Saturday, October 25, 2008

Artful Blogging - The First Installment

I have been honored to be noticed and tagged by the following bloggers: Laura, Angie, and EVY Designs. I follow your blogs and enjoy your work very much! I have a confession to make...um...I am a "black hole" when it comes to forwards and tags. Forwards and tags fall into my email and never see the light of day again. I have been this way for as long as I have been on the internet--less one year...

Focus on Art

I recently picked up a printed magazine called, Artful Blogging. The main reason I selected it was for the gorgeous eye candy of other artists' work. This led me to think about why I pick up print magazines in general. The majority of my bead and jewelry inspiration come from...home decorating magazines. Weird fact: I do not care to read fashion magazines for inspiration.

So, I was thinking, what is it about home magazines that make me willing to part with my cash? If I can capture those key elements, then maybe I can improve my blog so it worthy of your readership. I started my blog as a "journal of jewelry lessons." Now that I am evolving jewelry from a hobby into a small business, I would like my blog to mature as well. I was reading Lori Greenberg's post on Write a Better Blog Post, which is a link to the in-depth article on Alyson's Art Marketing Action. The morsel I pulled out of Alyson's post: your blog content should Inspire, Entertain, Inform.

Seven Things that Inspire Me from Printed Magazines
  1. Luminous photography. My all-time favorite magazine is Victoria. It's all about beautiful things. It went out of print for while and now is back. This magazine inspires prettiness. The main reason I choose certain magazines is for the photography. The element of the photography that sings to my creative conciousness is the lighting. The photography from Victoria in the 1990's was masterful in its use of light. The only way I can describe it is that it "glows." How does this help me? This inspires me to improve my photography and learn more about lighting.

  2. Color inspiration from floral arrangements. The floral arrangements in Victoria contain every imaginable color combination. I will purchase any magazine if it has loads of floral arrangements. I love to cut out these photos and paste them into my personal journal to soothe my storm of thoughts and release the creative flow. The color mixes range from subtle to astounding. How does this help me? There are some color combinations that would never occur to me, but seeing them in print gives me courage to try the unexpected.

  3. Color and pattern inspiration from home decor catalogs and magazines. I enjoy Pottery Barn for its slight inclination toward rustic. The 2008 catalogs have been capturing the photographic luminosity that seizes my imagination. Restoration Hardware portrays timeless elegance. Cottage Living, House Beautiful, Coastal Living, and Martha Stewart Living are another set of magazines, that, while not on my regular reading list, are part of my set of "treats" I distract myself with during travel. How does this help me? Patterns, styles, complexity, and simplicity stretch my mind toward various design sensibilities and enable me to appreciate and understand differing aesthetics.

As I am transitioning into this new phase of my blog, I will be preparing and writing articles for your inspiration, entertainment, and information. Content worthy of these designations will take longer to prepare. The second installment (and next four magazine inspirations) of Artful Blogging will follow next Saturday.

Question to you: which printed magazines inspire you and why?

New This Week: Peacock Poppy Dots Necklace and Earrings


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Peacock Poppydot Bead Set - Turquoise & Green

One of my early designs, revisited with greater precision. The dots are not precisely placed, but rather randomly placed. However, the dots on the dots are more precisely placed. Much better than my original attempts where dot placement was more haphazard. The colors are a retro turquoise, nile green, and light sky blue. Four beads are opaque and the three center beads are encased in clear with three different base colors.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Esmeralda - the Necklace and Earrings

Another "poached" set from my bead store. I loved the Esmeralda set. Pictures never do glass beads justice because you don't catch the sparkle and twinkle you get in real life. The necklace is fairly demure so it can be worn as a daytime piece, but because it's glass and twinkly, it can be dressed up for the evening.

Available in my Etsy store.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

British Cowgirl Earrings

Seems like an oxymoron? Right? Here's the story, the glass beads are from Laura Sparling, a UK lampwork artist. The twisted wire jump rings are handmade by me, in little ol' Texas. So, it's a collaboration of taste...

Available in my Etsy store.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Cotton Candy Bubble Necklace

Happy sigh...it's really fun to start with nothing but wire and rods of glass and end up with this. There is nothing purchased in this necklace except these base materials. The chain is coiled figure-eight chain, there are double-coiled eyepins, connectors, and my own lampwork beads.



I knew these colors were tickling my memory, but I couldn't figure out why. Then I showed a co-worker and she said, "Cotton Candy Bubbles." This design that is so un-"me"--it's a pink, girly, frothy confection of colors. But, it's fun to push boundaries and see where you go. And despite the fact that it's not me, I love it! Mixed in with the Bubbly part of the necklace are my first beads using Sarah Hornik's Think Pink! tutorial. I'm really happy with the designs. I didn't quite achieve Laura's precision, but I'm pretty happy with the result.


I've done a test-drive to check it for comfort and it wears nicely. This is my first time attempting these techniques. I used a lot of Sharilyn Millers wire wrap and chain ideas from her book, Bead on a Wire. I had intentions of finishing this into a clustered charm bracelet. But, this was 2 torch sessions, 20 lampwork beads, and reduced access to the torch. Instead, I played with wirework to finish this off. I've developed some alternative methods for the wire wrapping and want to perfect those for the next "real" necklace.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Southwestern Sky Blue - the Necklace and Earrings


If you make your own lampwork and also make finished jewelry, have you ever been tempted to "poach" your bead store for your own jewelry? I have. I usually package up my finished bead sets and put them in a drawer for a while. So I don't see them everyday. Then, I'll go through them to remind myself of what I have and my brain starts going, "Ooh! That's pretty, that would look good as..." or "I could do xyz with this..."

This little set of Southwestern Sky Blue beads were begging to be made into jewelry. They were talking to me. "Make me into cute little western jewelry!" I've been trying to develop a western theme of jewelry (since I currently live in Texas) and have incorporated Southwest-y colors (baby blue, turquoise, and candy apple red) in the lampwork beads. The necklace is in a classic design with a western twist - handmade (by me!) twisted jump rings in copper and silver, finished off with leather cord. The earrings complement the set with morning glory lampwork design and more twisted jump rings.
Available in my Etsy store.