Thursday, December 24, 2015

Behind the Scenes at Beads Baubles and Jewels...

While I was scrolling through my blog recently, I realized that in the hubbub of moving, I didn't post about my experience of filming for Beads Baubles and Jewels.  I shared a few pictures on Facebook, but I didn't get an opportunity to do so here.  KS Productions, the team that puts together the show, just sent me the edited promo teaser and I thought that was a perfect excuse to write about my time in Cleveland.

Firstly, I have to thank Katie Hacker and the rest of the team that puts together this show.  There are a lot of moving parts and they do such a great job!  Katie is really patient and kind, which is super important for people like me who don't do a lot of filming.  She made me feel at ease and like I was sharing techniques with a friend in the comfort of my own home and not in a studio with a group of people watching me and cameras trained at my every move.

Even though the show is only half an hour long, we crammed a lot in!  I went over how to make your own silicone molds, work with fast-cast resin, finishing your resin pieces, and incorporating them into really cool bezels from TierraCast.

When you're filming a show, even if you've done something a thousand times, things can go awry.  It's not live TV, so there is some room for forgiveness, but just like with any business, time is money and the longer a shoot goes, the more expensive it gets.  So the goal is to keep the takes to a minimum.

I think things went well, but the hypercritical part of my brain sent up a half dozen red flags after I finished... thinking of where I could have phrased things differently or talked about something else or not said something.  Again, it comes with my inexperience with being on film.  Eventually you kind of just have to let go of that and just let it be what it is.  I imagine that the more one does it, the more leeway they give themselves and that preciousness subsides.

Here's a true behind the scenes look at the set.  When you see the show, it's easy to forget what goes on off camera.  There are cameras and (LOTS) of lights, and a bunch of cords and equipment that make the show possible.

All of the process that goes into making a TV show can be a little intimidating, but luckily I was in good hands and the topic I covered was something that I have a lot of experience with.  I've been working with resin for about twenty years now.  (Can it really be that long?)  I first encountered resin at a neighbor's garage sale.  During the 80's, she had made big cardboard earrings decorated with pearlescent puffy paint that were coated in resin.  She was getting rid of her supplies and I just so happened to stumble upon them.  I didn't have enough money for everything, so I got what I could and proceeded to knock on her door once a week with my crumbled up dollar bills and loose change. Eventually, I think she got tired of me and gave me the rest.  I'd like to think that she wanted to encourage my creativity, but more likely, it was to get rid of her pesky neighbor kid.

While my mom was encouraging of us doing crafts, she did not like the idea of anything that could make a mess, particularly anything that could make a sticky mess that would never get out of the carpet.  (There may or may not have been an incident with a bottle of Elmer's glue.)  So I had to work in secret and made a makeshift studio in my closet.  In hindsight, that was probably not the best idea, as it's important to have really good ventilation when working with resin.  Ever since then, I've been fascinated with the material and revisit it often.

Here I am in the green room with a pair of earrings that I made.  I'm a smitten kitten with the bezels from TierraCast.  They add such a nice finishing touch to the resin and the backs are decorated, which is great in pieces with a lot of movement where things have a habit of flipping.
It was the last day of filming, so most of the other guests had already filmed their segments.  I was lucky though and got to spend some time with Jill MacKay.  I adore her.  She was doing segments on her new line with Sizzix!  

I had a great time and I hope that they ask me to come back!  This experience has encouraged me to do some of my own videos.  I know that I said that last time I was on the show, but I wasn't really in the position to take on a big new project at the time.  Now that I have a little bit more freedom in my schedule, I think it's a perfect time to explore this medium.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Pantone Color of the Year 2016...

I'm usually right on the ball to announce Pantone's newest color of the year, but I got sidetracked with the move and missed the mark.  At this point, it's old news... but I'll announce it again anyway:  The Pantone Color of the Year is... two colors!  Yes, that's right!  For the first time ever, there are two colors!  2016 will be represented by Rose Quartz and Serenity!

Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute, said, "Joined together Rose Quartz and Serenity demonstrate an inherent balance between a warmer embracing rose one and the cooler tranquil blue, reflecting connection and wellness as well as a soothing sense of order and peace."

The Pantone report also goes on to say that the choice to pick two colors is actually commentary on shifting gender roles and how society is moving toward gender equality.  They are blending colors that are traditionally associated with feminine and masculine roles, showing the blur of modernity.

It is also stressed that the colors were chosen out of necessity.  In the midst of devastating current events, it is more important than ever to find a sanctuary in color to relax and sooth our battered spirits.

I'm quite pleased with the choices and the meaning behind their selections.

I scoured Pinterest and collaged together some images that represent the new Colors of the Year:

Wednesday, December 16, 2015


If you've read any of the interviews I've done about blogging, there's something that I bring up at least once each time and usually underline its importance: Consistency.  I'm not alone in this.  If you look up any others giving helpful tips on building readership and the like, creating a regular schedule of posting ranks pretty highly.

So... why have I broken this cardinal rule?

Part of that answer is simple.  I've been busy.  I've dove headfirst into nesting in our new home and setting up my studio.  So, whatever spare time I have is spent unpacking boxes and organizing things and rearranging things and repeating as necessary.

The less obvious and more esoteric reason is that I've needed a break.  I've actually needed a break for a long time, but I've felt the pressure of obligations to keep posting and phoning it in.  But that breaks another rule of mine concerning this little online journal of mine: always be genuine.

I don't want to say that I was being disingenuous.  But there was something missing and while there were kernels of good stuff, ultimately, it wasn't a true manifestation of my heart, head, and spirit.  Certainly there were glimmers of each aspect individually, but the trio was hard for me to tap into, because I simply wasn't feeling it.

At first this bothered me.  A LOT.  And then... I went for a walk.

It was still early in the morning and even with our unseasonably (and in my opinion, welcomed) warm weather, frost still glittered on the twigs and branches of last year's garden.  While it was a picture of starkness, I knew it was just sleeping.  It was resting after a profusion of abundance.  There's a price to be paid for an endless summer.  The farmer must let the fields lay fallow in order to allow the land to recharge and become fertile again.  While the frost looks cold and uninviting, it's necessary and it's okay.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

One Last Sunset...

As we packed the final box into the car, slightly cramming it between the cleaning products and the vacuum cleaner, the sun set behind the ridge.  We closed the door and drove away.  The deer we used to watch out the window while sipping our morning coffee, paraded past one last time.  William reached over to pat my knee.  He asked, "Are you happy in your heart?"

And I said, "I guess so."

While it is certainly time that we move on into our own home, it is bittersweet.  When we first moved to Pennsylvania, we were battered and wilted.  The hustle of the city had worn us both down, and we desperately needed to reset and recharge... and the place that we called home for six years did that.  We walked through the woods, ran through the tall grasses, and gingerly tiptoed across babbling streams.  When I was recovering from my cancer surgery, too tired and in pain to move around, I would sit in front of the window and stare for hours, counting bluebirds and watching dozens of purple martins comb the yard for worms.  I watched the drunken rise and fall of swallows feeding their families.  I would trace the serpent of mist hovering over creek, snaking through the landscape, a breathy beast.  In our postcard view, we experienced the ever-changing seasons.  The walls and roof sheltered us, our tears and our laughter.  Even though it was time to go, we called this piece of earth and sky our home.

So, while I'm truly happy to be in our own place and am so excited for all the things to come, part of me will miss all those sunrises and sunsets on the ridge.  A little bit of me will miss sitting on the deck at twilight, sipping blueberry wine and watching the bats flutter.  I will miss wrapping up in blankets, rushing out to stand in awe of the night sky, seeing stars fall and wishing for exactly what we have right now.

As we drove away, chasing the sunset down the driveway, I didn't look back.  Instead I looked ahead into the fading light of day, wondering what to make for dinner in the place we now call home.