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Thursday, April 4, 2013

Dawno's at ConDor 2013 San Diego

ConDor is a smallish con, but it was about twice as large as I'd heard it would be, at over 600 attendees. The programming looked great, if I weren't working I definitely would have gone to the panels. The entertainment schedule looked like a lot of fun, as well.

The venue is the lovely Town & Country resort, but as the rooms were all booked up when I was notified that I'd been accepted as a dealer, I stayed just down the street at the much less lovely, but cheap and comfy enough, Best Western. The con seemed well run and everyone seemed pretty happy. I had great neighbors in the dealer's room and hope to see more of them at other conventions this year or next.

I've added ribbon bookmarks to my display and I think they're pretty cute - wish I'd thought to get a picture!  Didn't get one of my booth and me, either! Well, you can see the backside of the ribbons and a bit of my booth in the picture below (bottom left).

I think these are Tuskens from Star Wars. I wish the gal behind them was facing my booth - she's in a Tardis dress.

There was a great Time Machine replica. The wheel in back spins and there are lighting effects.
This lovely couple had great steampunk outfits and their boy was dressed as a tiny Doctor complete with sonic screwdriver. You can see a little piece of my booth in the far back, behind the lady in the white sweater.


I'm very grateful my daughter was able to come help, it made for a wonderful time!  Next con, BayCon over Memorial Day weekend up in Santa Clara.
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Monday, February 11, 2013

Her Royal Majesty's Steampunk Symposium 2013

I had a great time at this year's Her Royal Majesty's Steampunk Symposium on the Queen Mary this year. It was bittersweet because my dad passed away in October and he had helped me last year, so I missed his company greatly. My daughter and sister did come and lend a hand. I only have these few pictures this year.

My booth in the Queen's Salon - I was right in front of the main entry.  My table  was much larger than what you can see here with a whole section on the left that faced the entrance.

Here's my wonderful daughter mugging for the camera in one of my fancy hats.

Here I am in that hat and my kinda sorta Victorian 'shopkeeper' outfit

Next up, ConDor in San Diego. See you there!


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Saturday, November 17, 2012

Counting Down to LosCon

It's been a very challenging year, and you know that saying about best laid plans. I had hoped to be better organized and back to regular posting long before now, as well as getting to work on a lot of new jewelry since the last I posted. Circumstances have prevented me from accomplishing most of that, but I have a convention in 6 days, so I'm doing what I can to get ready. I just hope I can find all my display stuff in the back room!


I thought I'd share at least one new item today. I'm quite happy with how it turned out. The necklace has aventurine beads, copper TierraCast beadcaps and chain plus a little copper leaf. It's amazing how some designs just create themselves - once I got the leaf and center aventurine bead assembled the idea for the rest of the necklace seemed obvious.

LosCon used to be my favorite because I would come down to L.A.and spend the weekend with my dad. This year I'll be doing the show solo and missing Dad enormously, not only for his help but for his company and the way he enjoyed being there, meeting new people, talking about everything under the sun with them. He'd want me to have a good time, so I'll wear a brave face and try to enjoy it.


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Monday, August 13, 2012

Would You Like to See More of My Work? Maybe Some Tutorials?

I'm trying to get to the back of the new studio through the stacks of boxes! Until I can do that, I'm not able to work on new pieces or do tutorials like I want to. I am really looking forward to blogging every day again and getting back into the conversation with you!


The boxes are mostly books. This picture only gives you a hint of what I'm up against - the studio is a converted garage and it's full of these bins and boxes from front to back and side to side!

In order to clear out the books, I've opened an Amazon bookstore, Dawno's Books. So, if you'd like to pay paperback prices (most are $3 + shipping) for hardback first editions in like new condition, please shop at my store! I have nearly 60 items up as of right now, adding more each day!

So far I haven't put any of my beading, polyclay or other crafts books up, but I may do that soon. Please bookmark the link and check back often!
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Wednesday, June 6, 2012

BayCon 2012 Pics (better late than never!)

BayCon 2012 was wonderful. Had a great time and did well. Thanks to the Hyatt hospitality and events staff for being great to the dealers as well as for coming by to shop!

I didn't take many pictures - partly because I was so busy, but mostly because I just kept forgetting.

Here's the left side of my booth

and the right side (The center of the booth, with me, was in a previous post)
I saw many more great costumes but these are the few I managed to catch with the camera




I was thrilled to have my daughter visit with me and give me time for a nice lunch break most days of the con. She sold some of my pieces, too. Thank you sweetie!

Looking forward to 2013! Next con - LosCon in November in Los Angeles.
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Friday, May 25, 2012

Back in the SF Bay Area!

Although I moved to Pasadena last September, I've been up north since then when I went to FOGCon in March. This time I'm in Santa Clara for BayCon. As I think I mentioned, this is my 5th BayCon and I'm really glad everything worked out so I could be here.

I don't have any pictures to share today, but I wish I had one of my packed car (I could go take one, but the condition of the old Mustang is not something I'm particularly proud of). I manage to get everything in the trunk and back seat - including my trolly (Rubbermaid with a collapsible handle), except for my purse and little insulated tote to carry my Arizona Diet Green Tea. I can even see out the back window...a bit...there's a sliver - honest!

Lots of CHP on the Interstate today. They're getting ready for the big weekend, I'm sure. It's so annoying that people actually going pretty close to the speed limit slow down 5 to 10mph (so now they're way under the limit) as soon as they see the flashers ahead. Yeah, there might be an accident, but on I-5 you can see for miles ahead and none of the 4 times we passed CHP at the side of the road were they attending to accidents that I could tell. I did make it here in pretty good time and I hope that Tuesday won't be too busy heading south.

Well, I need my beauty rest - have to go set up at 8:00 am. Oh, although you're reading this on Friday, I'm writing it Thursday night and scheduling it to post. The wonders of technology!
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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Last Creative Night before Bay Con

Tomorrow I head to Santa Clara for Bay Con. That means that for the rest of today I will be packing and loading up the car. Last night was my last night of creating new pieces to take with me. I'll bring along supplies and beads so I can work at my table or in my room, but there's only so much I can take with me, so some stuff just either gets made before I leave or waits for next time.

This set I finished over the weekend and finally had a bit of time to photograph it yesterday. I love the way the small matte beads, from Global Beads in downtown Mountain View, are set off by the copper. This is two separate necklaces and a matching 30" lanyard/necklace (shown with the lanyard hardware in the back).


Posting may be infrequent during my trip - but I'll try to do some live blogging with pictures while I'm there. Hope you have a very pleasant Memorial Day weekend!
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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Turquoise with a Decorative Clasp

Hi again! Today I finished a new piece featuring turquoise and ceramic with ornate brass spacers. As I was trying to decide what clasp to use it occurred to me to try something different. I grabbed a large brass filigree piece and stacked a circular piece and a patinaed butterfly filigree to it. Then I added some Swarovski crystals. The lobster claw closes on the loop end of the filigree.



I will try to get a good picture of that purple set I spoke about yesterday and share it soon. Meanwhile, I leave on Thursday morning, so I have about a day and a half left to make some new pieces then it's time to pack everything into bins and duffles, load up the car and head north.
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Monday, May 21, 2012

A Study in Contrasts

Only a few more days until I have to stop making things and start packing them up for the trip north to BayCon. Of course before the packing I have to create descriptions and do pricing then make price tags for each new piece. It's a tedious, but necessary step.

The necklace below features more Beadin' Path and light amethyst beads with copper bead caps for accents. I really love this one - it seems kind of 'ancient' - Babylonian, Egyptian, Minoan? I'm not really good at identifying things like that. Anyway, as I mentioned yesterday I love working with colors that have a striking contrast; this necklace is a prime example.



I finished the necklace, pictured above, today, along with a set of necklaces and a matching lanyard which I'll photograph and post tomorrow, I think. With that set I was working entirely in purples.


I'm trying to get back in the habit of posting as close to daily as possible, and eventually doing some of the little feature posts I used to do.  I'm really looking forward to setting up my new studio at my new home where I'll have more room to work and photograph my work - wish we didn't have to wait until the middle of June to move!



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Sunday, May 20, 2012

Used 'Em All Up, Now on to a Different Color...

Everyone has a different style of organization. I tend to sort by beads by color then type so blue glass is one box, blue stone is another. I also do the same with metals, gold bead caps in one box, silver in another. The other day I got an idea for a necklace with some aqua-tinted glass beads that had an unusual, bold geometric shape and grabbed the box of aquamarine and similar stones plus the aqua glass bead box. I didn't stop with the necklace...I made three plus a lanyard.

The 'workhorse' beads for these are either from a strand of really nice aquamarine roundells I've had for quite some time (in the top and middle necklaces), and the last of some strands of a rounded, organic triangular glass bead that's got a bit of shading that reminds me of the blue/green-ish glass from old Coke bottles. That's the bead in the lanyard (the long necklace is also a badge lanyard) and the middle shorter necklace, below.

I should have fiddled more with the staging of the picture to straighten out the glass dangles...
I like to work with bright colors that aren't necessarily close to each other on the color wheel - like purple and orange or purple and green (or all three) or bright accents with muted neutrals like grey, brown or black. Sometimes, though I just use up all the beads I have in the same color family, like above.

If you want to see this set in person, come to BayCon next weekend!
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Saturday, May 19, 2012

Getting Ready for BayCon 2012

Well, it's less than a week away now and I'm so excited to be going back to BayCon for the 5th time. I look forward to visiting with the other vendors and seeing repeat (as well as new!) customers. If you are in the San Francisco Bay area over Memorial Weekend (including Memorial Day) drop by - we're in the Santa Clara Convention Center/Hyatt and it's a lot of fun.

Here are a couple new pieces to give you a little sample of what to expect:

From Left: Faux Ivory Rose and Petal beads with Swarovski
Copper and Silver circles
Vintage Faux Carved Coral,  Coral Glass, Swarovski and TierraCast Gold Plated Lead Free Pewter 
I particularly love the Faux Ivory petal beads from The Beadin' Path, they were part of a recent bead of the month shipment and I knew exactly what I wanted to do with them the minute I opened my package.

Well, it's back to work - have another fun piece featuring Beadin' Path beads, copper and amethyst to finish up!
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Friday, April 27, 2012

Making My Own Embossed Bead Caps, Step by Step

So much going on! My husband and I are in the early stages of buying a house, I'm going on various job interviews and also getting to spend time with my family again.

In the last few months I've finished acquiring the tools needed to make my own beadcaps, but haven't made the attempt - until today. With the Vintaj Big Kick, embossing plates, sheet Vintaj brass, punch cut from Otto Frei, metal dapping tools and metal punch tools all ready to go, I began the process of creating my own embossed bead cap today.

Step 1

Take sheet metal (I used VINTAJ altered blank canvas from Beadaholique) and place in disk cutter (Otto Frei # 125.1734, which comes in a nice wooden box for storage) then hammer with big brass head hammer until the brass is punched through.You now have a round piece of altered brass. Don't do what I did at first and dap it right away (I was too excited to finally use my tools and didn't think ahead). Find the center of the circle - if you're not a perfectionist you can try to eyeball it. If you are a perfectionist, here's a how-to from Instructables. Punch a hole. Depending on what size cap and how you're going to use it, you want to decide how big to punch the hole. I did a rather large one. And I used the huge tool on the left.


I eyeballed it and think I'm close enough to center (whew!) The larger tool really powers through most thicknesses of anything I've been using. I got the tool from Jeanette Blix at Fundametals.net where she said, about the tool,

"EuroPower Multi-Sized Hole Punch! Can you say Muscle? This new Beefy hole-punch has the Power to punch 7 different Large sized round holes ranging from 3/32 up to 9/32" in soft metal up to 16 gauge all in one tool! Let the tool do all the work, the specially designed compound action and hardened cutting dies punch through thick metal with ease, you will not believe what this tool can do until you try it. Hard sided carrying case included. Hole sizes are 3/32, 1/8, 5/32, 3/16, 7/32, ΒΌ and 9/32"."


It's all true, too! Anyway, here's the disk with a hole in it. Looks pretty good for something completely handmade.


Now it's time to turn it into an embossed bead cap.  I used my Vintaj Big Kick with a Deco Embossing plate to give the disk its texture. I position it on the plate over the selected design, put it between the two clear shims and crank it through the machine. 



Here's how it looks after it's been embossed:




Now it's time to shape it into a dome. I start with the dapping hole (have no idea what the technical name is) that's a bit larger than the disk so it fits inside, 



and I start whacking away with my brass head hammer. Great for stress relief, by the way.


I want to get a bit more curve to the bead cap, so I put it into the next smaller hole and using the corresponding dapping tool, hammer it some more.


Now it's the right shape, all that's left is a bit of sanding back the finish on the raised areas for contrast and sanding the hole so it won't cut the beading wire or string I use. Voila! The finished cap:


 Here it is again with a bead and paired up with the 'prototype' cap (the one I forgot to punch before I dapped) - it works fine, but the hole is a bit wonky since I had to re-punch it when my first attempt was way off center.


Now, I figure these two caps probably cost me well over $100 to make since they were the first ones off the assembly line, as it were.  Making your own beadcaps is a pricy proposition, at least until you make enough of them to offset the cost of the supplies used in making them, versus buying manufactured ones. But, since I can make them anyway I want with any kind of embellishment or colors or metals, it's more satisfying (and fun!) to create custom beadcaps.Hope you're having a great Friday!
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Thursday, April 19, 2012

Happy Blogiversary to Dawno's!

I missed my blogiversary - even though I'd started this post and scheduled it, I never took it out of draft status. Oh well.

On April 19, 2008 I made my first post here. For a while I was very active and ran a lot of 'special' posts. Eventually the day job, and other circumstances, slowed me down to where I am today, which is an occasional post, especially about special events or days, like today!

Hard to believe I've been at this for over 4 years now. I love making jewelry and exploring new ways to express my creativity. Thanks for dropping by now and then to share the journey!
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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Happy First Day of Spring!

I'm experimenting with new picture taking tools. Recently bought the Modahaus tabletop photography set I read about at The Beading Gem's Journal and am using that plus a paper cone made from posterboard with a shiny side. The hole in the top is to allow really good close shots of items laying flat on the table (like the tiny charm I accidentally left there). The frosted sides soften the light and shadows. It's small enough to fit easily on my 28x24 inch table. 


I was using a lamp with a full spectrum bulb for these shots, but I hope to figure out a good way to use natural light or get fewer shadows soon.


The following pictures of some recently made/finished bracelets are with the set up mentioned above.  The first one is a new, Spring themed bracelet with a colorized metal clasp. I just used Ranger inks for this one, but I have some new Swellegant dies and patinas I'm looking forward to trying. You can read about the Swellegant products on the B'sue Boutique blog. (say that three times fast!)

The larger matte bead is from The Beadin' Path's sea glass collection and it's an alexandrite color-change glass bead. Looks a bit more lilac in some light and more blue in others. There are also vintage German glass beads with iridescent coatings in a pebbly shape.



This next piece is a bracelet that I finally finished. It was one of the ones I made in Fayetteville last July while waiting for my son to return from his deployment in Afghanistan. The glass pearls are very large and the piece really stands out on the wrist but is quite light.


I think these are some of the best closeup shots I've ever done, even if there's still improvements to be made.

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Monday, March 19, 2012

Is It Done or Do I Re-Do It?



Ever make something that you keep fiddling with for one reason or another? With me it's this piece:


I made it in Fayetteville last year while I was waiting for my son to come home from his deployment to Afghanistan. It's faux turquoise two hole bar beads and coral colored glass. I went to A.C. Moore (I sure wish they had those here in L.A.!) and picked up a couple bags of stuff to keep me occupied while I waited and made several bracelets.

Then comes the fiddling part. First it was getting the right clasp. For some reason none of the two strand clasps I could find were working right. I either had trouble connecting them to the bracelet, or they weren't easy to clasp on my wrist, or they weren't sturdy and kept falling apart. I hadn't spent much on the materials for this bracelet and I wasn't going to put an expensive clasp on it, either.

Well, I found some great clasps at Fire Mountain Gems that were inexpensive, sturdy and easy to work with on the wrist. Plus, they look cool if the bracelet swings around and the clasp is on the top.  But that wasn't enough - I liked the simplicity of the piece, but it just felt like it was calling out for something.

So, last night I grabbed some spacers and bead caps and re-strung the bracelet.  Here's how it looks now:

click image to enlarge
I think it's finally done!

Only 11 days until I head north to Walnut Creek for FogCon. Lots of work to do to get ready, too!
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Thursday, March 15, 2012

Bingle-y Bangle-y!

I have a show coming up at the end of the month and I'm busily working on expanding my inventory. I've been inspired by some wrapped pieces I've seen around the 'net and thought I'd create some simple bangles with memory wire and Czech druk beads. I'm really enjoying the process of making these - it's rather relaxing. 

My goal is to have these in a wide assortment of colors, do some duplicates for mixing and matching in stacks. The bracelets aren't completely slip on like most bangle bracelets, first off they're oval so the clasp side doesn't slide around to the top of the wrist, then I put a clasp and small length of chain so these will fit wrists of many sizes.




What do you think?

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Monday, February 13, 2012

Bead Happily Ever After Valentine Design Challenge

The blog Bead Happily Ever After held a design contest and I knew exactly what I wanted to do with some darling vintage Swarovski hearts set in raw brass - I made little 'infinite knots' and hung them from earwires then attached the hearts to the knot. Please visit her blog to see my entry (and check out her Etsy store) and all the other great designs the challenge inspired!

Happy Valentine's Day to you all!

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Saturday, January 28, 2012

HRM Steampunk Symposium 2012 Pictures (finally!)

Thought it was about time I posted my pictures from the HRM Steampunk Symposium I was at in January. The event was held on the Queen Mary in Long Beach, CA. 

My dad helped me for the entire show and my daughter and sister also came to visit. I made very little at the show, didn't even cover the cost of the tables and license fee to the City of Long Beach, but I had a great time and made some new friends. I want to do it again next year.

I had a very nice space on the starboard side of the ship, which faced the ocean. The first day it was quite hot because of the sun shining through the uncovered windows, but the next two days there were clouds and it was much cooler.

one view of my table

and another view

Her Royal Majesty, Queen Victoria and her entourage

Two fabulous steampunk ladies

A distinguished officer and his explorer son


An Admiral


A nurse

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Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year!

Getting ready for my first show of 2012, HRM Steampunk Symposium on the Queen Mary in Long Beach starting January 13th. I believe that the vendors area is open to the public from what I've read*, so no need to buy a membership if you're nearby and would like to visit my booth!
*"...but the ideal location and popularity of the Queen Mary will enable our vendors to be exposed to the general public..." 

 I've made a few new Steampunk and Victorian style pieces, plus one that's not, while I listen to China Mieville's Embassytown from Audible over the last few days:

Earthenwood ceramic pendant and bead, Mother of Pearl, Gears from Vintage Jewelry Supply
Aqua and brown Earthenwood ceramic pendant and Czech glass beads hand knotted on polished linen cord
might be adding a few more to this
This is a non-theme piece - Humblebeads pendant with carved bone,  ecru Czech druk beads and some beads that reminded me of slices of wood from dreamgirlbeads
Chandelier earrings with deep teal Czech firepolished glass, brass chain & filigree from Vintage Jewelry Supplies and some lovely brass spacers and bead caps
Here's a Victorian style set with a lavolier-ish necklace made with a filigree and chain in the center, with deep cut garnet glass beads, luster coated glass roundells linked into a chain and a strand of tiny Swarovski crystal pearls and garnet Czech druk glass with tiny gold bead spacers.
These matching earrings are made with Tierra Cast gold plated pewter links and bead caps, gold vermeil spacers, Swarovski 2mm crystal pearls, deep cut garnet glass from Artbeads and garnet Czech druk beads. Chain from Vintage Jewelry Supplies. I'll probably be making a three strand bracelet to complete the set.
Well, that's it for tonite - hope you have a wonderful 2012!
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Sunday, December 4, 2011

LosCon 38 Wrap Up


(Much of this is cross posted on my other blog NVNC ID VIDES, NVNC NE VIDES.)

Los Con is held at the Los Angeles International Airport Marriott on the Friday, Saturday & Sunday after Thanksgiving. This year was my 3rd year in the dealer's room there. The last two years I've driven down on Wednesday and stayed through the Monday after with my dad. This year I still ended up staying at Dad's place for two nights, but since I only live about half an hour away from the venue I was able to drive home for the night on the other days. The con was a lot of fun, got to see some familiar faces and meet some new ones, too.

Some shots of my table & goodies:






Dad enjoying the people watching.






I didn't dress up on our first day, with setting up in the morning, I needed to wear comfortable clothes I could move easily in. That didn't stop me from dressing up on Saturday & Sunday, though:
On Saturday I wore my Victorian(ish) Shopkeeper outfit with a new hat (I've since found my original hat) with wonderful purple feathers and lace.




On Sunday I succumbed to temptation and purchased this Renaissance(ish) ensemble.




I've got some pictures of costumed folk who wandered near the table, too:

A customer from another convention poses with her
Dawno's necklace.


 Buy More (from the TV show Chuck) couple
 Festive Pirate
LosCon 38 Klingon Crew

All in all, a really great weekend. Thanks for dropping by!

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