Thursday, August 27, 2009

Getting ready for September give away!

I have a cute pair of earrings, perfect for welcoming in September.

I chose fire polished Czech AB crystal roundels in the colors of summer getting ready to pack up and let fall move in.

I will draw for the winner on Tuesday Sept 1st.

To enter for the drawing, all you need to do is leave a comment here or on my Just A Tish Designs Facebook page and tell me, what is your favorite gemstone??

Good luck and Thanks for playin!!!

Importance of word choice a.k.a the pen is mightier

I had an ee-piff-any last nite while reading thru some blogs. Those little labels that we put at the bottom of our blogs and the choice of words we use for our titles ARE important.

I use my tags/labels but moreso as an after thought. Think way back when you are told to clean your room and you put away a few of your things because you are suppose to, but the rest you shove under the bed so you don't have to deal with it. Labeling my blog posts is a lot like that. I roll my eyes, sigh and put in my obliqitory tag words but don't put a lot of thought into the tags and who may be searching for them. The same goes for my blog titles. I like to find myself witty and humorous and my titles reflect that a lot. Well, boy howdy, not any more!

The ee-piff-any happened, as I said, as I was reading thru some blogs. I popped back over to my blog to get a hit off of my new addiciton. *blink* *blink* Oh! my new addiction you ask? Feedjit. Feedjit is a live traffic feed you can put on your site/blog and see where ppl are coming from when they pop by. They have a trial offer so you can try it before you buy it, and they also have a trimmed down version for free. I am using the free version.

One of the options for the widget is to see in real time who is popping by your site. Last nite I noticed it also shows what they used in their search to find your blog/site.

*cue the mormon tabernacle choir*

LABELS DO WORK!! It was amazing how many people where doing random word searches and ending up at my blog.

With that little lesson learned, you can bet now I will pay more attention to my blog title and to my labels.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Developing your own style

I have been reading about "developing your own style" on Home Jewelry Business Success Tips site.

It is something I have been struggling with for some time. There are pluses to both. Developing a style and being recognized is quite the compliment but then you deal with a feeling of being limited or how to you ensure longivity?

If you expierement with several techniques is it possible to master them all? Do you specialize in one as a primary but still have a smattering of your other trials?

Part of me is vain enuff that I, think how cool would it be if someone were to see a necklace and say - oh wow that has to be a Just A Tish!

I don't want to be trapped with one style, I want to do it all!! I want to be self sufficient. I want to make professional looking clasps, ear wires, and set cabs. I think I lean more toward silver smithing than anything. But at the same time, I love stringing. Combining the two would be the perfect world for me I think - for now :)

In doing it all - the cost is outrageous, for what I want to do any ways. I need a workspace separate from my house. I need a torch, and a bench, and a grinding wheel, and a professional tumbler.

My husband says pick one thing and do it well

I think about this and there is a lot of weight to what he sez. I was looking thru my inventory and I think I have taken his words to heart. My inventory leans way toward necklaces than anything else. I make necklaces more than anything, most likely because I like to wear necklaces more than anything. Earrings are a bit boring to me - they are fun and cute, but i feel limited. Braceltes, are small necklaces for your wrist, if you think about it. They need to be smaller and more functional, due to the amount of people now that have desk jobs and typing and bracelets do not seem to mix from what I have been told.

Necklaces on the other hand, well other than the weight factor, can be so much. They can be snug at your neck or dance around your navel. Over the years, I have noticed I tend to make multistrand, bulky necklaces. I have the best time expressing an image or thought in my head thru necklaces.

So I will say, I have found my style, and I at the moment have not limited my self.

My style is necklaces. What is yours?

Some of my latest work

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Falling a bit behind

I am falling behind - can't wait for the weekend so I can re organize and get ready for another go round -

I got a letter from my Muse 'Ms. Diva' this morning.

This might have gotten written after I tripped over the dog, stepped into an empty box, fell up against the wall and knocked the earring board display over onto the floor.

she may be onto something......

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Beading Daily Earring Exchange - Tutorial

Beading Daily is doing an earring swap! The earring swap is to celebrate Denise Peck's new book, 101 Wire Earrings.

Here's what ya do -
Make a pair of earrings, mail them in, include a SASE, and they will send you a pair of earrings created by another artist! By participating you also give permission for photos of your earrings to be used by Interweave, as they choose, in publications, on their site or in their shows, EXCITING! - details -

As I was making earrings this morning, I thought I would create a little tutorial on how these came about. This is my first time using a Wig-Jig. I wanted to play around with it, so come along with me on this maiden voyage.

Here is what I used -
8" 18 ga sterling wire
4" 24 ga sterling wire
2 8mm bicone crystals
6 4mm swarovski bicone crystals
2 6mm faceted quartz roundels
2 4mm bali sterling spacers
6 sterling head pins

Cut two pieces of 18 ga wire, 4" long

Place the 10mm round pegs two spaces apart.

Place one end of the wire at the 9 o'clock position on the bottom peg on the wig-jig board. Hold the end in place with one hand and take the wire up and around the top peg in a counter clockwise direction. Bring the wire around til it is pointing to the right.

Slide on your beads - spacer, 8mm crystal, spacer

Bring the end of the wire (that is pointing to the right) completely around the bottom peg in a clockwise direction till it is pointing back to the right again.

Push the end of the wire that is pointing to the left up so it completes the circle around the top peg and push the end of the wire pointing to the right down and around to complete the circle around the bottom peg.

Remove the wire from the Wig Jig board. Use your chain nosed pliers to create a wire wrap, making one or two wraps with the end of the wire near the spacer beads. Repeat with the other end.

Give the loops a couple light tap tap's with your hammer on your anvil to strengthen the loops.

Make some charms to liven them up.

Put bicones on a head pin. Grip the wire with the tips of your round nosed pliers. Bend the head pin to a right angle at the top of the bead.

Rotate the pliers a quarter turn up, counter clockwise, and bring the wire around the top tine of the pliers.

Rotate the pliers a quarter turn clock wise, and take the wire around the bottom of the tine til it is pointing away from you. Snip the tail close to the bottom of your loop as to keep the edges flush.

Gently pry the end away from the base of the loop and attach it to the form you just created on the Wig-Jig.

Push the end closed and your charm is secure. Make two more charms for this form.

Cut a 2" piece of wire. On one end create a wire wrapped loop. Slide on the facted quartz.

Start your wire wrap by creating the inital bend around your pliers. Before committing the wire wrap, slide the wire form (oppisite end from the crystal charms) on the end of the wire, resting it in the bend.

Hold the bend of the wire and the form with the tips of your chain nosed pliers and finish the wrap working down toward the quartz bead.

Attach your earring wires to the other end of your wire wrapped loops and there you have it!

Wig-Jig wire formed earrings!!

10 bonus points to who can tell me what is 'not quite right' with these images.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Awakening Change

I am so excited about this. I took several pieces over to the dress rehearsal last nite, and they loved them!! They want more!!

I will be making pieces for 8 mebbe 9 runway models, and I am stoked!

Here is a few of the ones they picked -

And a little bit about Awakening Change -

AwakeningCHANGE is a local non-profit performance group, since March 24th, 2009. Our mission is to provide education as a means to conquer the divides that isolate individuals and communities from each other by establishing common ground and encouraging compassion for all people. We look to inspire respect for the earth and the inhabitants we share our planet with. Our messages of awareness, responsibility and change for greater humanity are driven by raw emotion and are communicated through performance, art, media and conversation.

“Through performance art, we want to enable the audience to look within their hearts and minds, to really get involved with what they could do to broaden their understandings of love and humanity, as well as how they can help others find hope and commonality," says Kegan Rushing, Director and Founder of AwakeningCHANGE.

We seek strength through unity, love through community, and justice through humanity. More than that, we want the audience to find their voice and lend it to those who haven't. We are meant to inspire each other, empower each other, and learn from one another.

presents Runway: Revolution, at Steel Blue on Friday, August 28th, similar to last year’s very popular Gender Blur. This year we will be highlighting pioneers of change throughout history, such as Mandy Carter and Mangus Hirshfield. Of course, with our gender bending twists! Admission is based on a sliding scale $7-$10.

In addition to the Runway, our performances include incredible dance, amazing costumes, original set design, dynamic new music, poetic spoken word, creative art, innovative photography, and more - produced by a community of friends and family, tackling issues of racism, sexism, violence, environmentalism, homophobia, transphobia, mental illness, forgotten historical struggles, hope and strength.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Take'n a left turn for the day

I know I had said I was going to post up the guidelines for the Artist Showcase today, but I need to push it back a bit so there isn't too much going on at once. I'll post it up soon, after people have had a chance to spread the word and marinate on the Artist Exchange.

I wrote my artist statement today. *grumble* I just wasn't in the right frame of mind to do so. I can talk about my art, my pieces, my likes, dislikes and all those wonderful little tangible things; but when it comes to writing about me -

*insert crickets*

I know they are important, especially for the direction I want to go so I won't stop here, I will expand on it - a little. I have a bio and I think a lot of my information can be found there, so I need to keep it simple and to the point, like a cover letter.

This is as far as I got -

My art is a exploration of shapes, sounds and textures from the world around me. It is fun and challenging to take wire, beads and crystals and form it into the vision in my head.

I thrive daily on chaos and random schedules. I am not tuned into symmetry, and my work often reflects this. As I work on a piece, my thought patterns often change and I have to follow those left and right turns off the beaten path of a planned process and see where the road takes me.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Artist Exchange Official Participation Rules

Welcome to the Artist Exchange!

The purpose of the Artist Exchange is to cross-promote other artists by trading your art with another artist, preferably outside of your craft or style.

We all see the badges, "Buy local", "Buy hand made", this is one avenue to make it happen. Artist Exchange's concept is to be a community support group of artists that encourage and cross promote other artists.

But what is the point of the Artist Exchange? Am glad you asked. The whole point of this exchange is to review, blog, and cross promote another artist. This is an oppurtunity for you to trade with another artist and have a hand made product that you may never have received or bought before. You blogging about your 'gift' is a way to showcase what you have just received. Then review it, and point others to this artists site in hopes of helping to raise awareness of a new artist and the ultimate goal, to create sales. The traffic that stops by your blog are the people who love your work. Introduce your regulars to someone else. This may just be the item that they are looking for as well.

How do I participate in the Artist Exchange? It's simple. First you must be able to comply to the simple guidelines listed below. If these guidelines are reasonable, leave a comment on this blog, saying that you want to participate and what your craft is. Sept 1st., everyone will be notified who their partner is for this session, and I will leave it up to you to exchange addresses and other information. Do your best, your absolute best, to have your piece mailed to your partner in two weeks time. After you receive your new item, make sure to inform your partner that you have blogged about their piece so they can stop by and read and comment for themselves. Review your product in a timely matter. All blogs should be posted by Sept 21st.

The Guidelines:

1. You must blog. Blogging is required as a way to 'promote' the other artist

2. You must have a store. You can't have people promote your wares if there is no way for them to be bought. Etsy, ArtFire are considered a store if you do not have your own domain.

3. If you commit, then commit.

4. Do your best work. Remember you are being promoted. It is free advertising. Show off your stuff.

5. Items priced between $5 and $10 dollars - your cost, not your retail cost. (This will vary from session to session)

6. Be honest and supportive

Get ready for a lot of fun. I can't wait! Spread the word, you can repost this blog, tweet bout it, or link back to it from your facebook page.

Let's get a big group!

See you on Sept 1st!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Under The Chevron Moon

It finally came to me.

Under the Chevron Moon - Goodnight Ronnie

Three strands: blackstone chips and pearls; black designer packet; channel japser, onyx, marble, picasso japser, sterling

I am still not happy with it, and have two other ideas in my head. I may just stop, order two more of the big chevron beads and make those as well.

Pebbles and Pearls - obsidian, pearls, crystals on sterling

Black agate earrings

Friday, August 14, 2009

Friday quickie

Most of this week I have been working on a necklace using that fabulous Glass Chevron, 30mm Round Bead from Rings & Things for a focal.

I have been eluded - this necklace taunts me so. Three times I have tried to make what is in my head and still it lays in pieces parts. This morning, once again I took it apart and tried to make something come of it. I got three beads strung, *sigh* pushed up from my table and got another cup of coffee.

It just isn't happening.

I think I know why. I have had my "Purpose Pendants" on my mind all week as well. So many different designs are rolling thru my head, it is all I want to do. I made two new ones to try and quell this new obsession so I could start on my necklace, but to no avail.

Here are the two new pendants.

Coral, aventurine, apatite and citrine all for creativity

Balance -
Iolite and agate for balance.
The double swirl is also the celtic symbol for balance.

My shutter stuck on the last shot, and this is what it took. I think it is a fun shot


Don't forget to check back on Monday for more updates on the Artist Exchange!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Artist showcase

Along with the Artist exchange I also have another idea brewing. It is nothing new - just putting a different twist on it.

If you have ever heard of Everyday Matters, this idea is based on that. Everyday Matters is a challenge to do something creative everyday. The group focus is on drawing and creating illustrated journals. 365 topics are presented and you draw the topic and then post a link in their group and share it with everyone.

Why can't beaders do this?!?!

What I want to do is challenge you to create one item a week. (making beaded items everyday can get overwhelming) I will have 52 themes/topics presented, along with pictures to help encourage your imagination. I will have a flickr/photobucket, some kind of account set up for you to post to with a brief description of your piece and how you gathered your inspiration.

Once a week I will go thru them and feature on my blog several of the pieces and give one artist a 'spotlight'.

There will be more I am sure, this is just the initial brain dump - I would love to set up something where the designer agrees that if the item created in the challenge sells, that money is donated to a charity, but deciding on a charity, or a group of charities to choose from is difficult. Or judging for prizes - you see where I am going.

I will have a rough draft up on Tues next and start spreading the word then.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Artist Exchange - grassroots

Last nite I was talking to Dawno and shared and idea I have with her. She seemed to think it was a good one, so I am now trying to find my words and pass it along to you.

The idea is an Artist Exchange.

This is what I would like to see happen. I want a community support group of artists that encourage and cross promote other artists. For example, when I make a sale, I include a thank you card with the order. The card is made by a local artist, SooBoo. She is helping me create that personal touch with her cards, that I would not have had on my own - cross promotion. A cross promotion outside of your craft. We all see the badges, buy local, buy hand made, this is one avenue to make it happen.

There are some stipulations to this exchange - you have to have a blog, you have to have a store. The whole point of this exchange is to review a product that you have received in exchange for one of your products. You blogging about your 'gift' is a way to showcase what you have just received. Then review it, and point others to this artists site in the hopes of helping to raise awareness of a new artist and the ultimate goal, to create sales.

There will have to be a dollar amount minimum and maximum set as well. This is not your retail price but your initial building cost for the item. It wouldn't be fair to exchange your $30 piece for someones $3. So I may set up categories that you can choose to participate in - $10 and under, $10 - $20, and $20 - $30, or I may just set a concrete dollar amount and move on from there.

I am hoping we can do this 4 times a year, and set up a theme for each exchange.

Leave me a comment if you want to participate, talk about it, tweet about it. The more that participate, the more fun we will have.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

My Matisse - Revisited Redux

One of last months blog posts - My Matisse - was the ArtBeads Blogger group entry. The blogger group was given a choice of hand painted pendants. Artist Masterpiece Pendants. A glorious selection of hand painted pendants by Russian artisan reflecting such greats as Mucha, Picasso and yes, Matisse.

Browsing this selection was a tough one. They are all beautiful, no, stunning. To know the work that goes into these mini masterpieces and then to see the quality, is breathtaking.

Saying that, when I received my pendant, I wanted to do it justice as well. I wanted to include my blue lady in a necklace that was as elegant and stunning as her.

Here is a list of the components to refresh your memory -

30x40mm Rectangle Black Onyx Matisse - Blue Nude - ArtBeads
White jade roundells - Sedona Stones
Faceted black crystal roundells - Firemountain Gems
Lapis roundells - O'Mega Gems
6mm blackstone - Firemountain Gems
Silver plated Oval Link Chain - ArtBeads
Silver plated 3 Strand + 3 Link Chain - ArtBeads

And here is the original:

I was thrilled with it..........for a while. I admit, I am fickle. I wore it once and hung it up. As much as I liked it, it just wasn't me. I don't know what I was thinking. I don't know why I didn't make it for me, for how I feel, make it to reflect my interpretation of the beautiful blue lady.

I needed to make it for me, because this is a piece I am planning on keeping. This isn't something I had planned on selling. Granted the cost of the pendant was given to me, it wasn't a cost that I would have to recoup, but in the same breath, if I did sell it, and got an order for another one, I more than likely would not make my money back on it. It isn't that the pendant is too much - it is beautifully hand painted and the quality is exquisite, I just feel it is something that I would work with more as a gift than as something for my inventory.

This morning I did just that - I reconstructed the piece for me. I kept the original layer of jade and lapis, and removed the rest. I made a strand of seed beads and blackstone, and a strand of lapis chips, citrine and snowflake obsidian, braided them all, put the clasp in the front and added the Matisse.

Here is the redux, and she is a keeper

*whew* That is so much more comfortable!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Fashion show and 'Purpose Pendants'

The last couple of weeks I have been focusing on getting inventory up for the show I did on Saturday. Now that it is done, I start work on making pieces for a fashion show at the end of the month. I want the pieces to be a great accessory, but also make a statement. I began to sort through my beads and categorize them out into groups so I can begin building.

I found this and squealed, how can I go wrong with this!! I am really excited about this one in particular. Last month I placed an order to Rings & Things to get components for a special order. While I was shopping for the pieces parts I found this Chevron Glass Bead, 30mm Round. It makes my heart happy. It was on closeout, I couldn't let it go and take a chance of it not being here when I 'got around to shopping for myself'. So I snagged it up. and boy howdy am I pleased!

I couldn't say no. I love it so!!!

Here is a better picture to give you an idea of the size of this baby - Look how beautiful!!!

I paired it up with this great bead assortment, since I had a blast working with the bead assortment that was sent as part of the blogger challenge. I have an idea in my head, off center, and multi stranded of course :) I should have it ready to go in a couple of days.

I have started making what I call "Purpose Pendants" The pendants are themed by the quality of the stones. I didn't want to call them talismans because that word carries so much baggage. I wanted to make a line of pendants that served a purpose. When you wear them you are aware of the theme intended for that pendant, and hopefully that pendant will make you aware of those qualities and help you through your day.

Peace in the Wend
Laboradorite - peace
Turquoise - peace
Citrine - peace
Moonstone - peace

Love in Abundance
Amethyst- eases money issues and leads to abundance
Carnelian - good luck
Pearl - faith
Garnet - love
Citrine - success

Off to put more stuff up on the site.

Till tomorrow kids!