Friday, October 29, 2010

It's Here- My Book Release!!!!

So I didn't get an actual photo of the fed ex guy this time but I did bolt down the steps in time to throw open the door to greet him. The only time the fed ex truck comes here it's from my publisher so I knew what those boxes he was stacking up by the front door meant. My book was here!!! I'm so excited/a little bit nervous. I've been telling you how great it is, how amazing the projects are, and how much you'll love the book. But I haven't told you how much of me is in this book. This isn't just 20+ fabric and wire projects. It's eight chapters and an introduction of me telling you my story and hopefully encouraging you through it. My wire and fabric creations are the product of this story- I'm hoping you'll find the greatest value in the writing.

I wrote this book with you in mind. My blog readers, my friends, the other women out there who are trying to find their own creative voice. The women who thought at one point that being creative didn't really matter that much, only to find that it does. That they need it and don't know where or how to start it back up again. I also wrote this for those who maybe are creative on the weekends but want to be creative everyday. How do you find the inspiration for daily creation? How do you do this without draining yourself? You're wondering how to take your creativity to what you see as the next level.

My hope, my prayer, is that you all find direction in this book. That the benefit to you will outweigh the vulnerability I feel. I believe it's worth it. So if you do see yourself as someone who would benefit from this message, then go, run, get to your bookseller and GET THIS BOOK!! Or at least be one of those annoying people who park themselves in a comfy chair and read a book cover to cover while at the bookstore. Ok so that's me sometimes... but I really believe that you'll find value in this book!

Yay!! I can't wait!!! 

PS- I did do a quickie little video on my phone as I opened the books- just so I can share this with you. I sound a little dorky but I bet you won't mind.
Hopefully. ;) 


Thursday, October 28, 2010

Always Try Again

I've been feeling a little under the weather with a virus so today I've just got a little before and after for you. The before is a wire wall sculpture I was playing around with. I had the idea of making a few Christmas themed wall silhouettes similar to the fly and dream versions I made earlier this summer. My first attempt was a reindeer. Now I had only a vague idea of what a reindeer looked like when I made this attempt. In fact, it was fairly late at night and all I could really conjure up was a deer form with antlers. The result was not all that amazing. Especially since I had the antlers going backwards. I fixed that by twisting them around to the front but still.... not my most stellar first attempt.

So yesterday I pulled up a few photo's of what reindeer actually look like and then did a sketch based on the photo's of what I wanted my reindeer to look like. Then looking at the sketch I gave it another try. The difference was pretty incredible. I took them to my husband and said "look at the difference!" with a big ta-da. His response? He thought a) they looked about the same and b) they both looked like sheep with antlers to him.

So once again, I'm turning to you all for the gratification which I really shouldn't need. But really... don't you think the difference is amazing? So I guess the moral to this post is that a) don't expect your husband to see the difference between two objects or to know the difference between a sheep and a deer, b) never stop at the first try if you think you can do better- sometimes all that's needed is a fresh eye or a bit more work, and c) be very very grateful you've people other then your husband who get it and are amazed by the same silly things you are. Because I know you are. ;)

I'm not finished with the wire piece yet, I still have a wire border to add and some fabric I'd like to stitch to the frame, but I like what I have to start with a lot better now.

I also want to remind everyone that I do have a book giveaway going on over at the Handmade MN site. I'd love to see a few of you win one and you've got a great chance with this giveaway and big thanks to all who have already entered!!! I really appreciate it!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Chaos- A Portrait of My Studio Space

Ok- so I'm going to go out on a limb here and bare my soul. Well, not really my soul... but the creative space that's at the core of my work. Really I'm just really really stuck with it. I've done a few things right with it, and have let some things get out of control, and simply don't have a good space to put a lot of it. Cleaning and organizing it is a daily to-do that I've yet to do.

Today other people's beautiful studios seemed to be haunting me. I did a little blog hopping before writing this post and ran into a few mentions and pics of other people's creative space and it just sort of reinforced the fact that mine is impossible as it is. It's actually become a storage space and not a work space at all. I can't usually find my desk and I really like a big open surface to spread out on while I work. So I cart things out of my studio and work on the dining room table or I work on the floor when it's clear enough. I'd like to be able to use my space again. I'd like to get a storage system of sorts for the closet. I'd like to use/move a lot of my supplies. I'd like to see my desk again. :)

So maybe that'll be my new year's resolution. Or my "do this before the new year" resolution. I'll let you know. :) In the meantime if you all have any tips or ideas that have worked well for you I'd love to hear it. I have my fabric nicely put away but all the extra stuff, like old t-shirts, old art, half done art, and memorabilia sort of get in the way of the rest of it. My mom keeps telling me I need a bigger room but space is at a premium here and unless I move out to the garage, I think I need to make do with what I have. So ideas are hugely welcome!!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Fa La La La, Fruitcake, and All The Good Fabrics + my first Book Giveaway!!!

First things first- I'm having a book giveaway this week over on the Handmade MN blog. Even if you've already pre-ordered the book it's a great way to get 2 so please hop on over and leave a comment to win!
Now- back to our regularly scheduled post. :)

So I'm in love with Fruitcake. Not actual fruitcake- but the Fruitcake fabric by Moda. I keep buying it when I see it. It's turned into rather a compulsive habit. Fa la la la... I'm browsing the stacks at the fabric store, then BAM- I found fruitcake and there I go. I was feeling rather detached until then. Really it happens with most things Moda. I'm just really partial to the deep reds, and snowflake blues of the fruitcake collection. AND the fact that the collection includes more of their solids line of grunge fabrics just takes the (fruit)cake in my opinion. You have to see these fabrics. They are just brilliant. And they coordinate perfectly with Basic Grey's last Christmas collection for moda- figgy pudding. Which I also bought compulsively.

I think what made these fabrics swoon-worthy was that originally I was attracted to them but couldn't really picture them made into something. Then, I was making Christmas ornaments and pulled this fabric and LOVE love LOVE the results I got with this collection. Those ornaments are actually in my book and I hope to give you a sneak peek of them in another week. So SO cute- really.

Pulling out my Christmas fabrics really helped put me in the mood for making ornaments. I have to admit I've been dragging my heels on this task just because I don't want to think Christmas yet. But man, do I love these fabrics and sitting here, putting them together in different combination's really has made the experience fun for me. October or no. :)

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Tips for Enjoying the Seasons

Yesterday we had a pumpkin party with my son, and his second cousins. It was planned spontaneously, so really pretty much unplanned, but still lots of fun. We carved pumpkins, danced the Monster Mash and pretended to be Ghostbusters. We ate pizza and played outside until it was time to "fire" the pumpkins.

Kids add so much to the seasons. Which really makes me concentrate on the goodness of a particular season instead of the drawbacks of that time of year. Instead of dreading the lead in to winter that fall is, I'm out in the pumpkin patch. Or searching out scarecrow festivals. Or adding apples to every dish I make.

This fosters an attitude of gratitude for the fun and excitement the seasons can bring. I'm someone who gets the winter blues very easily, I can actually feel the loss of light that comes this season. I used to be able to pinpoint within a few weeks the time each fall my mood would darken and I'd begin to feel less social. I'd spend all winter barely talking to anyone and avoiding social situations.

Fortunately, I have a son now, and it's hard to cocoon if you have a kid. You want to give them all the wonderful things each season brings. Which means searching out that wonderfulness. So this weekend we did the pumpkin party. Today, I've got a Frankenstein costume to sew.

Soon, we'll be watching the first snow of the season flutter from the sky. But instead of watching it and anticipating icy roads, freezing cold, and layers and layers of clothes. I'll be looking at it with the sense of wonder my son feels. I'll see it as snowmen, hot cocoa, Christmas, and all the other wonderfulness that accompanies the season. To help you along, here are my tips for enjoying the seasons- anyone can do these things (no kids needed):

Tips for Making the Most of Each Season
1. Think about the colors of the season and start to pull them into your home. Add a throw or a pillow or some art that will change the color tones in your home.

2. Bring as much of the actual nature of the season inside as possible. Collect leaves and press them, create a mini art quilt, or add any decorations that might accompany the season. I love to bring in branches, honeysuckle, and apples and scatter them around my home. Hang them from the chandelier, drape them over paintings, and string them over windows.

3. Make a list of all the fun things you can do that are unique to this season. Then incorporate as many of them into your life as possible. It doesn't take long to visit an apple orchard, or pick up pumpkins from the farmer's market.

4. Think of the smells and tastes of the season and incorporate them into your home or life however you can. Stop and indulge in a pumpkin spice latte on your way to work, make pumpkin bread or squash soup this fall. For winter I love cranberries, turkey, the smell of gingerbread, and hot cocoa. Ooh- and my new fave for winter- coconut cake and my old favorite, sugar cookies with peppermint frosting.

5. Make a little scrapbook for each season- or around a holiday. I think it's fun to work with all the seasonal supplies that are out there and by creating a memory book for each season I think you'll have both an added incentive to do steps 1-4 as well as create something that you can pull out next year before the season begins to help you anticipate the season to come.

If you can think of anything else, or have something that totally makes a season for you, I'd love to have you share it with us in the comments. :)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Functional Art

Type in "functional art" on etsy and you'll find everything from night lights, to wall switch plates, to clocks to teapots, and guitar straps. That's a huge gamut of items. You really have to wonder what functional art means. To me, functional art means the opposite of ornamental. It's something that can be used and yet still looks fabulous. It's a sculpture that tells you the time, or a handprinted set of post it notes, or that amazing set of dinnerware that was hand thrown. It could be something you wear to keep your hair up or it could be a tool or piece of furniture. I even look at my sofa pillows as functional art. They serve a purpose that's other than just looking pretty. But it's the looking pretty or interesting part that makes it art. Instead of just considering function, the person who created this piece thought about it's appearance as well.
By Jersey Maids
- Clock by MB Art Studios on Etsy 

I love functional art because I've found in my home that there's only so much space that I feel I can give to the ornamental. I don't have a large home and to have a ton of stuff that's only for display just doesn't fit our lifestyle. So I started to look at the other things I have on my counter, or my refrigerator, or my floor and shelving. What other things take up my space? What I found is that there are things I feel I need to keep out because they're necessary to living. My fruit bowl for instance. I keep fruit in it. It's something I feel I need to have on my counter. SO I pulled a piece of pottery off one of my shelves and put it to use. It seems really simplistic, I know, but think about how many other things you can do this with. Your coat rack, your floor coverings, your switchplates, your lighting, your jewelry displays, your mail organizer, your calendar area, your collection of photographs. There are things that you use that could be prettier, or more sculptural. Even if it's just a soap dish or a soap dispenser. Or a place to store your ribbons :).

By Terraworks

Here's where it gets fun though. Instead of heading off to the store to find a nicer ______ look on etsy or head to your thrift store instead. Is there something you could create that would make your space more inviting? Is there a handmade item you could find that would just be killer in that spot? How about an item you could repurpose or upcycle to fit your needs?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Showing the Hand of the Artist in Your Work

Yesterday I was reading some old stuff I'd written about seeing the hand of the artist in their work and it got me thinking again. What I mean by "the hand of the artist" is that when you look at something that was created; a painting, a collage, clothes, or clay, can you see the marks left by the artist as they made it. For instance, in a thick impasto oil painting you can usually see the big brushstrokes/ palette knife strokes that the artist made while creating the work. Van Gogh's work is a great example of this because he used the impasto technique to give motion and emotional depth to his paintings. This is something I think about because I think so often we try to hide our marks as artists. We smooth out the clay so no fingerprints or shaping marks are seen, we use mediums so that our acrylic paints self-level, or we use guides as we stitch, or stamps instead of drawing.

In my current work the hand of the artist can be seen most dramatically in my cutting. When I hand cut each shape I'm going to applique, or hand cut my fabric strips or panels, you can most definitely tell. There's no straight lines, at best I can go for "straight-ish". Usually the edges are frayed and a bit wavy because I'm using a scissor instead of a rotary cutter and no straight edge. It gets frustrating to cut like this sometimes but it also allows for that chance cut that completely makes the piece. In my book I have a stitched collage that's a good example. To create it I cut big ol' petals out of fabric one by one. None of them are the same, they're all about the same size, but they're obviously cut individually by hand. You'd see what I mean if you could contrast the perfectly cut petals you get from a Sizzix machine or some other contraption that cuts for you. I'm not against these machines- secretly I really want a Tim Holtz Vagabond cutter- but it is a design choice I don't think we're always conscious we're making. Perfect of imperfect. Seen or not seen- it's up to you. :)

With the new "handmade" movement the irregularity and imperfections that were once a detriment to someone's work and made their art seem unprofessional or even primitive is now recognized as a benefit. Instead of seeming "childish", the rough drawn line or cut now has a handmade character which is a direct contrast to machine made, and mass produced. Funnily enough, it's become a trend of it's own- the hand cut stamp "look" is now being marketed in clear acrylic stamp sets. The doodle design trend can now be purchased. I'm not against any of this- in fact I'm super glad that we are learning to appreciate the imperfect, individualistic, and squiggly. But I want you to think for a minute if you've learned to appreciate that about your own work yet or are you still striving for perfect? Do you rip out a seam if the stitches wander a bit? Do you get frustrated with eraser marks on your sketches? Do you embrace the process of creating or do you try to hide that process behind a perfect product?

Just thinking. :)

Monday, October 18, 2010

Connecting With Others Through Blogging

This morning I was thinking about this blog post while I was getting ready for the day. The "what should I write about?"quickly turned into "what is this blog about?" question. I guess I was feeling a bit introspective. I don't know about you but when I began this blog it was ostentatiously because someone had suggested it would be a good way to begin building a marketing platform. But really I'd been reading other blogs and thought it would be fun to share my creative side with others. I feel a little secluded sometimes, and don't always connect on the levels I'd like with those around me. The blog, I thought, would be a good way to get myself, my ideas, and my words out for others to find and maybe connect to.

Then I wondered about that word connect. How do we connect with others online? How do my readers connect with me? Do you connect with me? Without an answer I flipped it around and asked how do I connect with others?

I connect with a blog author in a few ways. The more of these things I feel like we have in common the more I'm interested in that author. So, if you're female, if you share my passions (art, crafting), if I feel like we have common goals or are on a similar journey (you have kids, or like kids, you're feeling your way into the art world, you're making your art or craft your business), or if you share my faith or values (you're a Christian, you're a committed mom or wife, you're committed to being authentic with those around you, AND you want to encourage others). It can be just one of those things or it can be more than one of these things that will draw me.

So to flip that back around- do I share all those things about myself with you? Can you read this blog and find out what my interests are, what I believe, what I love to do, and where my passions are? Do you have a sense of where I am in my journey? Do you feel like you can connect with me?

That sense of connecting is huge- but it's not the only thing that attracts me to a blog. I like a pretty design, I like reading posts if they change- if the author varies the emotions or voice in their writing. Intense is wonderful once in a while, but you've got to mix it up with some fun, some informative, or even just silly. Throw in some eye candy- I am an artist- and give me some good ideas. Best of all- keep me in mind. Don't just write about yourself, don't just write for yourself, as if you're the only one who's ever going to read what you write. A blog is not a diary or journal. It's a mini publication that you're sharing with the world- I think the best blogs are those who treat it as such. But it is a personal publication- I still want to hear your voice and know the person writing it. I think the best analogy I've heard is from Kelly Rae Roberts, to paraphrase, she said that whereas your website is your front porch where you invite people in, the blog is your kitchen table. Keeping that image in mind- I think of a blog as a place you gather with friends to share and laugh, and maybe do a little show and tell. It's a place for them to get to know you but for you to get to know them as well. It's a place to encourage each other, relax, connect and re-connect. I want to keep this all in mind because I do want this blog to be all of those things. I know too that, it won't ever be all things to all people, and you might not always be in the mood to read introspective when I choose to write it, or you might not always be interested in the tutorials I post, or thoughts I share. That's the beauty of blogs. New content is just another post away. :)

So now you know the sort of things I think about in the shower. :) I have to admit though, just so you don't think I can always string these many thoughts together in the morning, that what I'm usually thinking about is my to-do list for the day.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

My List of Fun Stuff to Make

Mega Doily by Ladies and Gentleman Studio
Thought I'd share my want to do list this morning. It's not my have to do list although there are some things that overlap. So these are strictly things I want to do- some I can or have to make time for now, others will have to wait. So what's on your list? I know we all have them. I'd love to know what's on yours. :)
Knit Cowl from Shop Ruche
My List
  • Learn how to Crochet with rope so I can make a really big doily rug like the one here.
  • Knit a really oversized cowl like the one I saw here.
  • Knit my son a scarf before it gets too cold and I have to run out and buy one out of necessity (which makes me feel horribly guilty).
  • Make one of those fabric flower bib necklaces that are everywhere on etsy and SO cute.
  • Learn how to etch metal so I can make really cool cuffs
  • Get this new dvd on resin jewelry so I can know all the secrets.
  • Make new place mats for my table (might have to settle for just cleaning the old one's really well though).
  • Read a really good book- that's not about crafting or art and fiction.
  • Finish Handmade for Profit by Barbara Brabec before it's due back at the library.
  • Carve Jack- O' Lanterns with Jasper (this we're going to do after school today)- Fun!.

Spiced Apple Bib Necklace by Sweet Apple

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Using the Idea of Free to Enrich Your Business

This morning I made up some cards to send, wrapped up a couple of presents to mail, and worked on my contributions for the swag bags my local etsy team is  handing out at their handmade market in November. I made up 45 of these bags for The Creative Connection Event I attended in September. For that event I chose to make up the word "create" for these bags I'm doing "snow" and "dream" (because they're easier than create and festive). The etsy team is handing them out to the first 25 to walk through the door on the 20th. I was able to make about 12 of them this morning. I thought I'd share a quick photo though because they're easy to do and I think a good example of using the idea of free.
Free is something I stumbled upon while listening to a podcast of Sister Diane of Craftypod discussing it with a guest. It's a fairly simple concept, has been used for ages, but what I liked was all the different ways they suggested it can be applied. For instance, while promoting my book, I've made these little freebies to hand out. Now I can hand them out like I did at the TCC- when someone asked about my card, I pulled one of these out and handed it to them. You have to bet it got their attention and I enjoyed giving them away. Or I could use them in the swag bags or I could carry them with me as I visit local fabric shops. I'll introduce myself, mention my book, and leave them the packet that include my card.

Additionally,  in the little packets I've been able to include postcards about the book that my publisher made up and sent me to hand out. These are another good example of how to use free. On the back they tell all the info about the book but also give tips for creating with wire. That's using free. It doesn't have to be a physical item you're giving away. It can be information. Or a how-to. It can be a free guide to something. Think about what you do, is there a way that you could use free to promote your work?  

Another example of using free effectively are the social communities that businesses are setting up. You don't have to pay to join up, you have access to a ton of free tutorials or patterns, as well as access to a group of people you probably have things in common with. By promoting the community they're building a stronger, more knowledgeable base who will hopefully then feel more confident exploring new medias which may or may not lead to sales. But it's a great way of adding value to your product and shape your business's image in a positive light.I think this also ties in directly to conversations on branding and the Marketing with Meaning book I've mentioned before.

You can use free to promote your next event as well. For instance, you might want to offer make and takes at your holiday bazaar. It gives your potential customers a better idea of what your medium is like to work with. Giving free classes is another example, or maybe you want to offer to speak as an artist to a high school art class. I'm sure they'd love to know about your experiences navigating what can be a pretty murky career path. Blogs and blog tutorials are another great way to offer free to  your potential customer base. 

So there you go- some ideas to think about. I'd love to have you comment if other examples come to mind. Or if you're using the idea of free already- I'd love know what you're doing and what experiences you've had with it. Yay- I'm excited to read your comments it's so fun when we all share!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Whoo-hooo! New Listings in My Etsy Shop!

So my Etsy shop has been taking the backseat to this blog, my family, my book, my life, my everything for quite a while now and I have to say it's been really getting to me. The shop just didn't look like I wanted it to, it's been seemingly forever since I've posted anything new, and my numbers were down because of it. But we can't focus on everything all at once right? So for the last few days I've concentrated on photographing, listing, and getting new things up and I'm super excited to say I have some really good stuff in the shop now. 
For instance, for the first time I've listed one of my wire angels. I've also listed a stitched canvas piece, some of my published art, another version of my favorite mini art quilt- Believe, and the Butterfly Lamp. It made a short appearance over a year ago but was pulled because it's in my book. One of the absolutely cutest designs in there too! I've also re listed my 2 Birds on a Branch jewelry display- this design is on the cover of my book. I have more art waiting in the wings as well, another angel, an embellished scribble heart with wings that's really just beautiful, some wire words, a wreath, and of course- my jewelry. SO I hope you're sitting there at the very edge of your seat and will now pop right over and check it all out. Thank you!!!

Friday, October 8, 2010

My Favorite Flannel Earrings- Tutorial

You're probably thinking I'm a bit obsessed right now with my old flannel shirt. I can hear it now, "first the cuff and now a set of earrings- what is that girl thinking?" I guess I'm thinking fall and cozy and there's really nothing I love to snuggle up in more than a soft flannel shirt. So after having done the cuff a week or so ago I had some scraps lying around and it hit me at 5 this morning to try earrings. Plus I have this thing for surprising combination's- for example the flannel fabric combined with pearls absolutely delights me. I can say definitely now these are "my favorite flannel" earrings. Enjoy!

"My Favorite Flannel" Earrings- Tutorial

Tools and Materials
2 small rectangles of fabric (to be folded over)
4 small shell buttons
4 Additional beads (I used 2 blue czech beads and 2 med. size pearls)
Embroidery floss
19-gauge craft wire
2 headpins (I used blackened color)
4 small jump rings (I used gunmetal color)
Round Nose pliers
Jewelry cutters
Needle Nose pliers (optional)

Create the stitched fabric element on earrings

Step One: Using your round nose pliers grip the end of your 19-gauge wire. Slowly rotate your wrist to create round loop. It should be flush against the rest of your wire. Then trim this wire about 2 1/2" - 3" from loop. This creates a eye pin that is a bit longer than they usually are. You might be able to buy them in this length however I think it's easier just to make one. :)

Step Two: Fold one piece of the flannel fabric in half to form a square and then insert your head pin in the center of the fabric through the fold.

Step Three: Thread your needle with about 10" piece of embroidery floss, knotted at end. Position your button in center of square, with a hole on either side of headpin and hold. Then insert your needle between the two fabric layers and come up through top piece through right hole on button.

Step Four: Then stitch down through left side of button and go through both layers of fabric. Slip 2nd button over needle and position in center of backside of fabric. Go up through other button hole and through right side button hole on front side of fabric. Stitch through buttons on both side one more time to secure and then, come up through bottom button hole only so your needle is between the two layers again. Angle your needle to the spot where you'd like to begin stitching around the edge of the square.

Step Five: Straight Stitch around the square when you get to a corner do a little back stitch so that it's a little more secure and then continue on to the next corner. When you've gone all the way around the flannel square then insert the needle back through one layer of fabric again so that you're once again between the layers. Tie knot and then trim end of floss.

Step Six: Using your needle nose pliers, grip the eye pin wire about a 1/4" from where it comes out from fabric square. Bend end of wire to create a 90 degree angle.

Step Seven: Then change your grip on the wire and pinch wire right above angle and then wrap the cut end of your wire around your round nose to create loop. Insert pliers through loop and hold as your use your other hand to wrap the excess wire around the neck of your loop to finish. Trim end of wire if necessary. Set this stitched fabric piece aside.

Create the bead dangle and finish earrings
Step Eight: Slip your two beads onto a headpin. Hold the beads and bend the wire at top at a 90 degree angle. Repeat procedure to make a wrapped loop as demonstrated in steps six and seven above.

Step Nine: Open two of your jump rings and holding one with your pliers so that opening is at top, slip your dangle and the bottom loop of your stitched piece onto jump ring. Close ring.Pick up second open jump ring and slip onto it one of your fish hook earring findings and the top loop of your stitched piece. Close ring and you've got one done!! Repeat steps above to create second earring for finished pair. Now slip them onto your ears, toss your hair back and check out the coolness. :)

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Throw Your Stone Thursdays- My Stone for this Week

So I have this friend, Shelley. She has all the good ideas and she's really pretty fabulous. She's one of those people who make you think you must be cooler than you think you are- just because she's your friend.

Two 1/2 years or so ago we met on etsy- I had just started my shop and I think she had just started hers a little previous. We started e-mailing back and forth and when we realized we shared the same faith that really cemented the friendship. She was probably the first person outside my family I told about my book proposal and she's the first person I usually ran to when I was upset or scared or frustrated by something during the whole proposal process and then after when I started to work on the book. She's been amazing and to get to know Shelley, because I hope you do, you should go here and read her etsy story. It all began with a stone.

So here she is introducing Throw your Stone Thursdays. The idea is that we share stories of stones we've thrown that were, as the boy David's was, thrown in faith. I read her post and thought what a great idea and then I panicked because I couldn't think of a stone right away.

Then she reminded me of my jewelry. I've been waiting to add that to my etsy shop for ages. At first I didn't think I was ready and then I wanted to keep it close until the book came out (since part of it is shown in there). That was my excuse anyways. Really I'm a little bit scared. I love it but what if others don't? I mean I know that some people won't- fabric jewelry isn't for everyone. But what if NOBODY wants it? But I love it and I want to put it out there to share and I do that through my etsy shop. Plus, I really feel as if the original inspiration was God-given. So this week I'll start to list it- that will be my stone for this week.

Now what stone have you thrown that you'd like to share with others? What leap of faith have you taken? Or what stone are you throwing now? What kind of scary thing have you committed to in faith? Shelley has Stone Throwing Thursdays set up as a link party. So just head over to her blog here and submit your link. I'd love to know what some of you are reaching for now. :)

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Bridal Badge Design- The Fun is in the Details!

I was a little naughty this morning. I spent all my time perusing my google reader and forgot I needed to get this post done. OOps!

Here's a quick photo of the badge I've been working on. It's a take off of the Artist Badge in my book. I'm seeing Mom-to-be badges, birthday girl badges, and cutie badges. I'm also seeing a fairly hefty price tag in this girls' future, unless I can speed up my hand beading skills- it took way longer than I'd like to make it. It probably didn't have to have the seed beads, or the pearl strings,or the vintage shell buttons, and all those bits of lace but they were the most fun to add. :)

Hopefully I'll be a flurry of activity this afternoon after Bible Class and I'll show you more tomorrow! :)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Show and Tell- Fabric Necklaces

I've been working on some ideas for different styles of jewelry for my etsy shop. It's one of those things I'd always planned on doing "some day" that never seemed to make it to the top of my to do list. By telling you all I was going to do it (in one of last week's blog posts) they've finally made it to the top. So here's a sneak peek at some of the designs I've come up with thus far. 

They are all, of course, fabric based, and these first one's don't have a ton of detail, so the variations in the fabric shine through. How I make the cords is a technique I demo in the book. I'll just say they're super easy and super fun- just a little bit time consuming. In the piece above I did do a loose braid on the right side of the necklace and added some fabric strips. It joins at the back of the neck with a chunky bit of chain. The second necklace is this one at right. For this I used three different fabrics and stitched them together to form one long cord. Then added some fabric strips again- 'cause I like them.... :) I also stitched on a fabric bow in the back so that when you wear your hair up you see that embellishment.

The last style I've got completed is this cute little button and ruffle number. I like the addition of the lace. The buttons are vintage shell buttons and the fabric is a super lovely batik. SO-these are the three pieces I have done so far. Now I'm pulling out the beads and metal danglies, and chain and am going to try incorporating those with the fabric cords, making them more mixed media. I think the contrast will be kind of cool. I'd also like to make some more fabric flowers and add them. Then it's on to the cuffs and badges. I'll let you know how it goes. :)