Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Leaf Pendants

I finished two new leaf pendants last week too!  A customer from the Ann Arbor Fiberarts Guild Fiber Feast gets first pick since she asked me to make her one when they all sold out at the sale.

Leaf Pendant in Green and Blue:

Leaf Pendant in Greens:

I hope to have a few of these at my Trunk Show at the Lansing Art Gallery on June 15th, in various colors of course. 
Two events coming up in June!

June 15, 2012, 7:00pm-9:00pm  Trunk Show and Artist's Discussion at the Lansing Art Gallery
I will be giving a short talk at 7:30pm about the grant that I am working on and am welcoming feedback from guests.
Snacks and light refreshments will be served

June 24, 2012, 12:00pm-4:00pm  Beginners Beadweaving Class, two count peyote stitch bracelet.  More information here: http://www.jennyschu.com/Workshop_BeginningBeadweaving.html

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Jewelry, I have not been slacking

I know that I've been slacking on the blog posting, but, it's because my hands have been very busy with beading and weaving and more beading.

After spending 2 days with the Needlework and Textile Guild of Michigan, then the Ann Arbor Fiberarts Guild Fiber Feast, I was left with commissions to do and very little stock.  I tried to finish up a few things for The Taste of Art and Life with the Arts Council of Greater Lansing, two of those new pieces I didn't even have time to photograph before they sold (I took a quick photo of the hair clip on it's way out to remind myself I did make it, and the pendant was purchased by someone I know!) The next place you'll have an opportunity to shop my jewelry (outside of what I have at Grove Gallery and the Lansing Art Gallery) will be at the Lansing Art Gallery for my Trunk Show and Artist's Discussion on June 15th.  So in between my commissions and my big grant pieces I have been taking breaks to make jewelry to keep my stock in tact.

My cluster earrings have been flying off the displays, so I made a white version:

I'm missing the pearl bangle that I made for my birthday which is now living at the Lansing Art Gallery so I made a white one with coin pearls:

I am having a hard time keeping the lariat necklaces in stock:

The leaf bracelets that clasp have also been a big hit:

And of course Earrings Earrings Earrings! Why? Because they're one size fits all and we always need more:

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Taste of Art and Life 2012 Recap

"Taste of Art and Life" is a fundraising event put on by the Arts Council of Greater Lansing every year.  This year was the third time that I have been a demo artist with a table layout, and I think, for me, it was the best year yet.  Click here for the really good Photos on Facebook.  This year was hosted by David and Nancy McKeague at their beautiful East Lansing home.  This particular house I drive by all of the time and have always been so in love with it.  It was truly awesome to get a full tour of their house and spend time hanging out in their back yard.

I had made sure to build up my jewelry stock before this event, but I brought one of my "sculptural" beadweaving pieces to work on while I was there.  This definitely grabbed the attention of guests wandering by and allowed me to open up conversation about the Individual Artist's Grant that I received this year and where my work is headed.  I was also very impressed at how informed many of the guests were this year.  A lot of them had said that they looked at my website before coming to the event and were planning on shopping.

I shared tent spaces with my colleague from Grove Gallery, Deb, and got to meet and talk with an artist who is new to me, Kirsten.  I learned from Kirsten that my artist-tent-emergency-kit is missing a few things that I will be adding to it: Bug spray (which I kept having to borrow, thank you!) and duct tape.

The artists that were in attendace for this event were:
Sue Preiss (plein air painting)
Juanita Baldwin (pastel drawing)
A. Kirsten Barton (watercolor painting)
Rebecca Case (egg tempera painting)
Deborah Cholewicki (woven wall sculpture)
Marti Liddle-Lamenti (fiber wearables)
Craig Mitchell Smith (glass sculpture)

I feel like I haven't seen Craig in way too long, so it was good to catch up with him, along with a few of the attendees that I know (Nancy, Brian, Daphne and Barb!)

Thanks again Leslie, Katie, Kate and Chad for all of your hard work on this event and dedication to our local Lansing art scene!  And of course to the McKeague's for hosting in their lovely home.

This activity is made possible in part by a grant from the Arts Council of Greater Lansing.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Why go to Alabama? Why not?

I just got back from a great road trip to Alabama to visit my friend Abigail.  This trip was perfect timing because I have been unable to relax with all of the beading that I have to do, but driving by myself and visiting for limited periods with friends literally forced me to not bead. 

When I was trying to decide on whether I should fly or drive to the Deep South I took a look at the cost.  $550 and up for a flight, or pay for gas.  I figured with my car and gas prices it'd be, max, $300 in gas and potentially a hotel room if I was in a pinch.  Only slightly cheaper than a flight, but hey, I haven't been on a road trip all alone in years and it was time.  I ended up taking my husband's car instead which is a 2011 Chevy Cruze Eco and gets amazing gas mileage (and it's a manual which was super fun to be driving!).  My gas bill at the end of the trip only totalled $175 and I never had to get a hotel room. Win.

When telling my Michigan friends that I was taking a trip to Alabama, they all wondered why the heck am I going to Alabama.  Well, I've never been.  No one asks why you're going to California, or Colorado or New York.  These are "normal destinations."  I think that every part of our country has something new and it's important to get a taste of all of it.  Also, the great thing about having the flexibility of a road trip is I can pop in on people that I haven't seen in a while.  I have friends from high school and college spattered all over the US.

On my way down I visited Lani who lives in Indianapolis with her family.  She made an awesome dinner of stuffed peppers and I finally got to see her house in person!  I realized that I had some time as I left Indianapolis and contacted Shaina who is in Bloomington, IN.  I have 2 friends in Bloomington actually, but I hadn't seen Shaina in 3 years and Jeremy just stayed at our place recently on his visit to East Lansing, so sorry Jeremy! I only had an hour to say hi, but it was a great visit.

Crawdads Before

Crawdads After

I made it to Prattville Alabama at about 6:00am.  I think the total drive was 14 hours and making stops really helps keep me going.  I tried to nap while Abigail went to work, but 3 5-hour energy drinks doesn't allow for much napping. Over the weekend I learned that 2.5 days is not long enough to spend in Alabama.  I dined on as much crawfish and other southern deliciousness as possible, we discovered Snake Handler IPA (by Good People Brewing Company) while watching live bluegrass.  We went to a crawfish boil that was also a huge concert where we saw a Seattle band called The Head and The Heart, Megadeth (which was, to my surprise, a really great show), Lupe Fiasco (who wasn't very good live) and had to decide whether we stay for Snoop Dogg or hit up the actual Good People Brewery before they closed.  We went to see Good People and try to get some Snake Handler, unfortunately, it wasn't hitting the stores until today, and I couldn't stick around Alabama that long. Abigail is promising to bring me some next time she's up this way!

I'm in love with Dave Mustaine's hair (Megadeth)

Good People Brewing Co. Logo Truck

Pizza in Purgatory (those are poached eggs, yum!) at Sa Za

I headed back toward home on Monday, this time heading toward Ohio.  I stopped into Louisville for a quick hi and a hug from Rachel, on to Cincinnati to see Amy M. (both friends from High School), and on to Dayton to hang out with my roommate from college, Amy and crash on her couch before I headed the rest of the way home on Tuesday.

Looking back, it was quite the whirlwind trip, but I'm so glad I got to see everyone that I saw.  Driving isn't bad at all if you have the time and can make stops along the way.  I also discovered a love for Alabama, especially all that great southern cooking, and some new music (although Megadeth is not new, it's new to me, I missed that whole Metal phase.....)

Now, back to the beading for me!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Forest Through the Trees, part 3, Beading the Selvedge

I really enjoy weaving and am so excited to be back on the loom for this first grant project.  I have a confession though.  I am not a very technical weaver, I prefer to work with an idea and let the piece create itself through the weaving process.  In event, my selvedges (sides of the fabric) are starting to look a little rough.

With this probelm I have a few options.  I could back up and try again, but that would be hours upon hours of un-weaving and re-weaving (there's no good way, that I know of, to go backwards in double weave pick up).  I could keep weaving and try to make it better, then do some re-stitching when it comes off of the loom. Or I could hide the edges of the final piece with another fiberart technique. 

After mulling it over I decided that it would actually help the woven panel of this piece to put a beaded edging on it.  This way the edging would be similar or match some of the beading in the other panels and therefore the woven portion would speak more directly to the beadworking in the piece.  The three panels would then speak to each other more clearly when hung together. 

I have been beading gobs and gobs of the St. Petersburg chain for this piece....I'm about ready to start in on another projects to take a break from it.  As of right now, jewelry making is helping get breaks in from this piece.  I am loving this dark brown seed bead that will be the main color for the edging.  It speaks well to both the black and the brown in the piece. I have finished the first edge for the weaving and am on the the second one.  I figure it's taken me about 30 hours to make one edge.  Luckily, I carry these around for whenever I have down time, so it doesn't feel like it's been 30 hours!

So, in short, I think that even though I'm creating more work for myself, covering up the problem  is going to actually help the piece as a whole.

This activity is made possible in part by a
grant from the
Arts Council of Greater Lansing

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