Friday, August 31, 2012

Ligonier Echo Workshop Article...

This week's issue of the Ligonier Echo featured an article about the Weekend Intensive with Gail Crosman Moore called, "Allegory Gallery features weekend of workshops".  In the article, Gail shares some interesting insights on teaching and the reporter highlighted some quotes from me!  I ramble a little, but I really do believe in strengthening the artistic community and help facilitate Ligonier being a place for people to come to create.  Click on the image for a larger view.

And if you're interested, there's still a little bit of time left to sign up!  CLICK HERE for more information.

Day Three: Annex Rehab...

It may not look like we got too much done on Day Three, but it was the long day at the store and not too much time to work on this project.  Even so, there was some significant work accomplished.  More wallpaper and wallpaper residue was scraped off, the shelves were taken down in anticipation of a coat of primer and paint, the air conditioning units (there were five) and refrigerators (there were two) were hauled away, and we had a chance to run the sweeper through once or twice.

It still needs a lot of work, but it's getting there.  I can already see me creating here.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Giveaway Winner...

We have a winner!  I randomly selected Marsha of Marsha Neal Studio to receive the Gail Crosman Moore Giveaway prize!  The mystery prize that she also won was a bronze coin pendant set with a rose-cut sapphire from my family at Green Girl Studios.  Congratulations!  Marsha, send me your address and I'll drop your treasures in the post!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Day Two: Annex Rehab...

I'm tired in that "deep in the bones" kind of way.  It certainly has been a busy day and I'm sore all over.  The day began with a little heavy lifting... actually a lot of heavy lifting.  My day off consisted of helping the landlords haul off several hundred pounds worth of stuff and clearing the space.  I then proceeded to take down the wallpaper.

This shot is the midday progress in the main room.  See how much more room there is!  The dirty office carpet doesn't look so bad when it has been tidied up a bit.  I still would like to put down laminate floors.  Maybe if I'm good, I'll get an early birthday present.  I'd also like to change the lighting from fluorescent with dingy yellow plastic shades, to "good" track lighting.
This picture is of one of the piles of wallpaper that I pulled down.  It was kind of cathartic peeling away the layers of nicotine and age-stained paper.  My shoulders are a little tight from all the reaching though.
This is from a different angle of the main room.  I'll have to take down those shelves while I primer and paint.
And this is the end of day progress.  It doesn't look like much compared to the midday progress image.  But I managed to scrap and scrub off a wall and a half worth of old wallpaper.  (One wall is in one of the smaller office spaces.)  I did take a "break" to check on the store, make some phone calls, pick up some drapes and a small table, and I managed to pick up all the various primers and paints we needed.

I'd write more, but I'm so tired that I'm about to fall asleep!  There's still miles and miles to go with this project.

I was talking with someone today and they said, "Oh, why are you going to so much trouble?"  And I think the biggest reason is that I'm influenced by my surroundings.  If I can create a beautiful and organized place to work... then that'll be reflected in the new things that I want to create.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Future...

I've been hinting around a lot on Facebook and the blog about some of the "next chapters" and future developments for me and for Allegory Gallery.  I really haven't been able to say anything official... until now.

So what does the future hold... well, it's a little project that we've given the pet-name, "The Allegory Annex".

What the Annex will be is our future online shop headquarters, my personal studio, and a supplemental space for small classes.   But what it'll really be is a form of freedom.

Up until now, I've been at the physical shop almost daily.  While it brings a lot of rewards setting down roots in the community... by taking on the brunt of manning the store, there are projects that have been pushed to the side because of it and others that have suffered because I've only been able to be partially invested in them.  So the new supplemental facilities will allow me to 1) Divide and prioritize.  2) Focus on my strengths.  3) Create additional avenues of income and offer jobs to people in the community.

I'm not stepping back completely from the physical store... I will still be there a few hours everyday and be there on the weekends.  My role there will take on a more managerial flare and consist of creating concrete goals for others to follow and hopefully share.  The core missions of Allegory Gallery will not change... they'll just have an additional pillar of support to rest upon.

Besides being in the store 25 hours a week instead of 50 hours a week, there will be a few other significant changes for me personally.  My own online shop will change focus and offer more of my two- dimensional artwork and possibly some of my finished jewelry.  The components will either be absorbed into the Allegory Gallery Online Store or be discontinued.  Hopefully I can get rid of a lot of it through more of my Destashing efforts!  I will also be able to devote myself more to organizing events and retreats, continue building our online community, and sharing some of the things that we're doing more.  I'll also be able to move all my beads and art supplies that are infiltrating every room in our home.

The space is pretty raw at the moment.  It's actually stuck somewhere in the 70's with the dated wallpaper, wood veneer paneling and the groovy carpet (underneath the dirty carpet shown in the above picture).  It's cluttered with old office furniture, building materials and obsolete computers.  But even still... there's a sense of possibility and purpose.  It's a diamond in the rough.  I'll have to put a lot of elbow grease into transforming the space into a welcoming and creative environment, but I think it'll be worth it.  I don't think that anything we've done has been easy so far... but it has felt right and we've had the help and support of many people who have had our backs.

As we embark further on this journey, the picture of what Allegory Gallery is keeps expanding and growing.  It encompasses more people and the family becomes stronger.  The future is bright.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Beaded Links...

A Bead A Day 
Lisa's love of childhood sitcoms is coming through again with a Brady Bunch reference. Take a peek at the beads that caused a Sunshine Day moment! Jewelry Making 
Tammy takes a look at a new book about making rustic-style jewelry

Art Bead Scene 
A guest blogger post by artist Kaushambi Shah shows the innovative ways she displayed her art history inspired jewelry in a large office space  

Beading Arts 
Cyndi has reviews of the best books out there on working with metal clay. 

Earthenwood Studio Chronicles 
Melanie shares some rusty inspiration from her recent vacation 

Resin Crafts! 
Recycled resin! Carmi gets loads of suggestions about how to redo a resin bracelet into a necklace! 

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done! 
Nothing is more delicious than a THIRD helping of bead soup, when it is cooked to perfection by Lori Anderson as Hostess, and her fellow participants in the 3rd Reveal of Bead Soup Blog Party 6! Check out the sumptuous delights! WOW! 

The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton 
Want to win a prize? All you have to do is help spread the word about the Weekend Intensive with Gail Crosman Moore! You'll be entered to win some fabulous goodies!   

Friday, August 24, 2012

Free Class from Gail Crosman Moore...

Can't make it to the Weekend Intensive with Gail Crosman Moore at Allegory Gallery this September?  Or maybe you want to get a taste of Gail's teaching style?  Either way you can take a FREE class from the comfort of your own home via Beaducation!  They are offering her Felted Beads tutorial free for the taking.  CLICK HERE to check it out!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Gail Crosman Moore Giveaway...

To commemorate Gail Crosman Moore coming to Ligonier to teach in the Weekend Intensive, I've decided to host a little giveaway!  Up for grabs is a mix of vintage sequins, filigree (both old and new), vintage Swarovski crystal components, some milagros, and a bundle of twilight-colored fibers!  I'm also throwing in a surprise mystery gift for the winner!

To win is easy!  Just help spread the word about the Weekend Intensive with Gail Crosman Moore!  You can Tweet about it or update your Facebook status.  You can blog about it or email your friends.  Any help is really appreciated!  Call upon your social media networking skills to win this prize.  Once you've helped pass the information along, report back here and leave a comment with the link to your act of social media kindness.  (You can leave a comment for every method you've used to share the information!  You can even post about this giveaway for a chance to win!)  I'll randomly select one winner from the comments on this blog post a week from today (Wednesday, August 29th, 2012 at 11:00PM EST).

Here are the details:  Allegory Gallery welcomes award-winning artist and jewelry-maker, Gail Crosman Moore for a Weekend Intensive in the picturesque town of Ligonier!  With the backdrop of the Laurel Highlands in Southwestern Pennsylvania, this talented craftsperson and art educator will teach four classes in subjects like enameling, riveting, mold-making and paper-casting, and collage!  The Weekend Intensive will take place September 8th and 9th.  For more information and how to sign up, please CLICK HERE!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

I Won...

I won Nina Designs' August Jewelry Design Challenge!  A BIG thanks goes out to all those who took the time to vote for my piece and show their support for me and my work!  THANK YOU!

Our prompt for the August challenge was the beautiful Pointillist Post-Impressionist painting, "La Plage de Saint-Clair" by Henri Edmond Cross.

September's prompt is Susan Seddon-Boulet's "Seven Moons Passing".  I love it!  I used to have a poster of Susan Seddon-Boulet's work hanging in my bedroom in high school.  I wasn't the only one!  So did Sarah Michelle Gellar's character from television's, "Buffy the Vampire Slayer"!  And needless to say, I'm going to enter again!  I encourage all of you out there in the jewelry-making blogosphere to participate as well!  CLICK HERE for more details!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

BeadFest Philadelphia...

BeadFest was a blur!  We headed out – dark and very early – to Philadelphia for a quick buying trip.  Even though we spent the day talking non-stop and dropping by different vendors and artisans, we probably missed about 50% of the show and did not see nearly everyone we had intended to.  Perhaps next time we'll have to make it into a two-day affair!

We did get to see a couple of folks!  Here are some highlights from the show:

It's a good day when I get to see Jen Wilson from Soft Flex!  We crack each other up and always have something to laugh about!

We dropped by the demo booth quickly to chat with hammer-weilding, Lisa Niven Kelly of Beaducation!  We commiserated over being small-business owners and how the work is never finished!

That's right... two Interweave online editors in one location!  We had the pleasure of chatting with Tammy Jones of and Jennifer Van Benschoten of about bead porn and Pennsylvania bogs!  They've both promised to come and teach at Allegory Gallery and I'm going to hold them to it!

Beaducation was on a demoing roll!  (See the BeadFest program for a picture of your's truly observing a demo in their ad!)  Above is Aisha showing how to use letter stamps and explaining the importance of using quality tools.

Not to be missed at the Beaducation booth was Colin Mahler!  Did you know that she's a master at chain maille and gemology?

We stopped by the swamped Star's Clasps booth to visit with John and Kay.  My greedy little heart covets some of their new inlaid clasps and of course their beautiful sterling silver!

I wish that Patti Cahill lived closer!  She's pretty much family and I love seeing her and her candy-colored glass beads.  While talking with her and some of her customers, I learned that I have to stalk her Facebook page so that I can get her rare, one-of-a-kind beads, like a beautiful sugar skull bead!

Doesn't Maureen Henriques of Pumpkin Hill Beads look happy?  She's such a trooper!  (She smiled for the camera just for me!)  Someone had just stolen a bunch of her beads not a few minutes prior to me taking this picture!  Isn't that horrible!  It annoys me the most because I understand that Maureen is just trying to make a living off of her work.  The beads the people stole were all made, one-at-a-time, by her!  They took something that was an act of joy and turned it into something not so joyful.  I understand what it's like to not have a lot of money or to want things that are out of reach, but there are other alternatives than the "easy way" out.  Is it wrong for me to hope that the thieves choke on the beads they stole?

This was Kia's first time at BeadFest!  I hope she did well, because I love her beads and it's always good to see her.  She always has the most unusual cuts and the most interesting material.  (Next time I see her, I totally want to get some of that color-change stone that's in the piece that Dana Groves got!)
Erin Seigel and Lorelei Eurto, authors of Bohemian-Inspired Jewelry: 50 Designs Using Leather, Ribbon, and Cords, struck a pose for their semi-annual photo together!  We hardly got a chance to chat, but they've also said that they're going to come to Allegory Gallery to teach.  I'm totally going to hold them to it as well!

Jenny Davies Reazor, one of the artists who shows at Allegory Gallery, was set up with some of her amazing ceramic pendants and components!  Hopefully I can persuade her to come out in person and hang out for the weekend or something!

Representing Glass Garden Beads was the lovely Jessica Prill!  She's a member of the Allegory Gallery Design Team.  You'll be hearing more about these talented artisans in the near future!

We bumped into Meredith Roddy and Fernando DaSilva of Beadalon while we were out and about.  They're always so funny!
Speaking of funny, we saw Diana Ptaszynski of Suburban Girl Studio and her fun ceramic creations!  In the background you can make out a blurry image of Melinda Orr.

Diana's table was a hot spot and I ran into Denise Peck and Jane Dickerson while we were there!  Have you checked out the latest issues of Step by Step Wire Jewelry?

And speaking of ceramics, we stopped by the Ornamentea booth and chatted with Elaine Ray!  She had some really lovely pieces and I can't wait to work with some of them!

It's always fun to pick Cynthia Deis' brain.  I really love her store (Ornamentea) and she was one of the inspirations behind our own little creative space.  I really love the environment she's created!  Did you know that she's also an author?  She wrote Beading with Filigree: Beautiful Jewelry, Simple Techniques!
I've known Leslie Rogalski in her various incarnations for years!  Her latest venture is with her sister, and is called Sleepless Beader!  (Boy do I fall in that category!)  This was their first show and it was great to see what they're doing in person.  Make sure you stop by their Facebook page and LIKE them!

Last, but certainly not least, is Gail Crosman Moore!  Gail is truly an amazing artist and we're so lucky to be able to spend more time with her soon!  She'll be coming out our way to teach a Weekend Intensive in only a few weeks!  Spaces are filling up fast, so I definitely recommend you signing up as soon as possible to lock your space in!  CLICK HERE to find out more!

We had a fabulous time in Philadelphia, but I think for the future we'll have go back for the entire weekend!  We just didn't have enough time to see everyone in one day!  It's a lot of pack into a single day (plus approximately nine hours of driving).  I also find it silly that we drive all the way across the entire state and don't go to the Reading Terminal Market.  I have vivid (reoccurring) dreams of indulging upon a rich cup of liquid caffeine from Old City Coffee and biting into a decadent Monkey Bar from the Flying Monkey Bakery!  I also want to check out Longwood Gardens while I'm on that side of the state!  So... maybe next time we'll be able to be more leisurely about visiting BeadFest Philadelphia!  Or maybe next time we'll exhibit there too?!?!?!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Destashing the Destash...

(First I must say, this marks the 2600th post!  WOW!)  Before I continue with the next wave of Destash items, I'd like to clear the area a little and get rid of the pieces that are still available.  I went through and marked down all the Destash section.  The 50% off clearance sale is still in effect!  Use coupon code, "SUMMERSALE" to receive your discount.  (Some of the items listed are going for as low as $0.25!)

Next week on Monday, if the items in the Destash section haven't been adopted by new homes, I'll remove them and make room for new pieces.  So get them while you still have a chance!

I will be updating the site with more Destash items this evening.  But please do liquidate some of the drastically reduced Destash Deals while you still can!  (I will refund any extra shipping charges from multiple purchases.)

Monday, August 13, 2012

Nina Designs August Jewelry Design Challenge...

To adopt a Southern colloquialism, "I've been busier than a one-legged man in an butt-kicking competition." When I saw the August Jewelry Design Challenge by Nina Designs, I couldn't refuse to squeeze a little project in.  I needed it.  Sometimes you've got to stretch your creative legs before you can continue to scale the mountain of work around you.

The prompt was a painting by Henri Edmond Cross.  It's a vibrantly colored Impressionistic work.

Another motivation to enter this challenge, besides the opportunity to flex my creative muscles, was this GREAT prize!  I encourage everyone to tackle the next Nina Design Design Challenge!  The prizes are really generous!
Here is my submission!  I call it, "Day at the Beach".  It's not the best picture.  I was actually stealing a couple of moments here and there from work to finish the piece.  I was trying to use my fancy camera, but it was having problems and I finally resorted to using the store's iPhone to grab a quick image.

Here's what I said about my inspiration:

I was inspired by the points of light captured by the Impressionist style.  I thought using Swarovski crystals in tones from the painting would help translate the shifts of color and light.  I used dangles to help show movement and make a fun, wearable piece showcasing the sand-dollar charms from Nina Designs.

CLICK HERE to vote!  Hopefully for me!  The other piece is nice, but I want to win!

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Great Minds Sale...

Since I have been making my lists, I've felt a tremendous sense of accomplishment and a great deal of forward momentum.  I don't think that I could have done it without my trusty Moleskine!  I am so in love with my Moleskine that I decided to make this collage of some of the great artists, writers, and thinkers who used Moleskines.  It's true that their version of the notebooks were different... but I still find the modern version really useful and utterly helpful!  Pablo Picasso once said, "Je suis le cahier!"  Which means, "I am the notebook!"  And in this case... I couldn't agree more!

To celebrate my love of the Moleskine and to spread that love, we're having an online ONLY sale of the Moleskines.  Save 25% off using the coupon code, "GREATMINDS".  The sale is for a short time and once we're out, we're out!  CLICK HERE to visit the online Allegory Gallery store and pick your's up today!

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Weekend Intensive with Gail Crosman Moore...

Leave behind the hustle and bustle of the city and embark on a creative expedition!  Combine breathtaking views and small town charm and you've got the setting for a Weekend Intensive with Gail Crosman Moore.  Allegory Gallery is honored to host this award-winning artist in picturesque Ligonier, Pennsylvania.  She will be visiting "the Diamond of the Laurel Highlands" to teach four classes September 8th and 9th.  Each class represents a different facet of this multi-disciplinary artist, featuring skills such as enameling, riveting, paper-casting, and mixed media techniques.  Students may take a single class or take several, in this intimate learning environment.

Saturday, September 8th, 9AM to 12Noon

All Levels/$125 Class Fee, $30 Kit Fee
Materials In Included Kit: 4 pair of findings, enamels, and usage of torches and tripods.

In this fast-paced 3 hour class, students will learn to properly torch fire transparent and opaque enamels with stamped metal findings – both vintage and new – including brass!  This class will empower students to add rich, luscious color to metals and safely continue work at home.  Each student will leave with a bounty of colorful finished pieces.

Class Requirements:  No fear of flame!  Bring a dust mask, wear natural fibers and closed-toe shoes.  Students with long hair should tie their hair back.

Saturday, September 8th, 2PM to 5PM

All Levels/$125 Class Fee, $30 Kit Fee
Materials In Included Kit: Findings, colorants, and usage of hammers, cutting tools and files.

In this exciting 3 hours class, students will play mad scientist by transforming and combining metal components using ideas adapted from Vue d'optique (a technique of perspective layering) and giving their pieces life by making moving parts!  Students can create their own fantastical hybridized flora and fauna, using riveting, cutting and filing.  (Bugs not your thing?  Don't worry, there will be ample opportunities to construct other lively components not of the insect variety!)

Saturday, September 8th, 6PM to 8PM
Pod Infatuation Trunk Show
Open to the Public/Free of Charge
Unwind with a glass of wine (or beverage of choice), enjoy a tasty morsel and meet Gail Crosman Moore!  Allegory Gallery is pleased to host this talented artist and will be celebrating her phenomenal works of wearable art!  Stop by and take a look at her incredible pieces, inspired by nature and seed pods.  Her love of surface, form, texture and color are evident in her stunning creations, transcending medias and methods.  Gail has been recognized and awarded through publication and trade magazines, including Ornament, Beadwork, Bead and Button, Lamagga, and several books.  Awards include Saul Bell in 2009, an A.R.T. Grant, and invitations to teach abroad in far flung locations such as Japan, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Denmark, Canada, and Great Britain.

Sunday, September 9th, 9AM to 12Noon

All Levels/$125 Class Fee, $30 Kit Fee
Materials In Included Kit: Molding compound, paper, and usage of textures.

Forget store-bought texture sheets!  In this fast-paced 3 hour class, students will produce highly relief texture plates that will serve as a mold for many materials, like any of the metal clays, paper, wax, ceramic, and/or polymer clay.  This is very useful multi-disciplinary skill that can be utilized for paper arts or jewelry applications!  Students will then cast a "sheet" of paper clay, which can be used in its entirety as a base for something more or can be cut up and used as parts.  Students will leave with a mold and sheet of finished work, partially dried.

Sunday, September 9th, 2PM to 5PM

All Levels/$125 Class Fee, $20 Kit Fee
Materials In Included Kit:  Collage materials and adhesives

In this adaptation from her normal 6 hour workshop, Gail will help students take their personal imagery to new heights in this 3 hour class!  Consider your unique tastes, symbolism, color and texture to create an autobiographical collage/assemblage.  Assembly and hinging of triptychs (three-paneled works of art) will be the final exercise in completion of this unique stage story.  Students of other classes are encouraged to use pieces made earlier in the weekend in their final piece.

(As an added bonus, students who are interested will have the opportunity to display their creation at Allegory Gallery and possibly sell it, if desired!)

Can't get enough of Gail?  Spend the weekend with her!  Take all four classes!  Students can enjoy huge savings by purchasing a Weekend Pass!  $400 for all four classes!  Save big!  Learn lots!  Compare the price per class with the (sold out) national shows and you'll see up to a 50% savings!  CLICK HERE to find out more information and to sign-up for the Weekend Pass.