Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The End of the Tunnel...I see it!

Hey, Everybody! I know I've been MIA lately, but it's just been too much to do prep for CHA and then blog...I've had blog guilt! I'm going to try and get some sneak peeks out of some of the jewelry I've been making for Amate and Ranger.

On the knee front, I had the MRI of my right knee. It's been a few years since I had the left one done, and for the most part, I've been lucky in not having to have many tests, etc over my 45 years. The funny thing is that you're not supposed to move your leg. So, what is it that you want to do? Move your leg! I have to say I was a good girl and that darn knee did not move a bit...but not for my brain wanting to make it move just to f&*$ with me. All I think of is that I'm listening to a science fiction movie from the 50's with all the weird sounds. Needless to say, I'll be seeing the doctor Thursday and will get the results. I think I learned from my mistakes of the past by seeing the doctor right away and not letting it go.
Here's one of the necklaces that I put together. I go hot and cold with bead crochet, but I do love when it's finished! I learned from my friends in MA and when I see what they've created I always want to go back and crochet, crochet, crochet! The pendant is a stamped image from Hero Arts, one of my favorites. The background is Wrinkle Free and "bandanna-ed". It was sealed with Glossy Accents(tm)! I made the crocheted necklace so long it was no problem to double it, but then I needed a larger bale. Thus, I twisted the wire and made the double loops and then the smaller one so the pendant would hang properly. I can't wait to bring it to the show!
One of the things that I always want to "perfect" but have not yet done is to make an invisible join with bead crochet. When I have patience, I'll do it for a bracelet, but when it comes to these necklaces, a Bali-Style magnetic closure works great!
I've got more necklaces finished that I'll try and get photographed, tweaked and blogged!
I also wanted to thank everyone for their supportive thoughts...I so appreciate it.
Have a great evening!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Left Knee, Right Knee, Whi-knee!?

Hello everyone in Bloggy Land! Sorry I've been under the radar of late. It's been so crazy, as you know I've been going on about. For those that don't know me I'm not the skinniest of Minnies in the world and from my running and running around I ended up with a torn medial meniscus to my left knee a few years ago. I'd never really had any surgery before and have not had kids, so when it comes to pain, I'm not the best in dealing with it. Needless to say, did I feel pain in 2006 when I was at a CKU and tore it when I was getting up to get someone some ribbon (real rigorous task!). Subsequently arthroscopic surgery in October 2006, with wonderful results.

Thus, after the insanity of last week, when my RIGHT knee started up, I didn't take any chances. I kept it elevated and iced for a few days...boy did that make the difference. Also had to deal with insurance and finding in-network doctors v. out-of-network doctors. Don't get me started on that. You really have to be of a certain patience and mentality (and possible sainthood) to try to decipher all of the insurance gobbledy-gook. In the end, I saw a very good orthopedist, have an MRI on Tuesday and follow up appointment on Thursday. In the interim, I still have lots to do, but in better moderation, right? Famous last words.

I figured I'd give everyone at least one sneak peek at a card that I made. It's not the most squared off photo in the world, but you get the picture. I love this "Ornate Circle" stamp from B Line Designs. Bev and Bob Seymour are just the nicest couple and as I've said before, make the most beautiful stamps. I hear they're going to have a bunch of new ones out at the CHA Show. Yeeha! I made some masks and used the various colors of Archival to create the look of a bunch of circles! The key to creating a mask is to cut the image just a touch smaller than the image is. By cutting outside of the border of an image and trying to mask it, a "halo" will still be there. By undercutting just a small amount, when you mask it, it will truly look like these were dropped into a pile. Years ago I created a sample that I wish I still had. I took a large Kodachrome slide image with various different images inside of them and masked them for a card. I was going crazy with the mask in a mask, but when it was done, it was worth it! I can't remember off the top of my head who the quote belongs to, but isn't it a great one!?

Well, I've got to finish up a bunch of photography, and tomorrow is Brian's Birthday-Happy Birthday, Brian! I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!


Sunday, January 20, 2008

Stepford Artist

Good evening and oh my goodness, tomorrow's Monday already? Yikes! I've been on auto-art drive the past week. Working all weekend on samples and prepping. Last week, Tim and I worked no less than 3-16 hour days; every other day, at least 10-12!Needless to say, I'm a little crabby. And, my washing machine's been on the fritz...we'll be on week 2 as of tomorrow, but I've been promised that the part is in and will be repaired on Tuesday...one day of the laundromat is enough for me, thank you very much (knowing that I have a washer and dryer that's just over a year old...frustrating!).

This will be Crunch Week 2, but there will be light at the end of the tunnel-the blank, dead look of the woman in the pic? That's me at the moment, but there's a glint of hope! All of you that are dealing with the CHA crush, I feel your pain and I know you mine. I have to say that I do have a knack for creating under pressure. If three cards were put in front of someone, they probably wouldn't know they were all from me, I can "jump style" when needed.

Since my life has been so focused on creating samples and prep for the show, enjoy the beadbloggers' linkety links!
  • About.com Jewelry Making Tammy talks about an article she recently read which deals with various jewelry-related ethical issues such as free trade. Even though many of us are "small time" designers, that doesn't mean we can't at least listen to this on-going conversation which is a hot button issue in the jewelry industry right now.
  • Art Bead Scene The Art Bead Scene editors are sharing a little Valentine's love early, with a post full of love related eye candy.
  • Jewelry & Beading Amazing fiber and bead artist Rebecca Brown is profiled on Jewelry & Beading this week.
  • Katie's Beading Blog The February Triple Take from Simply Beads is online now. Visit Katie's blog for pix and links to this month's fun, hearty projects!
  • Naughty Secretary Club This week’s link is not about jewelry, but instead about supporting fellow crafter Bernie Berlin in her quest to expand her animal shelter A Place to Bark. Bernie saved over 500 cats and dogs last year and with our help can save even more!
  • Pearlesq. Check out more of Robin's jewelry and the craziness of CHA preparation!
  • Savvy Crafter Oooo, Baby it's coooold in Candie's apartment!!! In honor of having no heat, she whips up some Sweet Snowflake earrings to go along with the chill in the air. Brrrrrrr!!!
  • Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done! Eni Oken (www.enioken.com) is a famous wire working star. I just had to try my hand at her fascinating ring. She was really kind and encouraging to me by email, and enthusiastic, too! That is what I love in a teacher! It makes you WANT to learn from that person!
  • The Impatient Blogger So you sold a project or a book, now what? Summon your inner pirate with Margot Potter as she tells you how to negotiate a fair deal. Arrr...

Enjoy the week! Robin

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Dance, Monkey, Dance!

Just a short email-It's now Wednesday, 12:01 a.m. Tim and I are plodding along, getting sample boards ready, instructions, more samples, phone calls, more samples. This time of year is the most stressful. Thank goodness for Tim being here this year-through all of the work and everything that has to get done, we laugh, figure things out, bust each other's chops, listen to music, and lots more laughing. That's what brings me through this time!
As I've said before, I love quotes. I looked up some "work" quotes, and I liked this one:
Work while you have the light. You are responsible for the talent that has been entrusted to you. ~Henri Frederic Amiel

Here's some more of my jewelry that I made lately-Enjoy!


Sunday, January 13, 2008

Beadalicious Links and Show n' Tell

Hello, Everyone! I've been sampling and necklacing and inking my heart out this weekend! With CHA weeks away, there is not a lot of down time to relax! I'm not used to blinging up necklaces like my buddy Miss Margot, but I did okay! Thanks to some awesome new things that I got to play with from Beadalon, I actually did some things using some of my stash that I've had "in inventory" for a while.

This is a pendant from Amate International. Armondo and his wife Erika are such great people. Their website is down right now, but you can contact him here. I created a background with Wrinkle Free Distress using a page from an old book. I then added some of Tim's Distressables, then filled with Glossy Accents(tm)!

The chain looks like it is heavy, but it's light as a feather, from Beadalon. I decorated the chain with adding decorative touches with CZ Gem Dropz, Swarovski(r) crystals and wonderful beads from Melanie at Earthenwood Studio...I'm dying to play with more of them, but one thing at a time! What is so great is that it's easy to decorate these chains, even if you don't have a lot of jewelrymaking experience!
Here's another one where I used the flying bird charms from B'Sues Boutique on the chain and embedded in another Amate Pendant. I just love how this will look when worn with a black shirt (or any color shirt for that matter!) with the birds flying all around.
There's a lot more that I've made, but I'm holding on as we get closer to CHA.

Well, I'm headed back to prep, prep and more prep! Hope you enjoyed the necklaces, and enjoy the beady links! Have a great week!

About.com Jewelry Making Do you like two tone metal jewelry? Are you a metal clay jewelry maker? Tammy tells us about a new product to help you mix up metals using metal clay techniques.
Art Bead Scene We are feeling groovy here at Art Bead Scene, as we celebrate our own Tari Sasser's recent press with her tie dyed beads. What trippy thing would *you* make with them?
Jewelry & Beading Cyndi has a free book giveaway going on! You can enter to win a copy of "Crazy About Jewelry" simply by leaving a comment on this post! What could be easier?
Naughty Secretary Club Thinking of selling your jewelry for a living? Jen has some tips on free promotion and suggested reading to get you started.
PearlEsq. Check out the latest adventure of a rubber stamp that's made its way to Australia!
Savvy Crafter Finding the findings is always an interesting experience in Candie's part of the world. This week she shares a couple of pictures from a trip to Hong Kong.
Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done! Beautiful (...possibly even...sexy?) champagne coin pearl chandeliers by Jean!
The Impatient Blogger Need a dose of inspiration? Check out this video blog post by Margot Potter as she traverses a whole new dimension of bloggy goodness!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Journey of a Strange Stamp

Happy Wednesday! Hump Day as some would say, which is a perfect segue to my topic. Remember the talented Rachel Greig and the hunky guy in the Speedo stamp that she won? Well, here's the results of this "special" stamp's next stop, and they are insane! Sarah Schwerin of Australia has paid homage to "Down Under" as well as Mr. Holtz himself. I don't think she'll mind my sharing some of her results...check out the rest! They are a riot. Now Mr. DS, as he is called, is on his way to his next temporary home! I'll keep you posted.

Of course now Rachel's asking me whose image it is...I usually remember where the many, many, many (think of a large number, and that's probably close to the number I've owned over the past 14 years) stamps came from, but this was an unmounted stamp (Oh, no, the puns that I can think of...hump day, mounted v. unmounted...hehehe!). This one has got me flummoxed. It's pretty crazy, because as some scrappers can name a paper company by pattern, which I cannot do, I can usually identify a stamp by the type of wood used, or just by the art...now that's just sick!

Things are slowly but surely coming together for CHA...Phew! I'm also starting to work on classes. As a heads up, I'll see if I can add some type of a calendar on the blog, but in the interim, I know I'll be teaching the third of the triumvirate of classes at Paper-Potamus in February, right after CHA (I'll have samples finished this weekend!) as well as my first of classes at Tinsel Trading in NYC...check 'em out!

Enjoy the rest of your Hump Day and the Adventures of Mr. DS!

Inky Hugs, Robin

Monday, January 7, 2008

Appreciating the Little Things, Purry Style

In my effort to be on the "positive" this year, I thought from time to time I'd detour from artsy things. Take it or leave it...but hopefully just think about it. Is there something that happens in your everyday, many times mundane hours and minutes of your day that you can sit back for a moment, smile about, and appreciate? If this thing wasn't part of your daily routine, would you miss it?

For me it's the silly little routine that occurs, of all times, in my shower routine every morning. I have a sliding shower door, with "frosted" type glass, so you can see shapes through it (god forbid you could see me-ugh!). At some point during my shower, a large shadow appears on my sink vanity. It's Oliver. At one time, the cutest little stripey tiger tabby, now a fat ass (13 lbs), but still my sweet and wonderfully marked kitty boy of 4 years. He sits on the counter, waiting for me to get out of the shower.
As soon as I open the door and grab a towel, he looks all around at the steam emanating from behind the shower and then begins to chatter endlessly at or to me (or maybe the steam?). I answer him, saying things like "Really?", "No way!", etc. He then, of course because I'm wet and vulnerable, wants me to pet him...a perfect fur magnet target I am...usually once I'm all dried off, I will carefully comb him (love that Furminator comb!) and he sometimes will then stop the chatter, either slump into the sink for a moment, allowing me to finish, but usually, comes the second part of the routine...
As I turn to fold the towel back into the rack, he then jumps down and lays out on the bath/tub mat, belly up. I will either crazily scratch his belly or momentarily roll him up into the mat until he has had enough and runs out. I can then finish up my morning rituals of getting ready, as he knows when I come out of my bedroom again, it will be to the kitchen to feed him and his sister, Minnie.

It is a funny thing that I think I had taken for granted, but now realize that he has made this "our" time of the day for commiserating. It does make me laugh and is a good start of the day. Thus, when I leave the house for the office, it's usually with a smile on my face. Not a bad thing at all...! Thanks, Oliver!
If you have something to share-small things in your everyday that make you smile, I'd love to hear it!

Purry Hugs,

Friday, January 4, 2008

A Flakey, Linky Friday

Happy Friday! What a week-only three days long, but it felt like 8. I'm looking forward to another weekend of creating. There's a few things that I keep wanting to share, but I forget until after I've posted...It's like always forgetting to add on the attachment that you referenced in an email...you know what I mean!?

Margot and our buddy Inky (Rebecca Peck) has the front web page projects with Adirondack(r) Color Wash-these are even more awesome in person. She has such a great eye for color and altered art...go Inky!

You'll also notice a link to a cool website that's apparently been around for a while, but I just found. It's quite addicting! There's another link from someone that only goes by "Mister X" that has made this into a science. For the papercrafter, it's actually a kind of neat exercise in making your brain think in a certain way to make specific "cuts" to get a special flake. or just zip the mouse around like crazy, and you may surprise yourself. Give it a try. If you want to see any of my "attempts", just do a search and enter "RDB" for the name and "Neptune" for the location.

I hope everyone's keeping warm and has a crafty, creative weekend. Check out these pics of real snowflakes as well as the beady links of last week and this week! My bad-the new year got away from me!
  • About.com Jewelry Making New Year's Eve means it's time to put your big bling pieces on, and Tammy has lots of ideas to make you super sparklie.
  • About.com Jewelry Making Along with a blog, Tammy's jewelry making web site has a pretty active forum. She gives you a peek inside at a few hot topics.
  • Art Bead Scene The crew is on a short holiday break, but we hope you will come by the blog to celebrate with our special week's worth of the Best of Art Bead Scene posts from this past year.
  • Art Bead Scene It's a new year, a new month, and thus a new challenge! Bundle up and break out your art beads for January's Ice Storm theme.
  • Jewelry & Beading One of Cyndi's designs was chosen for a new book on the Art of Jewelry ~ Wood. Come and see her necklace, called "Measure Twice, Cut Once"!
  • Jewelry & Beading Artist Irma Peredne is profiled on Jewelry & Beading this week. Irma has the most wonderful story about the origin of her business name, The Amber Box!
  • Katie's Beading Blog Katie's getting ready for the next filming of Beads, Baubles and Jewels. This week, she shares a cool necklace idea using a chain bail and tassel.
  • Katie's Beading Blog Katie's Dreams of Topaz necklace is featured in Beadalon's new ad campaign. Get the scoop and links to the instructions on Katie's blog this week.
  • PearlEsq. Check out Robin's collaged and soldered Birdies! A fun way to start off the New Year!
  • Savvy Crafter No clue what jewelry you’re wearing to the big New Year’s Eve bash? Hop on over to Candie’s blog for an easy and festive fix!
  • Snap out of it , Jean! There's beading to be done! Jean just had to repost these sweet necklaces that she made for the childrens' teachers as holiday gifts! They are just too yummy looking snuggling up against the luxurious rose velvet pouches she packaged them in. Happy Holidays to the VIPs in our lives!
  • Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done! Jean is excited to participate in the Art Bead Scene competition, as always!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

A little Birdie Told Me...

Happy Wednesday! Thanks to everyone for the lovely thoughts for a Happy New Year. Before I started getting sniffly, I was on quite a roll with creating some collages and soldering some fun things. Some I can't share because they're for CHA, but I had to share some. With my name being that of a bird, I think that I have enough of an excuse to use some cute bird images. I used some cute vintage images from Crafty Secrets and these cool birdies from Cornish Heritage Farms. I love these! I've been collecting a few neat old books and I finally got the courage to rip out the pages...one is a phonetic spelling book, another one on how to speak Italian. I did the Wrinkle Free Distress Technique, stamped with Archival(tm) Ink, and cut out. I then layered stamped images onto watercolor paper that was also "wrinkle free'd". Of course I used Memory Glass(tm) and soldered. The bird charms were from B'sue Boutique...I'm definitely going to make more. I hope you enjoy!