Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Checker Fade Bangle and Earrings

 Well, I created this set for an outfit I was putting together. Bryan and I had plans to go see We Are The Union tries to throw a New Year's Eve Party in Hamtramck.  Unfortunately we ended up getting COVID and the outbreak in Michigan has been so much that they also cancelled the show.  Bryan basically had his entire rude boy outfit together and I had finished this set and was getting ready to make a skirt.  Either way I do like how the set turned out.  I was using the metallic pink as a color to match a pair of custom pink glitter Chucks I had ordered for NYE.  

I wanted to make a large checker bangle that faded from black to metallic pink. I'm not usually big on using pink but the right shade I'm attracted to, usually a deeper darker pink. There is a plum color in the middle for smoother transition.  I originally thought I'd fade back out to black again but I decided to stop at the pink and after leaving it I don't feel the need to keep beading on it. Sometimes you have to stop while you're ahead.

After finishing the bangle it needed earrings. I thought I might make some long flat checkers like I have in the past, but I felt like trying something different. The first pair I made is in the top photo to the right of the bangle.  I didn't get a great photo of that pair; it has 3 stitched loops and is 2 5/8 inches long.  

The above second pair of earring options only has 2 beaded loops and are 2 1/4 inches long. I'm not sure which earring I would have gone with at the end of the day, maybe the next ska show I'll wear this set with my pink glitter Chucks.

Below are the beginnings of the skirt idea.  I have a bunch of sketches and had even put together a basic paper pattern with 5 panels, pockets and zipper. I decided not to keep moving forward on the skirt since I don't think I'll be going to another show for some time and what I want out of a checker skirt could change.  I had drawn these at all different lengths, pleats, slit...the fabric is the slit is a sheer black lace-look rainbow cheetah that kept calling to me. The formal satin checker skirt will be revisited at a later time. 

And of course the shoes that started it all: 

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Gypsy Leaf Bracelet in Neon

I'm not even sure what to say about this piece, it just sort of fell out of me. It's how my soul has been feeling, big and bright and I want to wear that on the outside of me.

Purple is one of the colors I use most, along with green, but not usually this...neon.  Lately I'm attracted to everything neon yellow/green and this really bright purple.  I found a V-neck shirt for Bryan at Buckle in a similar purple, I just wanted him to try it on and it happened to look really good, good thing for me purple is also one of his favorite colors. It seems I've been adding more neon to my wardrobe, then I made a rather large bead purchase from both Fire Mountain Gems and Northland Visions with as many neon and metallic Duracoat(R) seed beads as I could stand.

The original Gypsy Leaf Bracelet was positioned like the above photo when it was displayed at the Milwaukee Museum of Art, I love having someone else choose how to display my pieces sometimes. It makes it more supltural and shows how tight the leaves are beaded together.

Maybe this is my neon is my new comfort zone, who knows.

Part of the recent bead purchase was the neon green seed beads in the above triple pod earrings.  I wanted to see what they looked like stitched together and decided they don't have quite enough yellow in them to add that green to the Neon Gypsy Leaf Bracelet.  I think these earrings are fun and really pop.

I happened to find this neon yarn at Threadbender on Friday:

I think it's going to be part of the warp for a piece I've had in draft-form for like a year, I still don't have the imagery down just yet....plus I'm not allowing myself to even start to pull yarn for it until the Large Leaf Me Alone piece is finished. 

Monday, November 29, 2021

Midnight Madness at Bløm Meadworks in Ann Arbor

New bead colors have got me making all sorts of earrings, these will be available at Midnight Madness

I'll be at one holiday event this year (outside of what galleries are hosting) and it's THIS FRIDAY.  I was invited to be a pop-up artist at Bløm Meadworks in Ann Arbor for a night of Midnight Madness. December 3, 2021 from 5pm-11pm.  Shops and galleries will be open late for shopping.

A small part of me misses selling in-person and talking about my work to an audience.  A perk for this indoor event is that Bløm is able to have an "in" door and an "out" door so the traffic will be going in one direction and will hopefully feel less chaotic than what I experienced at Midnight Madness in a past year as a shopper.  

Jewelry set up from a show with Ann Arbor Fiberarts Guild some time ago

I picked up jewelry from Angelwood Gallery, some that I haven't had my hands on in 2 years and dropped new work off to them. When I was going through the box they gave me I was all "Oh look, there's the Pac-Man Bangle!" So I will have that work with me along with any newest of pieces of jewelry that I have happened to make while snuggled in on the couch with my Boo and the cats.

As much as I've been trying to stick to making leaves for Leaf Me Alone, I get distracted by other colors and fashion trends, and what I'm going to wear to the New Year's Even Ska Show. Neon yellow/green. bright purples and deep bright pinks are grabbing my attention in sparkly beads at the moment. Midnight Madness will see a bit of those colors in my displays.

Here's a sneak peek at what's coming in the next blog:

Thursday, November 4, 2021

3 years sober: Beaded Recovery Ideas

"Hi, my name is Jenny and I'm an alcoholic."  

I say that regularly at meetings and one of these days I'll probably slip up introducing myself at some other lecture with that line. I cannot believe it's been 3 years, because 3 years ago it seemed impossible to even go a day or a week without a drink.  But something had to give, I went to my first AA meeting and realized why it exists and there's a whole bunch of people out there struggling with the same types of things I am. 

I could rattle on and on about how much AA has helped me but I'm going to keep this short and simple...the recovery symbol used for AA is a triangle within a circle. I've wanted to incorporate into my work somehow but all I can think of are what the coins look like so I decided to start there.

This thought first came to me when I noticed a ring someone was wearing at meetings that has the recovery symbol, very simply designed in silver. I really liked the idea of incorporating the symbol into something you can wear daily.  I tried 3 different types of seed beads with this coin design, rocaille 15/0s, delica 15/0s and the regular 11/0 delicas (from left to right in the top photo).

I'm still not sure where these are going.  I decided to keep my beaded pieces simple and start with the form of the coins that we receive each month for the first year, then every year after. I have them floating around my house, a few hanging from my car rearview as daily reminders. When I'm having a rough week, I carry one in my pocket.  My sponsor gave me my third year coin today at the meeting this morning and then her and another very important to my sobriety AA member took me out to breakfast.  It's all connected and we all help each other. <3

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

New Jewelry Headed to Galleries: Old and New Design Favorites


It seems that whenever I think about "holiday colors" I lean into deep reds and purples.  I popped in lavender this year and am getting ready to bring some pieces to Lansing Art Gallery. I also plan on updating my work over at Angelwood Gallery in the next month.

The above long thin necklace design that I originally created to go with a dress for Capital City Film Festival's opening night a few years back is creeping its way into my repertoire.  I love the chunky dense look of my leaf lariat necklaces but lately I want a lighter, simpler, thinner option to go with a more wide variety of outfits. This piece is 5' 8 1/4" long and meant to be wrapped in various ways.

The Daphne Leaf Variation necklace has been sold so often I had forgotten about it.  I recently posted an old version on social media for a #TBT post and had a friend order one from me.  I realized that I really didn't have any left and I should get back to making this necklace option. Part of the reason I hadn't made any was I had run out of decorative clasps for the front and the prices have really jumped up on them! I have a few in my bead stash again so I'll be making these again.

Triple pod earrings are definitely one of my favorite earring designs right now. I'm working to make a pair every time I change my color pallets.  They are really interesting statement earrings and the way they come together in this form is very pleasing to me.

Bracelets that clasp.  My bangles are a somewhat standard size but  I do realize they are too tight to slip over your hand for many.  Especially the wider they get the less flexibility they provide to squeeze over a wrist.  My clasp bracelets designs don't provide as much structure (which from an artist-non-functional-standpoint is one of the things I love about the bangle structure) but they offer the option to fit more people.

Making earrings allows for color play as I get bead arrangements organized.  

Then yesterday, as I was laying out my work to take photos I came upon the above arrangement.  I'm not sure how to explain it other than is a bit like a draft for a future idea or piece of work. When the beaded pods come together they create a mesmerizing structure.  I've done one non-jewelry piece like this and I clearly need to keep playing. You can see Cleavege HERE.

Saturday, October 2, 2021

Door Pallet Screw Earrings

I am always viewing objects as opportunities for jewelry or parts for my artwork. At work it comes up all of the time since I get to play with building materials. In my department the doors are shipped upright on pallets and these screws are used to stabilize the doors. When we pack out the doors the screws end up in a bucket for metal recycling, or in my apron and pockets.  Needless to say they make it home and I ended up wanting to make earrings out of them.

I am already attracted to industrial-looking heavy metal jewelry. Jewelry that's reminiscent of tools for every day use call to me.  I haven't really figured out how to blend it into my beadwork, but just playing with these screws is a start.

These are a new go-to earring for my basic work outfit.  They kind-of go with everything. I've started to have some ideas on how to use the screw part that I cut off of them.  

(I have been wearing these a ton, also that's a tapestry I wove in 2005-2006 behind me)

On a personal note, some weeks or days at work are harder than others, sometimes I even wonder why I liek customer service. I have to say that last week was really lovely.  I got to decorate a pumpkin in some down time at work. I don't doodle much anymore it got quiet at my desk the day the company had provided us things to decorate and I just relaxed into doodling. Then I had customers call to make sure I was in to stop by and give me a thank you note. They said that of the entire house building process I was able to make purchasing their doors easy. That kind of feedback from customers really makes me feel like I'm in the right spot. 

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Color Movement Bracelet and Earrings

I ordered these neon green delicas (I think the color is called kiwi) thanks to Pinkhot_UK using this color Miyuki seed bead in her Instagram posts. I needed to have that color in my stash, but I did not have a plan for it...  So the kiwi delicas sat in a zippy bag with these other colors I had thought might look good with it until a design came to me.  

A design never really came to me.  I just needed to see these colors together so I decided to create a bracelet where the colors moved from one to the next. I realize that I haven't made a 2-drop peyote bracelet in a while and decided to video this one being made because I was pretty sure I could do it in one sitting. Which I did!  I then made the earrings the next two nights.

When I was making the earrings I couldn't decide which direction they should hang. Green top to blue bottom or blue bottom to green top.  So I asked Bryan since he has a good eye for design and he picked for me.  The second night, as I was making the second earring he was pointing out that the colors are representative of a horizon and he liked the way the color moved downward in an earring form where if it was flipped the other way the color would feel like it was moving upward. I work on these while I'm winding down in front of the TV at night, It's nice that he is often able to give more thought into my work than I am capable of after I'm pooped out from working. He's a night person and my brain works better in the mornings. It's jsut lovely having him next to me noting my work as I make it. 

Below is the video of the bracelet being beaded:

I also made this grey mismatched pair of earrings, which I like really like, I just decided they probably didn't need their own blog post:

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Kitty Bangles

Over a year ago I created the Cat's Meow Bangle and earrings.  It's turned into one of my favorite pieces to wear (brown matches most of my wardrobe) and the smaller version of the bangle has sold a few times.  I didn't have any of the smaller one in my stock so I decided in preparation for new jewelry at Lansing Art Gallery and Angelwood Gallery I should get some kitty bangles to them also. We have 2 grey cats so I used them for a little bit of inspiration. Clark is the darker of the two greys and the largest of our cats so his bangle is a tiny bit wider. Lois inspired the glittery lighter grey bangle because she's a princess and should really be wearing a sparkly tiara around.

I haven't decided what's going where yet and I feel like I want to make a third for my personal stock so we'll see where all that goes. 'I liked the color combination so much that a pair of earrings came out of it too. 

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Privacy Fence Passion Project

    I started this post last year but I guess I never got around to finishing it.  The privacy fence has added and changed a lot since I started it 4 or so years ago. Even between last summer and this summer.

Our door fence is what you might call a "living" project which means it changes, has maintenance, I swap out doors because some don't hold up outside as well as I'd hoped. Some doors clearly need to be sanded and repainted or addresses in some way.  When I moved in to my house the privacy fence was dilapidated and I knew I'd have to do something about it so I looked to Pinterest.  I found a number of ideas using old doors as a wall or fence.  So then the question is...where do you find a ton of old doors?  

I started seeing doors everywhere.  I drive around with the back seats down in my Explorer so I can stop on the side of the road at a moment's notice to grab a door sitting by the garbage. On my way to work one day I saw a couple of guys filling a pickup truck with garbage bags while clearly gutting a house.  I pulled over and asked if I could have the doors if they were just pitching them and they were happy to give them to me.  I had already started this project long before COVID and fate let me to my Millwork specialist position at Home Depot.  Now I can really talk about doors and I love it. 

In between working I've been continuing with my privacy fence passion project. I nearly have one whole section of fence in my back yard done.  I'm learning a lot about what works and what doesn't, I have a few doors to touch up eventually but I'm just happy to have them up with color.  I'm finding that our resident birds also enjoy them, so much so, I'm hosing bird poop off every once in a while.

Another little nugget of a home project I started in on was replacing the rotting boards on the ramp leading up to the back door of my house.  I don't want to be dealing with it if they go during the winter so I'm starting to address the bad ones.  Here's what I said about it when I posted the board photo on my social media: 

Our ramp is starting to have some rotting boards, so I decided to brighten it up as I put in new ones.  This turquoise stained board looks like a gem and it brings me such joy seeing the new against the old.  
I recently realized that having everything looking perfect and "in its place" is not my style. I feel comfort around buildings that need work or are falling apart. Probably from playing in piles of old barn wood and hunting for "the good boards" to recycle as kids building forts on the farm I grew up on. 
#onedayatatime #OneBoardAtATime #BehrStain #DIY

Sunday, August 15, 2021

Daphne Leaf Necklace Variation Necklace in Dark Blue

My friend Liz asked me to create a necklace for her based on an older version of a Daphne Necklace I posted for a #TBT (Throwback Thursday) on social media.  It made me realize that I did not have any of this style in my personal stock. To be honest, I cannot remember the last time that I made one! 

So while I was waiting for Liz's clasp to come in from Fire Mountain Gems I decided to make an extra necklace for my personal stock. I can use some new items for Art Feast 2021 in Old Town Lansing this Saturday. Since Liz was torn between bead color options I actually made a necklace similar to one of the color combinations she was leaning towards. Navy/Blue and Tan are a nice classic combo and it came out really lovely.

Bryan and I also went to a friend's wedding on Friday. There was a day when I had my outfit planned out way ahead of time and would be busy making jewelry to match. I have SO many clothes and I usually have plenty of my go-to colors at this point in my life. So with an Ignatius Hat (my favorite milliners ) a pair of leaf cluster earrings and my deco cat bangle we had a lovely time catching up and eating all the sugar.  

Saturday, July 31, 2021

Beaded Blob Earrings in Southwest Colors

I don't make this beaded blob earring style often enough. I just love them, and when I do make a pair the next thing I know it's been sold or they're off to a gallery.  I put together a really fun color pallet with the Wide Southwest St. Petersburg Chain Bracelet and decided to apply it to my beaded "blobs."  

These are heavier than my earrings usually are but they have a nice swing and a lot of personality.

I was thinking of beaded blobs from the past, here are a pair from 2016.

A blue pair from 2017.

And a purple pair are in this post from 2010 (before I started mixing colors and bead sizes).

Do you want to see these new earrings in person?  I'll be at Art Feast 2021 in Old Town Lansing on August 21st, 10am-5pm!  Come visit, check out local artists and food trucks!

Weaving and Life Update

I'm close to the end of my "Yes And" weaving commission. I can see the end of the cartoon and the warp. I was on a roll weavin...