Monday, August 22, 2011

Renovation World SF Convention Recap

I gots pictures! Not as many as I'd have liked to do, but representative...

First off, the display:

Setting up on Tuesday

all done!

As things sold or as my whims prompted the order and arrangement changed a bit from day to day.

Front of table as set up for the last day

Other side on last day

This is my fabulous "minion", Bart, wearing one of my lanyard necklaces. After he left and put the lanyard back on the display a customer came by and snatched it up for his fiancee.

Wednesday night I did a class with 15 ladies who made their own necklaces - I wish I had taken more pictures but I was so busy with the class I forgot until I only had a few people left to take pictures of their finished work:

This is 'mom' - she brought two daughters along

This is one of the daughters - she did some really clever things with her design - note the two beads surrounding the center disk - she's put some rings around the beads to create a "Saturn" effect!

This student is an experienced seed bead weaver who does lovely work in that medium but wanted to learn some techniques in stringing. Great eye for design and color!

This student had her own focal piece back in her room, so she came by the next day to my booth to show me her finished work.

I made some pieces while I was sitting at the table:

I used a copper Tim Holt piece as the foundation and then started adding stuff until I was exhausted. Well, until it looked right.

Glad I took a shot of this (there are two separate necklaces in this photo - I'm referring to the one at the top), it sold during the final 5 minutes of the convention! It also has a Tim Holt piece as the base with Accessories Susan filigree and frame.

Didn't make these at the table, but the pink and dark gray Vintage Lucite necklaces from The Beadin' Path, were new for the show. The one at the bottom has some beautiful silver touches and matching earrings.

Finally, I did manage to get one picture of one of the dozens of costumed folk wandering around the dealer's hall

Wish I had taken more pictures, but that's all I managed. I really enjoyed this opportunity. I hope there's a WorldCon close to home again in the near future!

Now I have to start organizing and packing for my move to Los Angeles - I probably won't be posting for some time as I don't think I'll have much time for beading in the next weeks.

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Monday, August 15, 2011

Two More Days!

The 69th Annual World Science Fiction Convention, called Renovation this year, in (where else?) Reno, NV starts Wednesday, although I have to be there tomorrow to set up. I'm going to *try* to take and post pictures, although I often get distracted and forget.

Speaking of pictures, I'm much happier with my new Sony Cybershot camera than I was with the Kodak EasyShare #2 (that's not it's official name, but it was the second EasyShare I bought). I loved my EasyShare #1 - it worked fine for macro shots as well as for regular pictures. Sadly the lens mechanism failed and I went shopping for a new camera.

Since I had all the Easy Share accessories and software, I went ahead and got a new model Easy Share. It's been an ok camera but I was never able to get the EasyShare #2 to take decent pictures when I wanted a group shot or asked someone to get a picture of me at my table - they were very grainy on auto-setting and often blurred, even with the digital image stabilization feature. Don't seem to have these issues with the Cybershot - which to me says it's not user error but the camera.

Speaking of pictures - one last piece to share before I go silent for a bit. I'm hoping that I'll have time and energy to post a little from the convention, but who knows?

The inspiration for this one was the wire mesh - I had a small amount left from a larger piece and couldn't figure out what to do with it. I decided to poke around in my bead stash until I got an idea, and came upon these black and white speckled ceramic beads. I knotted them on and then twisted and opened the mesh between. Then I hung the small bits of chain I had lying around, attached a longer piece with two hooks and there you go!

I hope you have a great week this week, I know I'm going to!

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Friday, August 12, 2011

5 More Days Left Until WorldCon

I've been *very* busy getting ready for the World Science Fiction Convention in Reno next week. The last few days have had me making new necklace lanyards, necklaces and these assemblage pieces for retractable ribbon lanyards:

These pieces are pretty time consuming - there's glue involved! I use Hypo Cement and E-6000 to ensure firm hold for the itty-bitty fiddly bits - the face of the lanyard reel casing is about the size of a quarter. These have been quite popular so I wanted to have as many as possible available.

You might recognize Lucite and metal flowers (some vintage, some new) from The Beadin' Path, Tim Holtz Idea-ology charms and Vintage Jewelry Supplies (Accessories Susan) brass filigree and stampings. There are some Vintaj bits in there as well. All the crystals are Swarovski. The rest are old/antique watch parts and stampings/filigree from Steampunk Supplies on Etsy.

Which one do you like best?

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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Designer's Block

Not sure if that's what you'd call it, but I've hit a bit of a wall with this piece. What I've been trying to do is make new necklaces that are a bit outside of my usual comfort zone based on some input from other con-goers about what they look for.

I prefer an ornate style that's a bit delicate, but many browsers have indicated they're looking for bolder designs. This is something I finished yesterday, as an example:

I'm not 100% sure it's finished - seems like I should embellish the top chain, but I'm waffling over that. Oh well, back to the bead board!

(This post is an edited version of something I wrote on LiveJournal a few days back - thought I'd share it here, too.)
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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Copper and Cobalt Blue

Thought I'd share a bit about how some of my designs happen - like yesterday's post where the pieces and parts finally came together for the glueable bracelet after more than 2 years. I'm not sure how I obtained the blue glass focal on the necklace below, but I thought it would look great with copper and I constructed the wrapped loop for it with 18g copper wire. Then it sat around waiting for me to figure out what else to do.

I grabbed a card of delicate copper chain at Michael's a couple months back and knew it would be perfect for the blue focal piece but, again, wasn't sure how to put the whole thing together.

Finally, the other day I realized what I wanted to do:

I plan to do a few more pieces along this line, I really like the double chain with the Czech glass bead links. Silver with green beads, I'm thinking, and gold with red ones, maybe.

Well, there's much to do and way too few days left before the big convention to do them, so that's all for now!

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Monday, August 8, 2011

Finally Finished the Rings & Things Glueables Challenge!!

Once upon a time (February or March of '09), Rings & Things sent me some glueable bracelets. I fiddled a bit and did come up with a design (here and here are the posts). I still had a bracelet left over that I couldn't figure out what to do with and it went into a storage box.

As I was tidying up in my workroom today, I came upon that bracelet. It had a teensy bit of tarnish that wiped off right away with a silver polishing cloth (Selvyt pink) and looked good as new. I was immediately inspired with how to use it, as I had just put away a selection of (vintage?) lucite flowers from The Beadin' Path into my "lucite and metal flower" box. Why not put metal and lucite flowers on the glueable blanks? And put little Swarovski flat back crystals in the centers? I loved the idea!

After playing around with various color combos (I had pink and green and purple lucite flowers of the right size as well as bright silver and gunmetal metal flowers) and then picking the right shade of crystals, here's the result (it's not all glued in yet, just the base flowers):

This is one of those 'taken in the workroom at night' pictures that doesn't do the piece full justice - the colors aren't quite so muddy in real life, but I'm really happy with the results! As well as glad to have finally finished the Rings & Things glueable challenge!!

FTC compliance notice of material connection: The glueable bracelet was provided to me for free, to be used for design purposes, or for a statement of my honest opinion of them, by Rings & Things.
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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Going for a 'Bigger and Bolder' Design - Mother of Pearl Necklace

Busy, busy, busy! I have a number of new necklaces and lanyards finished, but need to get to work on finishing off the travel bracelets and making some new earrings, too.

Today I'll share the mother of pearl necklace I finished - it features two Beadin' Path monthly bead club pieces - a ceramic sand dollar and a large m.o.p circle, with shell heishis wired to it. The necklace is all white mother of pearl with small beige shell beads in-between.

This necklace is part of my attempt to get big and bold with some of my designs - I personally favor delicate pieces but know that a lot of my customers like the bolder works I've done.

Although I have a number of other pieces ready to share, I think I'll parcel them out over a couple days!

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Monday, August 1, 2011

"So, Did You Visit any Bead Stores on Your Trip?" But of Course!!

Saturday was spent flying, yesterday mostly relaxing. Today I've finished a couple pieces and will share them a bit later. Friday, however, I got to go to Durham, N.C. and visit with a friend. My friend and I share a love of beading and traveled to a couple of bead stores. I didn't get pictures at the store in the Carr Mill shopping center in Durham but did get a couple at Rare Earth Beads, our first stop.

Yay, a sale!

The Store

My friend with her goodies.

I got some wonderful beads there - chalcedony, big rhodochrosite rondells, lapis (all the beads have wonderful flecks of gold) coral and bright brass

I'll show the beads from Carr Mill another time, but I think I got some good finds there, too.

Now, as promised, a couple new pieces:

A tigereye donut and a turquoise nugget suspended from assorted turquoise colored howlite, lava rock and tigereye beads all done on simple loops for the chain, with an off-center hand made clasp using sterling wire and a tigereye nugget.

This one started as just the black and white ceramic strung on wire mesh, then I got the idea to do some asymetric chains, then I got the idea to add the double curb chain with a couple more beads. The piece looks much nifty-er on than in the picture, I'm afraid.

That's all for today - gotta get back to work, only 15 days until WorldCon in Reno!

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