Expand-o-rama

Posted: November 27th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: art, jewelry, shows | Comments Off on Expand-o-rama

No, not my waistband after Thanksgiving, although I did have two full meals in the space of three hours on Thursday. I’ve added two new shops and a show to my portfolio.

Blush Boutique in Cleveland Heights is now carrying a selection of my sterling silver and etched copper pendants. Blush is a great little shop on Coventry Road, just a few doors down from Mint Cafe. They have a lovely collection of clothing and accessories for women.

Gestures Gift Shop & Gallery in Rocky River also has sterling silver and etched copper pendants, as well as sterling silver earrings. Gestures features work by a large number of local artists — there’s something for everyone.

Lampwork artist Jen Pitts of the Velvet Box and I are teaming up once again for an open house on Friday, December 10. Jen will be opening her new studio in Berea to show hundreds of handmade artisan glass beads that fit most popular collectible bead bracelets, including Pandora, Troll, Chamilla, Biagi, and more. I’ll have several dozen new pieces in my existing lines and will also be debuting my newest line of enamel work. There will be demos and food and fun people to meet and mingle with. If you’re on Facebook, please RSVP on the Facebook event page, and feel free to invite your friends. RSVPs are not necessary to come, but they help us get a better idea of how many people to expect for planning purposes.


Showtime!

Posted: November 5th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: art, holiday, jewelry | 1 Comment »

My denial of the change of season (snow last night!) hasn’t prevented the days and weeks from continuing their march forward, and here it is, the start of show season.

I’m starting out tonight with a trunk show with several other artists (Brenda Traffis, Deb Perry, Linda Hahn, and Sandy Cseplo) at Bead Q in Chagrin Falls.

Sunday is the Beachwood Arts Council Holiday Craft Show, a new one for me.

Next Saturday is Basket of Treasures in Westlake. This is my second year for this show, and it’s a huge one.

Friday after Thanksgiving is late night Big Box Detox at Blush Boutique on Coventry. I’ll be there starting at 9 p.m. (yes, that late) with Kathy of Smashing and Chris of Copper Leaf Studios and a few others. We’ll be there until midnight or so.

Early December has a couple of private events, then I wrap it all up with the mother of all shows, the Cleveland Handmade Last Minute Market on December 18, the Saturday before Christmas, at the Screw Factory in Lakewood. If you live in the Cleveland area, you don’t want to miss this one. Last year we had a couple thousand people through the doors. It was busy all day, and it was a great atmosphere and a great time.

Hope to see you out at a show this season!


Tetris

Posted: June 18th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: art, books, editing, Etsy, jewelry, life | 2 Comments »

I’m a puzzle girl. I like putting my brain through its paces, figuring out how something goes together, knowing that there is a solution and if I’m patient enough, it will eventually reveal itself.

Even though I have a Kindle subscription to the Plain Dealer, I still subscribe to the hardcopy Sunday paper so I can get at the two giant crosswords and the sudoku. (Yes, I know you can get those online, too, but it’s just not nearly as satisfying to me to work those online as it is to sit with pen in hand and cat in lap.)

The week past and the one coming, however, are ruled by real-life Tetris. Tetris of the calendar + to-do list kind. On my plate right now are:

  • A giant proofreading project — giant, I tell you — that’s waiting for query replies from the editor. That whole thing has to be on the way out of here Wednesday, after I hear back from the editor.
  • A more normal-sized proofreading project, not due for a couple more weeks, but I still don’t want to be stuck rushing on it, so I’m trying to chip away at it a little bit every day.
  • Show prep for two outdoor shows, one of which is tomorrow and the other next Sunday. Thankfully, I was able to spend all of Tuesday up in the studio and have plenty of stock, but I still need to price the new things, double-check that everything I need is where it should be, and pack the car for a crack of dawn setup tomorrow. This is what I’ll be doing tonight instead of attending the local Etsy Craft Party — which was always kind of a pie-in-the-sky, wish-I-could-be-there-but-yeah-right kind of thing anyway.
  • E-mail newsletters for myself and for Cleveland Handmade. Nothing too complicated about either, but still time-consuming.
  • A client meeting in Columbus on Monday to discuss a kind of rush-ish layout project, which is looking to be a bit more involved that I initially thought. I have to do a little OCR experiment today to prep for that, since it looks like there are no files to work from for at least part of the project.
  • Final preparations for my class reunion, which is three weeks away, and replies to a bunch of e-mails relating to it.
  • And, the bonus: A super-rush copyediting project from a newish-to-me client I’d like to do a whole lot more for, a book by one of my favorite jewelry artists. Serendipity. The kind of project I’ve been wanting to break into for quite some time now. It dropped in my lap yesterday, and it’s due Tuesday. Yep, four days from now, with two of those days already spoken for. Fortunately, it’s not a long project, and I can find the time that has been budgeted for it if I plan carefully, move some things around, and don’t get too distracted. (Hence the Tetris.)
  • I know I can make this happen and still maintain my sanity. But well-wishes are still gratefully accepted.


    busy afternoon

    Posted: February 26th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: art, jewelry | Comments Off on busy afternoon

    Got my studio mojo back. I’ll be listing these over the next couple of days.


    Whirlwind Weekend

    Posted: December 5th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: art, jewelry, shows | Comments Off on Whirlwind Weekend

    I’ll be catching up on my Best of 2009 posts on Monday, since I’m spending the weekend at the Laurel School Artisan Bazaar. Last night was the preview party, which went well and was a lot of fun, and I’m looking forward to the rest of the weekend.


    tidbits: overstuffed turkey edition

    Posted: November 27th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: art, critters, jewelry, life, shows, tidbits | 2 Comments »

    spaz_turkeys_2Yeah, I’m still working on the entry about how much I love my iPhone. It’s taken off in a direction of its own however, and it will not be rushed. I’ll get to it eventually.

    Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. It’s about the company and the food, without the crazy consumer pressure of Christmas. We had a nice, low-key Thanksgiving yesterday at Mom’s. We hosted the whole extended family gang here last year, which was fun, but we just couldn’t do it this year, what with the mid-renovation state of the house.

    Considering how friendly I’ve become with the wild turkeys that wander about our neighborhood, I thought I’d have a very difficult time this year feasting on the bird. I didn’t. I enjoyed my share last night, then had some again this morning with my bacon and toast. I saved the stuffing for lunch.

    I’ve got another couple of crazy weekends in front of me. Tomorrow is the Summer Market — for the Holidays at Bar Symon in Avon Lake. Next Friday through Sunday is the Laurel School Artisan Bazaar. The first is a holiday incarnation of my favorite show each year, and the second is a great show that I’ll be doing for the first time. I have high hopes for both.


    Studio Tour

    Posted: October 2nd, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: art, jewelry, nature | 36 Comments »

    Welcome! The fine people over at Cloth•Paper•Scissors Studios magazine put out a call for studio tours, so here we are. I love browsing through all the studios in this magazine for storage and organization ideas, and just to see the artists’ personalities shine through in their work spaces.

    My space is not yet quite so evolved. We’ve been in this house for not quite two years now, and I still keep shuffling things around and experimenting with new arrangements.

    overview

    (See a larger version of this photo with notes over at Flickr.)

    My studio space is a “bonus room” in the middle of the rear of the second floor, nestled between the master bedroom on one side and another bedroom (which we use as an exercise room) on the other. There’s a short hallway that leads to the main hallway, too. This is what you see when you first walk in from the master bedroom. My work table is the L-shaped office desk from our old condo. Eventually I will upgrade it, but for now it works. My everyday tools live within arm’s reach, and I move things around as I need to to handle different projects. I have a worktable in the garage for doing messy things, like drilling metals.

    The previous owners used this space as a kind of sitting room/office. I absolutely love the light in here, which comes from two skylights and two sliding doors that face west and overlook the woods that make up the back of our property.

    view

    This is basically the view from my desk. In a week or two, most of those leaves will turn a brilliant golden yellow. We have several species of woodpeckers that frequent our woods, in addition to a ton of other birds and wildlife. In good weather, it’s wonderful to work with the doors open and the breeze coming in and the sounds of wildlife (when I haven’t opted to crank the stereo).

    drawers

    For now, in addition to the messy, messy shelves you see in the first picture (I didn’t do any cleanup before I took these photos, so you’re seeing the studio in its natural state), I’m using these shallow plastic drawers for storage of beads, wire, and a few tools I don’t use all the time. Eventually the shelves and these drawer units will be replaced with wooden cabinets; it just hasn’t been a high priority this year. Chris at Copper Leaf Studios and I got the same idea right about the same time that the shallow closet organizer drawers from Ikea would make great studio organizers, but she actually acted on the idea, whereas I’m still dreaming about it. (You can see her studio here. See how much nicer that looks than my piled-up shelf mess?) On top of the organizer, you can see the lower part of the mannequin I use for product shots for my Etsy shop.

    greens

    I keep my bead drawers sorted by type, then by color. I use more Czech and other glass than any other kind of bead, so a number of drawers are dedicated just to them. This is my green drawer. I have a combination of plastic vials (from Fire Mountain Gems) and plastic jars (from a variety of places) in a few different sizes.

    stash

    Lately I’ve started working more with gemstones and other natural materials. I like to buy this type of material in person so I can see exactly what I’m getting, so I go to a couple of gem shows every year and also shop my local bead stores. The Rings & Things Wholesale Bead Tour is one that I save up for, and they just came through here last week. This is a closeup of a corner of what I got there. I’ve been really busy since then and haven’t had a chance to play with any of it yet, but hope to this weekend.

    inprogress

    garnetrain1Here are a few pieces in progress. I do a bunch of etching all at once to create the background pieces. I don’t usually do any sketches or plan out a piece much beforehand, but simply lay out an assortment of things on my work table and see what works well together until I come up with something like my Garnet Rain necklace, shown here. I’ve been really drawn to mother of pearl lately, so I’ll end up using these buttons somehow in at least one of these pieces.

    bookcase

    I work in publishing, and I have a great love of books, so I keep a stash of them and subscribe to a number of art magazines to consult for information and inspiration. This little bookcase shows about half of the selection. A larger bookcase is on my wishlist.

    Earlier this week I started working through The Wish Kit from Inspired Home Office, which has been really helpful in guiding my thinking about how to reorganize and personalize my studio space, in addition to my office. (My office, where I do my computer work and my editorial work, is in a different room downstairs.) I’m looking forward to putting the things I’m figuring out into place over the next few months.

    Thanks for stopping by! I hope you enjoyed this little peek into my creative world, and I hope you’ll stop back again. If you have some time, check out some of the other studios on the tour. (Shannon Okey of Knitgrrl Studios is listed right above me in the list, and she’s got a great space in an old warehouse here in Cleveland.)


    tidbits: “now where did I put that?” edition

    Posted: July 23rd, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: jewelry, shows, tidbits, web, WordPress | Comments Off on tidbits: “now where did I put that?” edition

    A quick roundup of random thoughts between tearing up the house to find where I left my brain…

    A new giveaway is up on the Cleveland Handmade page, a very pretty fused glass necklace from glasfuzion. Entering is really simple, so go do it!

    I did end up having to change my WordPress theme after all. I loved my time with Adam Freetly’s widgetized version of DePo Clean, but it got really glitchy after my latest WordPress upgrade, and I never was able to figure out how to make the photos do what I wanted them to do, so it was time to move on. I present you with my own customized version of Clean Home by Bryan Helmig. Please let me know if you notice anything weird about the way it acts. Several users have posted on WordPress forums about problems with comments links, but I haven’t come across any in my testing. I’m not thrilled about the text button used to submit comments, but that will have to wait for another day.

    Our Cleveland Handmade appearance on Kickin’ It with Kenny on Fox 8 has been confirmed for Friday, July 31, sometime around 7:20 a.m. Just waiting for a call back from the intern to figure out the exact details.

    I’m glad to have the rain, but please make it stop before my show on Saturday.

    sm01Speaking of the show, I was beyond thrilled to see a full-page ad for the Avon Lake Summer Market in the WestLife newspaper (and I’m assuming it ran in the Avon Lake Press, too), complete with all the participants’ names and a brief description of what they have. This show just gets bigger and better every year.

    And why is it that I always get new ideas for products and displays mere days before a major show, when there just isn’t enough time to pursue them?


    find me in Yellow Springs

    Posted: June 5th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: art, jewelry | 1 Comment »

    Urban HandmadeAs of today, you can find my etched copper and brass pendants at Urban Handmade in Yellow Springs, Ohio, near Dayton. This article talks a little more about the gallery, which will be celebrating its official grand opening tomorrow, June 6.

    It’s been many years since I’ve been to Yellow Springs — Young’s Dairy was always the big draw in those late college/early postcollege days in Columbus — but I am very much looking forward to making a trip down that way sometime this summer to personally check out Urban Handmade and the other galleries. And probably indulge in a little ice cream. Yellow Springs makes a nice day trip from Columbus, Cincinnati, or even Indianapolis, and they host an art walk on the third Friday of every month. Their street fair is next Saturday, June 13. If you get a chance to see the gallery, I’d love to know what you think.

    Photo courtesy of A Yellow Springs Blog; used with permission.


    punchjordan Divine Finds Open House

    Posted: May 29th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: art, jewelry, shows | Comments Off on punchjordan Divine Finds Open House

    I’ve been invited to participate in the Divine Finds Open House at punchjordan Home in Avon Lake on Thursday, June 11. I’ll be there from 5 to 9 p.m. with a handful of other artists, including fellow Cleveland Handmaders Mary McKinley from the Vintage Brooch Co. and Susan Hale from Numeric Design and photohale. Nibbles from Abundant Table catering will be served. Stop by and say hello!