Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Retro Fade Earrings and Bracelet, 2 versions

I picked up a new dress for Brian and Rion's 20th anniversary party so, as usual, I decided to make something to go with it. I was planning on wearing my new John Fluevog Star Trek Boots with the dress, so I tried to shape the tip of the earring to mimic the toe of the boot.* 

I made one large earring and one small. I've been into off-centered things lately. I'm not sure if I'm feeling off-centered or if it's just a way of playing with my designs. I roll with how I'm feeling a lot when I make things, some pieces work and some end up hidden away forever in the studio. I ended up deciding to wear my wedding earrings to the event instead of these!

The bracelet followed the earrings. I wanted to make something large but quickly since it was time-sensitive for an event. I did the bracelet in 2-drop peyote (2 beads at a time instead of my usual one) and I'm not sure it was any faster. 

This is the sort of visual reminder I often leave myself in my camera roll t
o remember how long my pieces take!

Then I liked the bracelet design so much that I made another one with my chosen "Fall 2022" colors. This led to some different earrings than where I started in this process. Creating odd shapes in my beadweaving is usually more tedious than straight lines in my work so I didn't match the original earring design. Instead, I mimicked the bracelet in a smaller pattern for the earrings which created a diamond pattern. The first set got...really big. They measure 3.5 inches long from the tip of the earwire. I knew this bracelet was headed to Angelwood Gallery so I made a slightly more "normal" sized earring set and am keeping the very long pair in my personal stock. Which means you can still purchase them off of my website HERE.

The bracelet and slightly shorter earrings can be found at the Angelwood Gallery in Grand Rapids, Ohio (if they haven't already sold).

The fuchsia and black version of this set will be available during Midnight Madness at Bløm Meadworks in Ann Arbor on December 2nd from 5-11pm.

*On a personal note, I love that Star Trek and Fluevog came together to make a beautiful boot. I ordered the boots on preorder when Star Trek: Strange New Worlds was airing. Every time there was a closeup of the boot on the show I would go "there's my boots!" Which I plan on continuing to do because, lets face it, costuming is 75% of the reason I even watch TV.

Tuesday, November 8, 2022

Flat Post Statement Earrings; Checkers, Stripes and Points

These earrings actually started with the beads I pulled to work with on our honeymoon. Most of this new set is in the previous blog post. Thee earrings get their own post since they are a brand new style for me. While I "researched" (aka Pinterest rabbit hole) current jewelry styles a larger post-style earrings seem to be coming back into fashion. I'm always up for a little test to see if I can create something with beads that plays with current styles. 

Of course I started with checkers. I wore them around, tried a different size, they fit well with a round plastic earring back to hold them flat against my ear lobe. The only issue I was having was more personal; they kink or curl up instead of hanging flat. It's more an OCD issue for me. Part of that reason they are doing this is because I'm wearing bandanas around my neck regularly for work so they graze my neckwear and kink themselves. They won't have that issue if they don't have anything they rub on. On the plus side, they are very light weight. That goes for most of the jewelry I make. The seed beads on these are some of the smallest and lightest that I work with.

All of the above earrings have made it to the Lansing Art Gallery. You can check them out at their Michigan Made Artist's Market, Opening Reception is November 10, 5-8pm

Below are a pair that I just finished so I'll have them for sale at Bløm Meadworks for Midnight Madness in Ann Arbor on December 2nd unless someone contacts me to scoop them up beforehand.

These are for sale on my website HERE.

Friday, November 4, 2022

4 years sober.

Today I celebrate 4 years of continuous sobriety. My Coins all say "To Thine Own Self Be True" which I have been carrying that thought throughout the day. I am more myself than I maybe have ever been. I'm not trying to do things to please others if it's not right for me. I'm much more protective of myself and my time. I try not to think too often about the past but I did waste a lot of time and energy doing things other people wanted me to, going out when I really wanted to stay home with my artwork and projects...

Sobriety and Recovery isn't easy. I'd never want to have to go back through my first year again. It started with just one day at a time and I can't believe it's been 4 years already because I could barely make a month whenever I'd try not to drink before. It's gotten easier, I got to regular meetings with people who understand how I feel and where I'm at. I don't worry about having or even wanting a drink now. 

I've had amazing support from the Lansing area AA's, my sponsor and my now-husband. 4 years ago I wouldn't have believed that I'd be completely out of debt, married, and very happy at my day job along with working on my artwork and getting my home projects picked at. 

4 years ago I think I only had one door up on my fence and I hoped it would magically just get done without me putting the effort in. One door at a time, one coat of paint at a time, one bead at a time, 15 minutes of weaving, 1 round of sanding something.  It's small chunks of time that make up a project. I'm almost sad when I'm finished with something because I am so process driven.  My heart isn't in getting it done, it's in the steps along the way. I suppose that's how my life was always meant to be lived instead of feeling like I was under this time constraint of "why isn't this done?" that thought is poison for me.

The level of happiness I experience on a daily basis seemed impossible. Now I think my joy is a bit contagious. I have plenty of customers tell me they didn't think they would be so excited about a door or windows they are ordering. It's so FUN! 

I still have my dark weird sense of humor, I still cry a lot, just when emotional, I usually cry because I'm just so happy (I did NOT keep it together for my wedding vows, I can't believe I got through them). I'm more anxious than ever and like crowds and people less. Unless they're really close friends I tend to need to be mentally prepared to handle crowds/people and I need to have an escape plan. I still can't relax and not be making/doing something with my hands at all times. I'm still me, just shinier. 

Here's to one more day...

Sunday, October 30, 2022

Fall/Winter Jewelry at Lansing Art Gallery


A few weeks ago, I dropped a fresh color pallet of jewelry off to the Lansing Art Gallery for their Michigan Made Holiday Show. I've been working on pieces for our wedding so much that I didn't realize how badly I needed a color change. As much as I will always default back to purple and green, I was really excited to pack up a whole bunch of new bead colors. I gathered and had to thin down beads for the train ride to Chicago for our honeymoon. I didn't get as much beading done in those 6 days that I thought I would. Which is good, because it means I was not stressed about producing and I was enjoying our honeymoon moments. 

I started with this wide St. Petersburg Chain bracelet, just to get my colors lined up and see how I liked them together. It has some fall colors but still includes plenty of pops of brights that I've been enjoying working with.

Leaf Clasp Bracelet

5-Leaf Daphne Necklace Variation

This necklace can be worn off-center or with the leaves in the middle.

Tiny pod earrings

Hints of muted turquoise are running rampant through my beading right now. I'm sure I'll get tired of it soon. The weather has started to change and I'm feeling like crawling into yarns with my weaving and knitting. If you'd like to shop this collection, they will be at the Opening Reception for the 2022 Michigan Made Holiday Art Market; Thursday November 10, 5-8pm.  I'll be by that night too!

Tuesday, October 25, 2022

Our Punk Themed Wedding

Photo by Jena Hovey of McShane Photography

I haven't been blogging because we've been getting ready for our wedding, celebrating, enjoying a honeymoon and then it just wasn't a priority. I'm not the biggest fan of being on my computer/phone/social media when I'm at home. So now I'm backlogged.  I'll start at the exciting part of my year and then bounce around my summer/fall timeline in future blogs. 

Photo by Jena Hovey of McShane Photography

We got married!

Photo by Jena Hovey of McShane Photography

I could go on and on about our story and how I never, ever thought I'd meet someone or be in a healthy relationship that was just...easy to be together. After almost 6 years I still look forward to seeing Bryan every day and miss him when we are apart. Life is cozy and there's an ease at home that makes our day to day life fun.

Photo by Jena Hovey of McShane Photography

Looking back on the day, the best part of the wedding for me was our ceremony. It was us, in the space in that we have worked on together in our back yard, at our home.  It was deeply personal. My brother played guitar and keyboard for our "punk" themed ceremony (Talking Heads, Bad Religion, Ben Folds....).  Metro Melik officiated for us and not only is he the biggest promoter of Lansing that I know, he was also our bartender the first time we went out. Our chairs were laid out in ska-checker-style, black and white. The backdrop was the door privacy fence that I'm so proud of.  We also put together a center arbor with 2 glass doors in our purple wedding color and an old exterior door frame with checkered accents.

Photo by Jena Hovey of McShane Photography

It rained, down poured, beforehand, but cleared for the ceremony. It was perfect. We put our wedding together somewhat quickly (as weddings go) this year. We knew there'd be bumps along the way, then inertia just took over in September. We decided to keep it small and simple. I'm glad our guest list was short because I was overwhelmed with the amount of people we did have. There was so much joy and love and hugs and excitement. 

Photo by Jena Hovey of McShane Photography

Photo by Jena Hovey of McShane Photography

Photo by Jena Hovey of McShane Photography

Photo by Jena Hovey of McShane Photography

Bryan and I hadn't discussed it, but we knew before we even talked about getting married that this relationship was permanent and marriage or not, we were together.  It was really cool seeing everyone excited that we decided to make it official.

Photo by Jena Hovey of McShane Photography

The reception was at The Avenue where we met. It was so awesome of Ruckus Ramen to cater, Dani, Colleen, Jimmy and everyone who worked to put this together for us. Again, SO we had much love and warmth from everyone who helped with and attended our wedding.

Thank you Alex (from Mirabella Salon) and his colleage Megan for our wedding hairstyles! 

Our phenomenal flower arrangements we created by Britt at Where the Wild Things Bloom:

Photo by Jena Hovey of McShane Photography

Photo by Jena Hovey of McShane Photography

Drizzle Cakes and Bakes worked in the most beautiful "dark and moody" cake and cupcakes for us. Britt was able to get our flowers and monkeytail fiddleheads to Jill for the cake. Everything that she bakes is absolutely delicious!

Photo by Jena Hovey of McShane Photography

Photo by Jena Hovey of McShane Photography

Photo by Jena Hovey of McShane Photography

Photo by Jena Hovey of McShane Photography

We spent time picking out our first dance song together. We don't have "a song", we have a genre.  I've loved ska music since I was a teen and never stopped following my favoirte bands even as their shows got smaller. Bryan brought up ska music while we chatted even before our first night out together. So we found the slower ska song, a classic by Madness, "It Must Be Love."  Speaking of music, thank you Mike, the DJ at The Avenue for mixing in some classic favorite with tons of ska-punk music. It was like my personal playlists were going all night.

Photo by Jena Hovey of McShane Photography

There are so many great photos that Jena got I just wanted to post a few of my favorites here. Thank you to everyone who was part of our special day!

Photo by Jena Hovey of McShane Photography

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Convergence Knoxville 2021: Exhibits with my work

I had no idea where to start with my posts about Convergence this year so I'm breaking posts down into subjects that I'm able to organize better.  This post is about my work shown in 3 of the Exhibits at HGA.

The drive down to Knoxville from Lansing was blue skies and fluffy clouds the whole way!

Convergence is just that, Fiber Art people from all over the world (mostly US and Canada) meet in a city chosen by HGA and we take over their Convention Center, Hotels, Classrooms, Galleries, and anywhere that will exhibit, show fiber work, or let us sit and weave/knit/spin/meet.  HGA themselves host a number of Juried Exhibits along with the local guild exhibits and often local galleries present something fiber-themed. We Converge together and you can tell where your people are by their name tags and the fact that 90% of them are wearing some sort of beautiful handwoven scarf around in July.

Even the Marriott where I was staying had great artwork throughout.

It didn't really hit me completely until I was there telling other convergence attendees that I had pieces in 3 of HGA's exhibits. That's the most I've ever had shown at once at a Convergence Conference, so that's really exciting for me. They were all from the same series: Leaf Me Alone.

I'll be honest, this Leaf Me Alone theme began with my divorce, or need to get divorced back in 2013/2014. With the pandemic, being left alone rose to another level and it became Leaf Me Alone's time to shine. Introverts like myself and Bryan were really cozy not having to do anything but go to work and come home and do our thing. I didn't realized how much I felt being pressured to be busy and social all of the time, pandemic-time was a much-needed reset. I had started making masks during that quiet and the Leaf Me Alone Mask became an obvious, somewhat time-sensitive art piece. It was accepted into the Small Expressions Exhibit.

I had an older, smaller version of Leaf Me Alone (2) in the Leader's Exhibit.  I had shown it at the Michigan League of Handweaver's Conference a few years ago when Cameron Taylor-Brown with the juror. She commented that these smaller ones (10in W x 14.5 L) looked like maquettes, which is true... I do think my word pieces translate much better on a large scale. I also love that word she used, maquette. I had warped for these small Leaf Me Alone pieces to get back in the groove of double weave pickup, and I did have Small Expressions on the brain when I started them. I still have 1 more small one to finish.

Last but definitely not least... Leaf Me Alone (the large version) came into being at the beginning of this year. It's really part of the larger word pieces that I'm picking away at and a sister piece to She Can't See the Forest through the Trees. I was so happy to have this not only finished to submit this year, but it also won an Honorable Mention.  I went to the juror's talk and she said that she felt this piece was "relaxing" which I hadn't really heard of my work before, but I'll take it.

This is also the first time I've won an award exhibiting with HGA, I'm never sure I'll win an award, there are so many amazing weavers and fiber artists in HGA!  I am so honored just to be showing with them.

I started my first full day in Knoxville meeting with Clara who I know from the Lansing Weaver's Guild and has since moved to Florida, it was so good to catch up with her while we perused the exhibits at the Knoxville Convention Center. 

I was going to blog more about the various exhibits and a few of my favorite pieces that I took quick photos of but I started to feel too overwhelmed and will never get these posted if I overthink it. Maybe I'll get to that, maybe I won't, I have a lot going on this year.

Other post subjects on my time at Convergence will hopefully be coming: 
Finish and Exhibit that Piece! (the seminar I presented)
Leader Booth/Sales (and all the awesome people I met)

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

2022 Spring/Summer Beaded Jewelry

I've had this bag of beads pulled since the beginning of April but I wasn't feeling like making jewelry for quite a while.  Then I had a baby shower to go to that I got to dress up for and made a new earring design for it. From there someone posted a cute photo of herself wearing a pair of earrings that she had purchased from me and it seemed to have lit the spark to get back to making some jewelry. 

I pulled out the bag of bead colors that have been sitting in my studio and went to work. First making some earrings...

Then I really wanted to play with stripes like I have been on the garage, so the above bracelet happened...

And I got carried away with leaves for a necklace:

The corals and greens are reminding me of past sets from Spring 2015. There were a lot of pinks used back with that grouping which I've apparently replaced with bright purple and lavender. I actually cannot get enough of this matte lavender tiny seed bead.  

I'm not entirely sure how I feel about the above lavender crystal earrings but experimentation can easily move into other ideas so who knows where these could go.

I've been beading more than I guess I thought I had been. 

Retro Fade Earrings and Bracelet, 2 versions

I picked up a new dress for Brian and Rion's 20th anniversary party so, as usual, I decided to make something to go with it. I was plann...