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  


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