Monday, February 28, 2011

Weekly Word: Shine...


This week's word is "shine". Create a piece of jewelry, a work of art, or take a picture that, in your opinion, best captures the meaning of the word. Think about the word and its different interpretations and how it makes you feel. Translate it into whatever medium you'd like and then post about it on your blog. Once you've uploaded your blog post, copy and paste the URL into a new comment on this post. Be sure to check out what others are making, inspired by the weekly word. Don't delay; you have a week until the new word is posted.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Allison Shock...

One of the things that I love about the house I'm staying in is that it's filled with Allison Shock's work. Morning coffee is elevated above utilitarian purposes and transformed into a communing with art and desert creatures when sipped from one of Allison's mugs. She is a talented ceramist and thinks about all the surfaces, even the bottoms.

Allison was participating in the Camelback Studio Tour and I jumped at the opportunity. Dustin and I hopped in the car yesterday and drove the two hours to Allison's studio and home of her company, Three Star Owl, in Scottsdale, Arizona.

We followed the path to Allison's backyard, where she was set up. I was instantly impressed. Around her were creatures made of clay – owls peeking from cacti, desert lizards, and sweet honey bees. The pots, bowls, and vases of varying sizes had sprouted hooves, eyes, and limbs. Some were studded with skulls. Seeing the pieces en masse was a delightful pleasure, almost akin to stepping into wonderland.

On another table, Allison had a station set up where she demonstrated her hand-building techniques. One of the passerby studio tour attendees asked her if she was baking bread. She smiled patiently and described her process. While she was not baking bread and creating sustenance for the body, she was creating sustenance for the soul. Good art feeds the heart and mind.

Allison's yard was a paradise of cacti and succulents. Bordering her pool was a wall of potted desert plants. Some of the pots were of her own design. I saw one skull pot in particular that made my heart race. Again, I was deeply impressed and it made me miss my own collection of succulents.

She also had several feeders hung up. Birds flitted to and fro, searching out food and sharing song. Occasionally Allison would see my eyes dart, following the sound of a woodpecker or the buzz of a hummingbird and mention exactly what kind of bird it was and various interesting facts about it. For instance, a woodpecker's head is mostly made of bone and tongue. The tongue, curled up helps cushion the small brain as it pecks away and then is extended to retrieve goodies from the burrowed holes.

Across the way from where she lives is a military base of some sort. A huge chain-linked fence topped with barbed wire surrounded this desert place. Most notable was the large rock formations. They had unusual holes and caves and looked like a giant anthill. Occasionally a structure could be made out and it left me wondering if the mountain itself would open up or housed secret laboratories or missile silos.

It was a real pleasure seeing where she works. The day was overcast and it was moister than usual in the desert. Creosote bushes scented the air sweetly, creating an intoxicating perfume. It felt almost dream-like, smelling sweet smells, and seeing a magical place where an artist creates.

Beaded Links...


A Bead A Day
Expressing her love for daisies, Lisa uses scrapbooking embellishments to make a quick and cheerful bracelet!

About.com Jewelry Making
Winter white can mean bitter cold or a beautiful double strand pearl and matte glass bracelet.

Art Bead Scene
Art Bead Scene gets your creative juices flowing with a treasury inspired by the monthly challenge painting.

Beading Arts
Cyndi is wrapping up a month-long emphasis on education for jewelry and bead artists.

Beading & Books
Do you use buttons in your jewelry? Michelle is hosting a Button Swap. Sign up to get a partner, trade buttons, and create something!

Cindy Gimbrone aka Lampwork Diva
Do you use any sewing techniques in your jewelry? Come see what Cindy's sewn up!

Earthenwood Studio Chronicles
A fun find at an antique store uncovers new inspiration with some women's medicinal history and a crazy folk song

Lorelei's Blog: Inside the Studio
After a very busy couple of weeks, Lorelei finally has time to share some pictures from a recent trip to Spain!

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Come and see what the amazing Kim Miles has been up to as Winter turns to Spring--You will love it!

The Bead Dreamer
Inspired by the poet Rumi and a gorgeous pendant from Green Girl Studios, Charlene creates a necklace using beads, fiber, a button - and of course - the pendant.

The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton
Want to win some FREE ImpressArt metal stamps from PJ Tool & Supply? Andrew hosts another Thursday Giveaway with a prize valued over $70!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Bead Soup Party...

Welcome to the 3rd Bead Soup Blog Party!

What is a Bead Soup Blog Party?

The Bead Soup Blog Party is a creative challenge where each beader was paired up with another jewelry designer and tasked with sending the following:

A focal
A special clasp (not just a lobster claw)
Some coordinating spacers or beads

Using the focal and the clasp was mandatory, but we could use anything from our own stash to round out the rest, and choose to use the coordinating beads or not. Besides being a bead swap, the Bead Soup Blog Party is meant to stimulate creativity by forcing designers to use materials that they normally would not have selected for themselves.

Here's what I made:

My partner was Brenda Salzano. She's a talented mixed-media artist from the Northwest. She sent a great mix of very earthy and organic components, many of which were vintage. Brenda was really generous and sent a plentiful batch of "soup ingredients"; I felt that one of my challenges was to edit down the selection and focus on just a few of the pieces.

I did add some components to the Bead Soup recipe. I wanted to bring the greenish blue color up, but also wanted the scale to be more dainty, so I substituted Vietnamese ceramic rounds instead of the more chunky aventurine cubes. I also wanted to bring the red, blue, green combination up into the piece and incorporated enameled headpins from Objects & Elements, Swarovski crystal pearls from Fusion Beads, and enameled bead caps from C-Koop Beads.

For me, one of the trickiest parts was using the button as the clasp. It went through several incarnations, with beaded loops, strands of Soft Flex, and a variety of wire hooks... but I instead settled on putting it on some extender jump rings and use a swivel-lobster clasp. (I know, it bends the rules a little bit, but I think the piece benefits from the clean connection.)

Come see what the rest of us made!

1. Lori Anderson, Pretty Things
2. Kitty Durmaj, Perles and Life
3. Michelle Heim, Life In the Bead Lane
4. Lisa Petrillo, Lucid Moon Studio
5. Anitra Gordy, Leelu Creations
6. Paige Maxim, Paige Maxim Designs
7. Marianna Boylan, Pretty Shiny Things
8. Cheryl Roe, BeadRoe
9. Heidi Post, Ex Post Facto
10. Cindy Wimmer, Sweet Bead Studio
11. Terri Gauthier, Blooming Ideas
12. Rachel Walsh, Balanced Crafts
13. Marian Hertzog, M's Place
14. Mary McGraw, MK's Musings
15. Sarabeth Burke, Chronicles of Sarita
16. Deci Worland, Gem Trails
17. Erin Prais-Hintz, Treasures Found
18. Laura Zeiner, Stick Lizard Designs
19. Kristin Latimer, MJM Jewelry Designs
20. Cathryn Brooks-Williams, Chile Cats
21. Holly Westfall, Silver Rose Designs
22. Janna Harttgen, Palima-Lim
23. Libby Leuchtman, Libby Leu
24. Rebecca Anderson, Songbeads
25. Deb Hunter, Living On Air
26. Diana Ptaszynski, Suburban Girl Studio
27. Jennifer VanBenschoten, VanBeads
28. Margot Potter, The Impatient Crafter
29. Cyndi Lavin, Beading Arts
30. Courtney Breul, Beads by Breul
31. Stefanie Teufel, Stefanie's Sammelsurium
32. Patricia Gasparino, My Life Under the Bus
33. Tari Khars, Pearl and Pebble
34. Kristi Bowman-Gruel, Kristi Bowman Design
35. Jayne Capps, Mama's Got to Doodle
36. Becky Fairclough, Chameleons Designs
37. Evie and Beth McCord, EB Bead & Metal Works
38. Lynne Bowland, Islandgirl's Insights
39. Barbara Lewis, Painting With Fire
40. Lorelei Eurto, Inside the Studio
41. Stacy Hartis, Sissy & Jack's
42. Jennifer Cameron, Glass Addictions
43. Marcie Abney, La Bella Joya
44. Johanna Rhodes, Fire Phoenix Creations
45. Nan Emmett, Spirit Rattles
46. Melissa Mesara, One Eared Pig
47. Amanda Davie, Articulations
48. Cherin Poovey, Lanyard Lady
49. Virginia Joste, ViviBijoux
50. Andrew Thornton, The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton (YOU ARE HERE!)
51. Lori Dorrington, Lori's Glassworks
52. Melanie Brooks, Earthenwood Studio Chronicles
53. Kate Gardenghi, Tropical Blonde
54. Serena Trent, PinkIce Jewel's Blog
55. Malin de Koning, Beading by Malin de Koning
56. Shai Williams, Shaiha's Ramblings
57. Francy Inman, 8 Second Studio
58. Amy Freeland, Copper Diem
59. Lisa Liddy, Joolz By Lisa
60. Sandi Lee James, Do Be Do Bead Do
61. Mary Harding, Mary Harding Bead Blog
62. Stacey Curry, Star Hitched Wagon
63. Leslie Gidden, Mad Maggie Designs
64. Elisabeth Auld, Beads For Busy Gals
65. Niky Sayers, Silver Nik Nats
66. Linda Djokic, Lutka and Co.
67. Tracy Bell, Copper, Glass, and Recycled Trash
68. Laurel Steven, Rue's Daftique
69. Ingrid McCue, Wrapped In Silver
70. Birgitta Lejonklou, Create With Spirit
71. Diana Hawkey, Diana Hawkey
72. Norma Turvey, Moonlit Fantaseas
73. Jeanette Ryan, Jeanette Blix
74. Jackie Ryan, Silver Lodge Gems
76. Debbie Goering, Prairie Emporium
77. Valerie Norton, Hot Art
78. Jana Trupovniece, Stories of the Secret Garden
79. Amy Severino, Amy Beads
80. Emma Thomas, Fred Beans Nook
81. Karen Zanco, Everyday Gypsy
82. Suzann Sladcik Wilson, Beadphoria
83. Janet McDonald, Singing Woods
84. Dana James, Dana's Jewelry Designs
85. Kristina Johansson, Wild Roses and Blackberries
86. CJ Bauschka, CJ Bauschka
87. Angela Barribea, Re: Angela Rae
88. Marcy Lamberson, Studio Marcy
89. Tanya Floyd, Glass Migrations
90. Lisa Kavanaugh, Beading Bliss
91. Sue Hodgkinson, Hello Gorgeous
92. Jenni Connolly, Jenni's Bead
93. Nally Parfyonova, Nally's Creations
94. Karyn White, Releases By Rufydoof
95. Emanda Johnson, Artemisia Studio
96. Sandy Richardson, Sandy's Coloring Box
97. Cindy Dolezal, Cindy Dolezal Designs
98. Stacie Stamper, Park Avenue
99. Mallory Hoffman, For the Love of Beads
101. Nicole Valentine-Rimmer, N. Valentine Studio
102. Jacinta Meyers, Jamberrysong's Creations
103. Charlene Gary, Gray Girl Studios
104. Rubiee Hayes, Glitter and Keys Galore
105. Marge Beebe, Rock Creek Creations
106. Elizabeth Freeman, Turquoise Sky
107. Shelby Foxwell, Sundown Bead Designs Rhetoric
108. Lynda Moseley, Diva Designs
109. Grace Danel, Grace Beading
110. Lois Moon, Que Onda Quitman
111. Agnes Shapiro, Beader Bubbe
112. Terry Carter, Tapping Flamingo
113. Judy Glende, Judith B. Designs
114. Mary Ellen Parker, Bee Tree By Me
115. Barbara Bechtel, Second Surf
116. Charlene Sevier, The Bead Dreamer
117. Alice Craddick, Alice's Beads and Baubles
118. Cory Celaya, Art With Moxie
119. Ronda Adams, The Ravished Heart
120. Sandi Volpe, Sandi Volpe Designs
121. Anna Lear, The Laughing Raven
122. Susie Hibdon, Vintagesusie & Wings
123. Amanda Austin, Sea Shore Glass
124. Jennifer Velasquez, Jen Judd Rocks
125. Hazel Ward, All Those Things
126. Brenda Salzano, Salzanos
127. Dee Gordon, Runako Designs by Dee
128. Anna Denisova, Anita-M
129. Margaret Saari, Mags-Jewelry
130. Genea Crivello-Knable, Genea Beads
131. Penny Neville, Copper Penny
132. Angela Blasingame, Hopemore
133. Helena Fritz, Beadwork by H's Blog
134. Stephanie LaRose, Confessions of a Bead Hoarder
135. Stephanie Haussler, PixyBug Designs
136. Diane Cook, Rosa & Josies
137. Maryse Thillens, Glass Bead Art
138. Jennifer Pride, Jewelry by J.P.
139. Shannon Chomanczuk, For My Sweet Daughter
140. Lisa Godfrey, Bead Happy
141. Heather Pyle, Welcome to My Muse
142. Regina Santerre, Regina's Writings
143. Liz DeLuca, Creative Arty Facts
144. Sig Wynne-Evans, Beaded Bear's Nonsense
145. Loretta Carstensen, Loretta's Boutique
146. Raida Disbrow, Havana Beads
147. Amber Dawn, Inventive Soul
148. Shelly Graves, Stars Dance With Me
149. Jess Italia Lincoln, Vintaj Blog
150. JJ Jacobs, Coming Abstractions
151. Carrie Tahquechi, Carrie T
152. Staci Smith, Staci Louise Originals
153. Katarzyna Kwiatkowska, Quiet Area
154. Ema Kilroy, Ema K Designs
155. Magdalena Sikora, Poranna Gazeta
156. Nicole Keller, Nicki's Reef
157. Ann Rishell, My Critical Eye
158. Noemi Baena, Fire, Metal, and Color
159. Christa Murphy, Adventures of One Beady Woman
160. Barbara Blaszczyk, Labotorium Flory
161. Collette Collins, Firefly Myst
162. Carola Greiser, Polymer Clay Shed
163. Joanna Kopijczuk, Bizuteria z Filcu
164. LeAnn Weih, Summers Studio
165. Cassandra Watsham, Design by Cassandra
166. Anna Motz, Stunning
167. Shea Zukowski, Gr8findings
168. Susan Kennedy, Sue Beads
169. Lisa Boucher, Lisa's Clay Happenings
170. Hope Smitherman, Crafty Hope
171. Alison Crenshaw, Beads by Earth Tones
172. Dorcas Midkiff, Wondrous Strange Designs
173. Melissa Rediger, Sea of Glass
174. Marina Dobrynina, Savon Feutre
176. Menka Gupta, Menka's Blog
177. Patsy Evins, Patsy Evins Studio
178. Cherrie Fick, En La Lumie're
179. Suzette Bentley, Ellie's Bijoux
180. Molly Alexander, Beautifully Broken Me
181. Lyn Foley, Lyn Foley Wearable Art
182. Tara Plote, The Newbie Beader's Blog
183. Natalie Schuetz, Natalie S Perlen
184. Kim Hutchinson, Running on Ink
185. Haley Frank, Wide Eyed Smilin
186. Grace Caputo, Suddenly Last Summer
187. Marie-Noel Voyer-Cramp, Skye Jewels
188. Erin Siegel, Erin Siegel Jewelry
189. Janea McDonald, Organized Chaos
190. Kristi Evenson, Colie Bug & Co.
191. Linda Inhelder, Must Haves Jewelry
192. Hilary Frye, FryeStyle
193. Whitney Lassini, Whitney Lassini
194. Nancy Schindler, The Rabbit Muse
195. Pam Brisse, The Blue Between
196. Beth Bricker, Vintage Sweets
197. Ruthie Stickney, Rose Works Jewelry and Gifts
198. Rose Noble, Lady Noble Designs
199. Karen Williams, Baublicious
200. Claire Maunsell, The Next Bend
201. Christine Damm, Stories They Tell
202. Kerry Bogert, Kab's Creative Concepts
203. Wendy Blum, Sand & Sea Designs
204. Juli Cannon, Julsbeads
205. Jenny Robledo, La Dona Boutique
206. Krista French, French Elegant Jewelry
207. Pam Krinski, Ewa Beads
208. Melissa Meman, Melissa Meman, Art, Life, Love
209. Dana Jones, Dana's Jewelry
210. Shirley Moore, Beads and Bread

The next party's sign ups begin August 1-3, 2011. Don't miss it!