Wednesday, December 12, 2012

12.12.12 A Dream

Downtown Bisbee, Arizona  and Old Central School

Silver King Hotel

Of course my dream has nothing to do with 12.12.12 but I just wanted that to be the name of this post.
I've been doing some thinking and wishing that I could get a blog camp/workshop going here in our little high desert town since it's such a great destination.

Many of us got excited about the possibility of a Uruguay trip and workshop with the illustrious Marina of fancifuldevices but logistics of such magnitude can be daunting with a big trip like that.
I've been putting out some feelers and have already brought it up with our also illustrious and talented
Janet of AnvilArtifacts and stirred up some interest with her teaching a workshop.
And I would love to have Marina come too if she could swing it.

Bisbee is a great deal closer to lots of folks and a can be done much more inexpensively too I think.
( I admit my scale of distance is greatly skewed after all of these years living in Alaska and I think of all of the lower 48 being within a days drive...kinda like me driving to Anchorage from Delta for a show)
But it is doable and Tucson would be the nearest airport.

An option for lodging could be this Silver King Hotel for only $70 a night or a cottage or house rental as well. Mr. Coryosity and frequent the smallest bar in AZ that is housed seats 4 people and is hosts the weekly Sunday "Drink & Draw" group 
There's an old school up the road that is just a short walk called 

I had been thinking it could be held in conjunction with the Tucson Gem & Mineral Show but the logistics and expense could get more complicated and expensive as hotel rooms in Tucson are at a premium at that time. I think I would have to leave myself out of that planning but it could be done during that space in time if any of you wanted to maximize your trip and  bookend a workshop/blogcamp with the gem show.

So please do let me know if this is something that any of you could or would or wish to participate in and we can set an intention to make it happen.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Settling Back into Production


It's always exciting to get back to my other stash in my southern home here and see what might inspire me for some new designs. I went on a bit of a supply spree too thinking that I didn't have enough vintage dangly components and also I've been having a hard time resisting clay beads lately too.
I left most of my lampwork behind except what I still had listed in the shop so I was a little short on my own components to design with.


It's been a big adjustment getting back into the beadmaking business these last few weeks with the packing and travel. Lots of issues to straighten out initially. I was out of propane  to begin with and I'm minutes away from running out of oxygen for the torch.
My shop had been on a severe lull as well so I was heartened to start getting orders again this week. 
Thought I'd try out the Etsy shipping label since I have come to learn that our postal employees are now required to copy out customs card information at the counter while everyone is standing there. I thought it would be easier on everyone.
My worst fear about printing labels was realized immediately when I purchased the label and  my printer tells me it's out of ink. My printer refuses to let any more printing ensue after that. The nearest printer ink store is a good 45 minutes away.  At least now that I'm in the states I can take advantage of some of the online stores with fast delivery. Most places won't even ship to Alaska or charge such outrageous shipping since they only use UPS Ground and won't consider using the US Postal Service.

Eyes of Varanasi

I've used some of Natalie's beads from NKPBeads on these along with some cool relic-y copper bits

Torch fired enamel and Burmese jade


Then there's the getting used to a different photography set-up and lighting and trying to find everything that I'd rat-holed away. I really felt like making a sweep thru the studio as I had spent the last several years collecting all manner of things and it just overwhelmed me so I did some tidying and organizing and even some throwing away. ( nothing too good I assure you and anything worthwhile that I don't want or need anymore I'll be listing in my Numinosity Vintage and Supply Shop)

I've discovered that I'm out of certain colors that I use a lot and that was after I had thought I had done a thorough inventory and gone and ordered more glass. I did discover some new metallic frits to play with. Unfortunately they seem to be more difficult to photograph with the shininess  and if I crustify them it dulls the effect considerably. I really like the teal frit at the base of this nugget bead.
I can't wait to play with some more.
I opened a new bottle of bead release that is like bead un-release and it's taken me two days to get the few beads I made off of the mandrels after soaking them in vinegar and spraying with WD40 and ruining the mandrels in the process. This kind of bums me out and I'm afraid to make a big batch of beads now if it's going to be that difficult. I'm hoping it's just because the solution was too thin and if I let it sit out for a day or two It will get to the proper consistency.
I know... boring  but this is the kind of stuff that has interrupted my flow.

That and the fact that we are a popular destination for frozen travelers seeking warmth.
We're a very social couple and invite lots of folks to come down for a visit and they do just that.
I do enjoy entertaining and hosting a great deal but after 4 years of a steady stream of guests I'm having to set boundaries for myself for getting some work done or I feel as if I lose a bit of myself.
After a fairly solitary summer and fall in Alaska it's another adjustment to being on the fun retiree and vacation wagon.

These are some of the shiny headpins I'm making with the new metallic frits.
These are a purply metallic on olive green. so luscious in person but hard to capture the luster with the camera.

Almost a gunmetal luster on this set with a warm deep ivory base.

More of the Bella Donna Tealiscious frit. It makes for some ethereal blue grey green speckles with a gorgeous luster.

I wanted to let any of you folks that are designing with my handmade beads and care to share on Pinterest, I can add you to my group board of designers using numinositybeads
I'll add you to the list.  Just contact me.

I hope to be showing you more soon. I know it's going to be hectic with holidays and travel and such but my travel is going to include meeting one of our blog buddies Darlene of Darlicious Rejuvenations on our trip to Santa fe before Christmas!

Keep well you all!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Flash Sale in Appreciation

Pompeian Bloom
Sale has Ended now, thanks for stopping by.
In appreciation of you nice followers of my blog I'm offering a flash sale this weekend of 40% off shop wide.
Sale ends Sunday night so I can ship things on Monday before we fly south.
Shipping Code is FLASHPAN.

I hope to be back in gear making new things the first week of December if all goes well.
My upcoming season already looks rather full with holiday guests and travel plans meaning I'm going to have to buckle down and focus in between to keep the shop rolling along with inventory.

Now that my last local show is finished I'm scattering my finished jewelry pieces yonder to shops here and there in hopes that they don't boomerang back to me. (most of them are consignment)
I've kept a few pieces to bring south with me in case I get a hankering to do a local market down south or to put some up for December on Etsy.

This is the time of year I get to revisit my other stash of goodies that are waiting for me in Arizona.
I've been a bit frustrated that I haven't found the time to work on some of the ideas and inspirations that come to me in the assemblage/collage and journaling and fiber/fabric realm. Such has been my focus this last season that I've put my all into creating new lampwork and torched components and how very satisfying that's been for me, really it has! Thanks to you guys that keep coming back for more.
It's been an honor to see my pieces being joined with your creative sparks and skilled hands.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Winter's Comfort Food

I'm going to start with the animal pictures today.
So this is what I see looking out my living room window.
A cow moose and her calf  noshing on what's left of our puny garden.

All that munching must have made them tired... 

Because they laid down and took a rest directly after the snacking.
How do you like my little raven bird? My husband HAD to get it for me at one of the local shows for my birthday
Alaska doll maker Mariska Wright of Mariska's Creations made these. You really ought to check out her page

So while the moosey's are getting their winter comfort food I decided to make some caramel and marshmallow candy.
This is my beater right before one of the whisks broke off. It said to whip it for 15 minutes until stiff.
This was about minute 7 so I thought it had to be good enough.
I was mesmerized by the gooey snail shape as it whipped.
Then I had to fish the whisk out of the marshmallow fluff.
It's always a mess no matter what I'm creating!

Not bad but it must have taken me over an hour to just cut and wrap these.

Back to the studio now. 
Here is my Pipnmolly talisman against the crystalized frosty window near my computer.
Don't put your tongue on it!

Let's talk about "product"
I happened to be perusing the Afro hair aisle when I spotted this can.
Ingredients: Petrolatum, microcrystalline wax and fragrance.
I'm thinking that it smells a hell of a lot better than Johnson's Paste Wax and might serve the same purpose for an application on metal like we do with our steel wire work and the like.
The smell was imperceptible the next day and seemed to absorb nicely too. The price was right as well for under $4
Cool can isn't it? So retro it could pass for vintage (except for the bar code on the bottom)

Then there was this  Australian Beeswax with petrolatum, iron oxides, mica titanium dioxide and fragrance. Smells pretty much like plain wax to me and it's black!
So there are cheaper options to experiment with.

You know how long it's been since I made any focal beads?
Long time. Things were hopping so much with my supplies there for awhile that I didn't take the time. It used to be all I did and I never made sets of anything. Things change and flip flop ebb and flow with this biz.. We're talking ebb currently but that's OK. I was losing my attention span for  the small stuff for a bit. 
I was spending most of my time making earrings for local shows and it seems like the newest ones are first to go. I didn't even get to document some of them. There's a really cool set on my phone that I clicked before I bagged them up. Now I need to figure how to get them  to my computer. Just send them right? Except we have no reception out here so I have to remember to do it when I'm away from home...which is like never during the week.
Oh yeah I did find some leeks at the local market and made some super potato leek soup.
Mmmm,  more comfort food!
Here's some  Alaskan inspired aurora beads that I used to make back in the 90's.
Wow, that feels funny to say that. I used to sell lots of these and then I got kind of tired of them.
Maybe I need to ressurrect the design, I don't know. I can't even figure out how to spell resurrect now. Oh must have got it because there's no red dotted line under it now.
Used to be a good speller too...and remembered names with a steel trap acuity.

So I was reading about double headpins over at Art jewelry Elements blog.
She gives a tutorial on  how to make double headpin connectors with copper. 
I took it a step further and did it with glass instead of just balling up  the copper.

So you can take this

And turn it into this you don't get that flippy floppy business of a single headpin when you're trying to connect it. Think of the possibilities! I plan on making some more of these to sell but my lil ol' studio is on it's way to shutting down soon until I get south and then I can put some time into making and listing some new components then.

I left this one shiny because I used a good bit of silvered glass ( Double Helix for those of you lampworkers in the know) and it seems to lose it's ethereal effect when I apply the crustification.
You'll be seeing these beads popping up in the shop varreh sooon.

Now would you believe I thought I was using the same base glass for these beads?
I was using up ends and they looked awfully similar starting out.
They still make a good limpet set don't you think?

Some more double headpins but these are on heavier copper wire - 18 gauge

Here I'm showing you their belly buttons. It was a natural birth.

More  crusty "oobers"

Shiny stripy Double Helix... See now you know what 'm talking about.
Lookit that gorgeous ethereal metallicnessosity!

These ended up with a plethora of multicolored speckles against that fossily base.

S'nother focal bead. I actually did crustify the double helix here just to be daring and all that. It does tend to take it down a notch and with the silvered glass being upwards of $100 a pound you don't want to squander it,  knowwhatimean?

Ah yes, another stab at this style. I'm holding back on selling these cuz you know... I need to make more and then maybe one day I can aspire to get them in a magazine or something. It's on my list of to do and join the club with all of you's published types out there. You know who you are.
I have a mighty stack of the rusted metal tiles waiting for me down in Arizona.
Did I mention it's less than three weeks till we leave!!
I'm paying a small portion of my winter dues to get out of here with this subzero and wind and all. 
But there's so much beauty to the winter here too it really is astounding.

I leave you with a peek at the undersides of these limpets.
If that doesn't get you excited I don't know what will.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Clay Day...Baby it's Cold Outside

I've gotten ahold of a big chunk-o-clay thanks to a potter friend of mine.
I swear it was at least ten pounds of it when all I really thought I needed was a small amount to play and experiment with.
As it is I may not get to see the final results until next spring when another friend will be firing her outdoor kiln.
 Hey, anyone know if you can fire enamel to clay? Would it be after it was fired or before?  Like right at the torch like I do with my copper pieces.....Anybody?

I scoured the house for possible textures

Who knew that this topographical model of Matterhorn would come in handy?
I knew that I would use it for art but had been thinking assemblage at the time.

Kind of blurry  photo  but this is an African wooden vessel that's been giving up its face for some texture.

Speaking of giving up face...
I've been really bad about taking my walkies to the paper box all year and Mr. Coryosity has taken to driving there to pick it up.
We vowed that we would walk there together daily now that it's sub-zero weather.
Like my hat? My friend Mountain Heather Creations makes these...and the neck gaiter too.

the field

Ho frost

See, we live near the famous highway

oooh... sparkly!

thru the woods
All hooked up with two necessities- wood stove and satellite internet

This is why I 'm having trouble going out to my Garaj Mahal studio some days lately

So I sit near the stove and make these.
So this bracelet looks good in theory with some Kristi Bowman Design and Scorched Earth  and a coupla my own beads but I'm going to have to get down and get some soldering techniques under my belt.
The links know just how to slip out dammit!
You may or may not realize that I don't make bracelets much.
There's one reason.

I had a bunch of one of a kind (is that an oxymoron?)
squished stripy shiny ribbed (for extra comfort) shaped beads and a few rusted Arizona bottle caps that I wanted to gold leaf. gild? gilt? leave?
I made a few of these pendant pieces that will go on chains.

and some earrings along similar lines

I've been making a bunch of this type too

Some of Petra's fingers. These were going to have skulls but I couldn't fasten them pleasingly enough for my taste and I wanted to highlight the fingers anyhow.

This is the stepping stone between my old classic bead only style and full on assemblage earrings.
Don't want to freak out my old customers totally. They need choices and gentle nudgings toward what is evolving in the ways of numinosity.

"Blimpets" in action

cocoa puff brown with milk and silver granulation

some Scorchedosity with Petra's bead caps
(Petra being ScorchedEarthOn Etsy)

I'm not all crusty (well, maybe I am  but my earrings aren't)
Dig those peacock metallics.

So it's a month countdown til Arizona and I get to enjoy a birthday in a few days.
It's a 56/56 birthday... that being the age and the year of birth.
I guess not all generations get to enjoy that kind of birthday, just us mid to late century types I guess.
Like someone that was born in '02 couldn't celebrate it until 2102, right?
Now it's hurting my brain with this trying to figure out the math to see if I'm correct in this.
Enough puzzler for today. Stay warm you all everybody.
( I told you I was watching a lot of Lost lately)