Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 Wrap Up

Wow. Just wow.
2012 has been an amazing year that I can't believe it's already over.  I still have so much to do! 

I have had a number of things happen in my art career:

Arts Council of Greater Lansing 2012 Individual Artist's Grant

"Bamboozled" Accepted into International Juried Show "Small Expressions 2012"
Long Beach Museum of Art, CA (and my trip to my very first Convergence)

Three pieces exhibited at the Michigan League of Handweavers Biennial Exhibit and awarded two honorable mentions

I gave my first Program with the Needlework and Textile Guild of Michigan followed by a day and a half workshop.  Although I was a little nervous, it went smoothly, and I not only enjoyed myself, but I received so much positive feedback.

Michigan League of Handweavers Workshop Grant and the Chris Clark Fellowship Grant for the Tapestry Workshop I took with Rebecca Mezoff

Artist's Billboard (opportunity via the Arts Council Individual Artist's Grant)

I am officially represented by 2 galleries and 2013 I am adding a third:
Grove Gallery (jewelry and fiber art)
Lansing Art Gallery (jewelry)
coming for summer 2013: Synchronicity (jewelry)

And I have had a successful year of new projects and Commissions:

I made my first runway piece (garment instead of jewelry) for Fiber Feast with the Ann Arbor Fiber Arts Guild

I feel that I had my first successful #eTextiles project design with the Pac Man Bangle (and am hoping to make a new #eTextiles bangle in 2013)

My first beaded sculpture piece is well on it's way: "Uprooted I" (and I just put a coat of walnut oil on the root-base last night)

"She can't see the Forest through the Trees" is probably more than 2/3rds finished (a leaf update will be coming soon, I have been sewing them together and it's turning out wonderfully)

And, as usual, I took the time to make an inspired Halloween Costume, including teaching myself some millinery, getting back to dying full-force, and reminding myself that conductive thread and LED's can be simple.

Looking through my blog this year, I have 21 more posts than 2011.  And I'm finally feeling that this year has been wildly successful after listing it out.  I have no real New Years resolutions beyond trying to be more organized and going bigger and better with my work. 

2011 was a lot about productivity (I recorded approximately how many pieces of jewelry I could make, per week and the total of those items per week), 2012 was all about moving my work from jewelry to experimenting with larger pieces to exhibit, 2013 will probably continue on the lines of my desire to exhibit more.  I will be working on the pieces floating around in my head and on sketchbooks that are beyond what people already expect from me.

I am excited.  Now, for this evening, we are racing lobsters and eating them with a small group of awesome friends.  I hope your New Years Eve is as eventful as ours is!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Christmas Gift Commission #1

It's the time of year that creeps up on me.  Halloween is over, November is a blur of trying to get sale-able work done and into displays.  Then there's the pieces that people want you to make for holiday gifts.  You never know when those are going to come up on you.

Zack and I were sitting at P Squared Wine Bar, a new favorite spot that's opened up downtown and I was getting some beading done.  I had started a St. Petersburg chain with the dark gold seed beads that seem to be my staple bead for this holiday season and it caught a friend's eye.

He asked what I was making, and if he could purchase it for his mom for Christmas. Not a problem, I was focused on trying to get a different style necklace done, but I hadn't beaded the chain too long so that we couldn't switch designs.

We met last week to go over options on the dark gold and black chain and he wanted to keep it simple.  I love it, these seed beads have really been speaking to me, so it's nice to know that I'm not the only one that likes them on their own.

The finished necklace can be adjusted to two lengths on the black swarovski pearls along the left side of the piece.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Jewelry Show at Speaker Law Firm (last one this year!)

Speaker Law Firm
230 N. Sycamore St
Lansing, MI 48933

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

If you are in downtown Lansing and need a break from your usual work day we welcome you to come by Speaker Law Firm for my last solo showing/sale of my jewelry for 2012!  Below is a sample of what I'll be bringing in, along with plenty of beaded leaf and pod earrings!

Friday, December 7, 2012

I have a Billboard!!!!

Ok, so it's not the best photo, but I wasn't prepared to trudge through the field and muck to get closer to my billboard.  But I have a billboard!  I can't possibly try to hide my excitement. How is this possible? The Arts Council of Greater Lansing of course.

It's a year by year basis where they team up with Adams Advertising to get billboards up for artists via the Arts Council. They call it the "Art in the Sky" program.  It's offered to the artists who have received the Individual Artist's Grant (all of them, including past grantees), so when I got the email that they were doing Art in the Sky again, I jumped on the opportunity.

The photo is a grouping of my bangles, taken by Luke Anthony Photography.  I have gotten so much use out of the photo shoot that Luke did for me, I can't want to get my larger pieces done for him to take more photos.

So if you're tooling around Lansing, go north/east on I-69 (coming from I-96), or you can see it off of West Grand River (that's where I parked on the side of the road for the above photo).  Here's where it is on google maps:,-84.66547393798828

This activity is made possible by the Arts Council of Greater Lansing

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Ornament for the Arts Council Tree

Valley Yarns posted this free pattern on Webs Yarn website for a knit star and I've fallen in love with it (I've knitted a few while knitting on the elliptical so far).  So I already had the base together when the Art Council of Greater Lansing emailed out that they needed ornaments.

I finished this little guy today and dropped it off  to go get into the holiday spirit.

Happy Holidays! And thank you to the Arts Council of greater Lansing for a wonderful Holiday Glitter event last night!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Holiday Shows Galore!

I have been slacking on my blog lately, but I have been busy making new items for upcoming holiday shows and working a 3 gift-commissions.  It's been pretty spastic with all of these little projects bouncing around in my head. So here's a sampling of some new items that you'll see this Thursday at the ICMSA Holiday Boutique Show:

Cluster Earrings $75
Leaf Clasp Bracelet $85
Daphne Necklace $140
Pod Stripe Earrings with brown pearl accents $50
Two Leaf Pendant $48

Show details:

ICMSA Holiday Boutique Show
Thursday, November 29, 2012
U-Club, East Lansing MI

Donation to the ICMSA Raffle Pendant $55
(*I usually don't do donations because of low stock, but this
show takes a very small portion of sales)
And 2 more shows after this Thursday:

Art for the Soul home sale
Saturday, December 8, 2012
at MargaBeth Cibulka's Home
6177 Zimmer Road
Williamston, MI
(I have to leave early from this show as I have my husband's work party that evening.)

Office Shopping at Speaker Law Firm
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
230 N. Sycamore Street
Lansing MI 48933
Last year I held an impromptu show in our conference room as there were people at Speaker Law Firm's Holiday Party that were interested in my work. We've decided to keep it going. Plus Liisa likes that I bring my stock to the office once a year.

And lastly, I have started to use Constant Contact.  You can view the last email that went out HERE.  If you would like to subscribe, I'm trying to send out an email once every two weeks with updates.  There's a button at the bottom of the page that says "Join my mailing list" to start to receive email updates.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

"Uprooted 1" nearing done!

I finally finished the third and last tendril for this sculpture just before Halloween, and then Halloween and Holiday shows kicked in.  So I have been distracted by pieces for customers and keeping my jewelry stock up some for Grove Gallery and the 3 more shows I have coming up through November/December. Check out for the dates/times of these.

The above photo is just a little sample, the tendrils will actually be positioned a little different than this, but you get the idea.   

(I love my drill and dremel tool!)

I drilled my last hole for the third tendril and am on to the finish work of sanding.  The sanding is taking longer than I had anticipated because there's always another crevice or corner that I didn't get to.  I've decided not to stain or varnish the wood, so the next step will be to oil the root and add the finishing touches of beading and accent beads to bring the tendrils and the wood root together in harmony.
This activity is made possible in part by a
grant from the
Arts Council of Greater Lansing

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween! Jellyfish Costume 2012

As you may or may not know, I LOVE HALLOWEEN! And so I try my best to come up with a great new costume and make it.  This year's brainstorm came a little late (since I start thinking about Halloween around June).  But I did get a start into it and posted a blog about taking over the pool table with my jellyfish dress and hat project.
As I was hand stitching all of the parts of the hat together last week, I started to put Sparkle and blue LED lights into the base of the hat.  The whole time thinking "I hope this works, how am I going to stick this darn 3V battery in?"  Since the conductive thread needs full pressure on the positive and negative side of the battery, I decided to try a binder clip:

These little guys are great for everything.  That's why I carry them around in my purse.  And it worked!

I would strongly suggest this as a quick-fix for your eTextiles.  It held on all night, including the point where I took the hat off and it started to get passed around.  Here's an ok image of the hat lit up:

So, as usual, I got my costume together in time and fun was had by all.  Happy Halloween and good luck on the candy jackpot tonight!

Monday, October 29, 2012

"No Space is Sacred"

When my husband was out of town at a bachelor party it's sometimes like getting bonus art-time because I try to set weekends aside to spend time with Zack.

As you may have noticed, I have more than a handful of projects going on at any one time.  Sometimes I do wish I could focus on just one at a time, but my ADD doesn't stand for it.  And so, I really felt I needed to get a jump on my Halloween costume.  I needed a table to lay out my fabric and cut it.  The dining room table is slippery and this rayon/spandex is springy. 

What table is always clear in our house?  The pool table of course!  The fabric sticks to the felt and I can pin it into the felt top if need be.  It's the perfect table for this sort of thing. 

So when Zack got home, I explained to him how great it was that I could use the pool table to cutting and pinning fabric (which I had already cleared off before he had gotten home).

His reply: "No space is sacred in this house, is it?"

Welcome to living with an artist.  I try to keep beads, fabric and yarn out of the man-cave side of the basement.  But when the cat's away.....

I also had every intention to clean off the pool table, but it was such a great workspace that I used it to make the base of the hat for my costume too.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Dyes in the Fridge.

I've been doing a lot more dyeing of yarn and fabric lately and I wasn't enjoying it quite as much as when I was in college.  I realized that keeping the dyes in liquid form in the fridge took out the entire step of dealing with the powder form of procion dyes and kept everything bottled, liquid and easy to mix.

The last Ann Arbor Fiber Arts Guild meeting I was at, Nancy, our Fiber lab coordinator from the U of M School of Art and Design was there.  So I finally got to ask her the recipe.

So. Easy.

1 powder dye to 4 water. 
ie: 1 cup of dye to 4 cups of water.

You mix them up, put them in an old dish soap bottle and they're good in the fridge for 3 months.  So while I was dyeing some pieces yesterday, I made some of the basics.

Sherri, my professor from Art School says to double up on the black.  Nancy said it didn't matter too much.  I found doubling the black to make it more goopy and difficult to get all the way through the funnel into the dish soap bottle.  I think in general black dye is a lot better than it once was.  I remember having trouble getting a good black, but I have not had that issue in the past year of getting back to dyeing.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Purple Brown and Gold Leaf Clasp Bracelet

I've been moving my red and purple pieces in Grove Gallery lately and this one has been getting some attention from customers wandering in.

I love purple and brown together, and I just stared using this fantastic new 15/0 gold seed bead which has a bit of an antique look to it.  If you want to see this piece in person, swing by Grove Gallery soon! 

Leaf Clasp Bracelet $85.00

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

5-Leaf Grandchildren's Colors Pendant

 (Pendant finished with silver chain customer provided)

I had the pleasure of working on a really meaningful birthday gift this past week.  My customer asked if I could do a pendant with more leaves (or would it be too bulky?).  I told her I could make them smaller so that it would not be too big.

The idea behind this pendant was to have each of the 5 grandchildren pick their favorite color for a leaf, then go from there.  I received this nice little write-up which I thought was so adorable, and helped me in the process.

(names blurred for privacy)
Now this wasn't exactly a mix of colors that you would think to put together, but luckily seed beads comes in all shapes, sizes, finishes and colors.  So I pulled what I thought would be the best color mix of these suggestions.  I did a couple of different arrangements, this one seemed to make the most sense at the end of it all, so I sent this image to my customer:
(faceted dk red leaf, fancy finish dk red leaf, silver lined aqua leaf,
rainbow finish blue leaf & matte finish copper leaf)

She's is so wonderful to work with because she just loves everything, first try.  Which makes working with her a dream.  The package went out on Tuesday afternoon and I have to say, I was so excited to send it out!


Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Pheonix Feather (Peacock Feather in Red/Purple)

Phoenix Feather Bangle $320
Where to start...
My Peacock feather design originally came about a number of years ago based on a request from my customer Sally.  She has come up with some great ideas (including the leopard print bangle).  Due to the amount of detail I wanted to include in the design it turned out pretty large.  Sally has the original Peacock Feather Bangle in greens, I made another one (in greens, slightly different) and it sold this year through the Lansing Art Gallery.
I have been bouncing around making a Phoenix feather and an albino one.  Since I've been into reds lately I went with the Phoenix Feather idea.

Because this piece doesn't repeat at all, and all of the edging, it takes me long enough to where I lost count of the hours...again.  You can see this piece right now in person at Grove Gallery.  I have switched the case to reds/purples for fall.  This could change, so pay attention to my updates!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Call For Art: "Music: Muse" at the Technology Innovation Center


A string quartet, a lullaby, Motown on the radio, rapping in the rain…expression of joy, of hope, of pain, the soundtrack to our lives …

The TIC Gallery welcomes submissions for Music: Muse, an exhibit running from October 27 to February 23, 2013.

Just a block from the Broad Art Museum, the Technology Innovation Center (TIC) is housed in a 7,000-square-foot space on the third floor above the former Barnes & Noble in downtown East Lansing.  The TIC, which opened in 2008, provides office space to a growing number of entrepreneurial businesses, from producers of documentary films to high-tech startups. With its colorful walls and modern industrial layout, the TIC is an ideal display venue for art.

Schedule of Events:

Wed., October 24:                 Deadline for submission of information to Kelly Boyle


Sat., October 27:                    At TIC, drop off artwork, photos, and artist information

                                                 from 9-10 am.
                                                 Jury process 10-noon

                                                 Declined artwork notification: noon

                                                 Show will be hung when jury process is complete

Opening Reception date to be determined     (weekend of Nov. 2-4)           
Saturday, February 23:         Pick up artwork  9-10 am

Media Accepted:  All media suitable for hanging will be considered for the exhibit, including professionally produced, limited-edition Giclee prints, hanging sculpture, and fabric pieces. About 40 pieces will be selected for the show.  Most pieces will be hung in hallways and should not exceed 48” in either dimension.

You may submit up to four pieces; however, this number may be reduced to two if we receive an excessive number of entries. If this is the case you will be notified prior to October 27.   

All work should be equipped for hanging, with a wire stretched across the back (no saw tooth hangers.) The hanging system has a weight limit of 80 lbs. per piece.

Deadline for Submission of Information:  Wednesday, October 24.  Information on each piece of artwork you plan to exhibit must be RECEIVED by this date.  Include title, medium, dimensions, price or NFS.  Mail or e-mail to:  Kelly Boyle,   2719 Mt. Hope  Okemos MI  48864

Drop Off:  Deliver artwork to the Technology and Innovation Center (above Barnes & Noble, accessible from 2nd level of parking ramp) between 9 and 10am on Saturday, October 27.  All works selected must remain until the end of the exhibit unless sold, in which case you may contact Kelly and arrange to put in a replacement piece.

Declined Artwork:  Pick up any declined artwork by noon on Sat. Oct. 27. If you cannot pick up your work, please arrange to have someone do it for you.                                      

 Sales: There will be a 20% commission on sales. Kelly Boyle (through the TIC) will be the contact for prospective buyers.  Artists will be notified when a sale has taken place and will be paid when the sale is final.  Artists will have the option of bringing in a replacement piece after a sale.

 Liability:  See Waiver of Liability and Release

Hanging Committee:  Kelly Boyle plus 2-3 volunteers.  Please contact Kelly if you’d like to help with hanging on October 27.

Exhibitors’ Responsibilities at Check-In:

All artists will provide:

1.     Up to four pieces of artwork that follow the guidelines given above.

2.     A label securely fixed to the back of each piece giving the artist’s name, title, medium, and price or Not For Sale. 

3.     A good-quality 4x6” photograph printed on photo paper of each work submitted for the show         

4.     A one-page, up-to-date, bio/statement including telephone number, address, and email.

Use narrow margins – the page will be displayed in a sheet protector.

5.One page of photographs showing a representative selection of the artist’s work.

6. Several business cards to display in the card holder of the exhibition book.

7.  Sign Technology Innovation Center’s Waiver and Release Form

Questions:  contact Kelly Boyle  


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Sneak Peek: Holiday Jewelry for Lansing Art Gallery

Leafy Clasp Bracelet $85
I think I'm moving a million miles an hour this morning.  Laundry in, repaired shoes picked up, photos of all black/gunmetal jewelry taken, edited and uploaded to blog, pack things to work on at the Gallery today including, but not limited to: making invites, winding the next warp, blog update (check), make more leaves.... and it's only 12:30 in the afternoon.
I also had a lovely conversation on the phone with Liz who has been perusing my website for gifts and ideas.

Leafy Clasp Bracelet (closed)
The photos today are for a grouping that I have been working on for the Lansing Art Gallery for the upcoming holiday season.  I know we haven't hit Halloween yet (another thing on my to-do list, make my costume!), but I have a few shows coming up that I need to have stock for, on top of stock for both Grove and Lansing Art Gallery.

Three Leaf Hairclip $60

(back of hairclip)
I decided with Sara at LAG that my base for the Lansing Art Gallery will be black/gunmetal pieces.  I'm planning on accenting these with some blues and greens.  Currently, I'm about done looking at just the black gunmetal palette, so I need to switch gears and beads that I carry around with me.

Netting Bracelet with Glass Pear Accents $75.00

Cluster Earrings $75.00
Look for these pieces at the Lansing Art Gallery in late October/November!!

Daphne variation with dripping chandelier centerpiece $150.00
2 Leaf Pendant $45.00
2 Leaf Pendant (other side)

Neon with Muted Greens and Tan Jewelry Multi Loop Checker Earrings and Bangle

Between perusing Pinterest for current color ideas and watching the movie  Poor Things  I had the urge to play more with the neon green-yell...