.  I loved hearing from folks that read my blog, make sure you leave a comment to say hi!  Hanging out with Erin and Rosanne was so much fun.  My brother even drove over to the show from Michigan and spent a day with us.  I shopped, 'oh lord I was suppose to be selling how did I get so much shopping done'-shopped!  That was thanks to my two awesome booth helpers.  And trouble-making shopping helpers.  I think we like to blame each other, but really it didn't take much arm twisting to snag our favorite beads.
The Humblebeads Booth, I went with a minimalistic design with white plates and bowls.  I tossed in a few metal leaf plates and bird nests for texture.  That grey material - silk with metallic strands, a gift from a friend.  Oh how I love that fabric.

Toggles, an updated version that will soon be in my Etsy shop with leafs, branches and key toggles instead of the hammered wire ones.  This way you can pick your favorite metal.

 I wish I had picked up more of the nests/bowls - they were so cute!

A sneak peek at the new beads - birches and October Sky pendants and cuffs.  Yumm-o my friends.

And speaking of friends, what is better than meeting up with your bead tribe during this event?  I touched base with old buddies and met many new wonderful and talented peeps.  Here is Jess from Vintaj with super-creative designer and author Sherri Haab. Jess was doing a great make-and-take at the booth the entire show!

 Me and Jess - photo snagged from their facebook page!

 A necklace on display at the Vintaj booth, created by Jess and featuring a Humblebead!

Yeah it's Melanie from Earthenwood - her booth and new work is amazing!  It was so good to visit in between selling!

A photo I sneaked of Pam from Bello Modo, she was too busy working the show.  They had a huge booth filled with all sorts of goodies.  Can't wait to see them again on the next Bead Cruise!

That sweet little beadmaker, Diane Hawkey.  She is as quirky and fun as her beads! I love her work and picked up quite a few of her word beads that I will be playing with in the studio soon.

Andrew from Green Girl Studios.  I was lucky enough to be kitty-corner from their booth and was able to chat with Andrew a few times.  He also came to my rescue with an extra light - ah the joy of learning things from a new show!

 Here he is pictured with his friend, but for the life of me I can't remember her name. 

Okay, now I need to photograph my art bead stash from the show.  I got some amazing beads, for which you will hate me for a few moments.  Tee-hee.

June 23, 2010

Bead Soup Party

I know this is my first post since Bead & Button. I promise photos and more beady goodness this week.  It's summer vacation, I have a billion orders and deadlines - so this will be short and sweet.

I totally lucked out with the Bead Soup partner of awesomeness, Kristie from Artisan Clay.  Seriously check out the stash she sent me:
I will be creating with these lovely pieces for quite some time.  Here are 4 necklaces that I managed to whip up for the Party. 
For this piece I created a bail using chain to let the ceramic wheel shine.  The large loop silver wire bail on my owl pendant adds a little drama to this cache of beady goodness.  The necklace is a mix of stones and lucite in yummy summer greens and blues.

Next is a simple pendant created with another big wire loop bail and one of my disk beads.  I added a few 'peanut' seed beads with tiny jump rings for some visual interest and to unify the shine of the silver with the black gunmetal chain.  The clasp works as part of the pendant, front and center. 

This was a fun one.  Again, a chain bail for the pendant.  I strung the raku ceramic disks (from Jubilee)directly onto the chain.  A few stones and my disk beads are added in for texture and color.

My last necklace mixes silver and brass with rings and leaves as recurring motifs.  It reminds me of a little pool in the middle of the field of wildflowers.  Lucite, amethyst and my disk beads are the supporting cast.  I looped the beads in the center of the brass rings - always trying to mix things up here in the studio.

And here is another photo of the magical looking pendant.  I'm quite smitten with this one. 

Okay, so I'm sure you know all about the Bead Soup Party, but in case you don't please check out the entire list of participants on Lori's blog.  I want to thank Lori for putting together this fun event and Kristie for sending me so many wonderful pieces!

The rest of today's participants:

48. Nan, Spirit Rattles

49. Amy, Copper Diem

50. Malin, Beading by Malin de Koning

51. Anne, Gardanne Glass Lampwork

52. Alice, Alice's Beads and Baubles

53. Barbara, Second Surf

54. Amanda, Articulations

55. Heather, Humble Beads - you're here!

56. Melissa, Melissa Meman, Art, Life, Love

57. Kate, Organic Odysseys

58. Patti, PJ Clark Designs

59. Stefanie, Stefanie's Sammelsurium

June 5, 2010

23 Days of Inspiration: Monet


My Monet beads were the first one's I created that were inspired by a painting.  We have a Monet at the local art museum and I've seen a few of the bigger ones in person in NY and when I was younger.  Seeing these painting in real life are like nothing like seeming them a few inches big on a computer screen or in a book.  They take up whole walls.  They are huge and magical, you feel like you've step inside Monet's garden and become lost in his vision and spirit that celebrates the beauty of nature.  I just love them.  He studied this subject for many years and as he aged and his eyesight failed they become more abstract and luscious studies of color.


June 4, 2010

23 Days of Inspiration: Faux Bois

Faux Bois means "fake wood" in French.  I first saw crafts with faux bois on the home page of Etsy in a beautiful treasury.  I had created a faux bois bead years before, it didn't have such a catchy name.  I think I called them bark beads.  After seeing the treasury I created a few limited edition sets and have since revisited the themes a few times.  I like putting the brown, creams and whites with softer colors or navy and purple.  Much like the Klimt painting from yesterday.

And of course, since even though the art work crosses over into a different medium, it's me doing the creating so I've noticed some similar themes running through my beads and illustration.  Here are two examples of the faux bois pattern in my prints.

If you like my illustrations, be sure to check out my Humblearts Zazzle shop for products that feature my artwork.

June 3, 2010

23 Days of Inspiration: The Kiss

Who doesn't love Gustav Klimt's painting, The Kiss?  It's a masterpiece isn't it?  I tend to get wrapped up in the surface of the painting, the design.  It's beautiful in subject matter and the embrace, but what I found myself drawn to is the painstaking detail worked in the flowers and clothing of the couple. 

For the show I've been working on a series of beads inspired by his Birch Trees.  You can see the painting here.  The beads, you'll have to see them at Bead & Button or wait until I get back!

June 2, 2010

23 Days of Inspiration: Dandelions

"Dandelion Wine. The words were summer on the tongue. The wine was summer caught and stoppered...Hold summer in your hand, pour summer in a glass, a tiny glass of course, the smallest tingling sip for children; change the season in your veins by raising glass to lip and tilting summer in."

-From Ray Bradbury's Dandelion Wine. 

I loved that book when I was in high school.  My oldest daughter just read it and it was a hit with her too.  I think it appealed to our small town sensiblity.  The dandelion beads - all of summer bottled up and strung around your neck!

Dandelion photo by Mimimargfiend

June 1, 2010

23 Days of Inspiration: Squirrels

Once I started making the birds, I knew it was only a matter of time before I'd try a squirrel.  You see, if my family had a mascot it would be a squirrel.  Evangeline wanted to make a banner for our camping adventures that said "Evil Squirrel Troop 11".  Jess calls us his squirrels and sings the girls rock songs with the word squirrel instead of girl.  (Squirrels just wanna have fun...I wish that I had Jesse's Squirrel, that one is just for me.)  We also have squirrel artwork throughout the house and they are often in my illustrations.
And if you have squirrels, they are gonna need acorns. 

(One of my illustrations for a picture book that I wrote and hope to sell soon to a publisher.)

 I have a little army of squirrel beads ready for Bead & Button along with my other woodland creatures! 

Beware of the cuteness.