Sunday, September 27, 2009

Weekly Wanderings Around the Beadosphere

Last weekend of September already. Nights are getting longer, it's barely light out when I have to get up to get ready for work. I think I'd love living in a much more southern latitude. Had a great visit on Friday night with some virtual acquaintances - I'd only met one of them before in person. I'd had a pretty awful day up till I sat down for drinks and great conversation. I may blog about that on my other blog one of these days.

Then Saturday was a lazy day, talked to both of my kids and watched shows on TiVo, took a long nap mid-afternoon. Cooked a late lunch for the husband and me, too - if you can call making salmon patties, nuking a tray of store-bought mashed potatoes and opening a can of peas cooking. It was very yummy nonetheless. Sunday will be a jewelry making day, I hope, because I've got a lot of ideas to work through.

Well, enough about me...this is about all my neighbors out there in the Beadosphere - so let's check 'em out!

Just one little plug for me - I finally broke down and started one of those 'fan pages' on Facebook. I'd love it if you'd become a fan.

Hope you're not too worn out from our little hike around the Beadosphere this week - lots of great places to visit. I highly recommend bookmarking or following the blogs mentioned so you never miss a post!

See you tomorrow for Monday Miscellany - I've got a good post planned! And if you're on Twitter, I hope you're going to enter the #TweetYourStudio contest - the contest runs tomorrow only and there are three great prizes being offered!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Special Feature: Twitter Contest with The Beadin' Path and My Contest Finalist Necklace

Contest? Did someone say contest?

On Tuesday I blogged about finally organizing (well, mostly) my workspace with some pictures and shared about it on Twitter, too. To share it on Twitter, in less than 140 characters, you need to convert the URL of the post, which is very long, to something as short as possible. To do that, I go to a site called and create a short link. also tracks the human clicks (discounts all 'bots) on each link created.

When I look at the metrics for clicks on that link, I usually see that I get anywhere from 10 to 20 clicks and sometimes 30 or 40 if I'm really lucky. On Tuesday's link - over 200! (If you are back today after first visiting me via Twitter yesterday and Tuesday, thank you for returning) The point, though, is wow, people must like to see other people's studios!

Well, I was tweeting (that's what you call the messages on Twitter, by the way) about it with Heather DeSimone from The Beadin' Path (@beadinpath) and she said:
beadinpath: @AWDawno We should try to start up a #TweetYourStudio day. It could be fun. And inspiring. And scary.
That got some re-tweets and positive comments, so we are going to have a TweetYourStudio day on Monday, September 28th, on Twitter. To enter you have to do two things.

1) Go to one of the Twitter photo sharing sites (I'm familiar with yfrog and twitpic, but there may be others) and upload a photo of your studio. These sites allow you to tweet the picture and a brief caption to Twitter right from the same spot. You register there with your Twitter name and password. Signing up for Twitter is free. There may be other ways to share your pictures that those of you who are more Twitter savvy know how to do, feel free to use them.

2) In order to complete your entry, you *must* put the hashtag #TweetYourStudio in the message you tweet with your picture (or we won't be able to find it). If you don't know what that means, here's a great explanation of hashtags and how to use them.

Update from Heather on prizes! (promoted from comments)

The Beadin' Path & will be ponying up 2 $30 gift cards to The Beadin' Path or for winners in the following categories.
*Most Organized
*Most 'Holy-Cow-I-Can't-Believe-You-Get-Anything-Done-in-that-Space' Studio

Submissions are open to any artist working in any media. Just tweet your space.

Judges will be 3 BeadinPath staff'ers (but not me, sorry Tweeter friends, no favoritesies :). And we'll announce the winners on Tuesday morning here on this blog as well as on Twitter!
Submissions must use hashtag #TweetYourStudio or we won't see them.
And also - all entries must be submitted by midnight West Coast time on Monday night (we don't want to miss anyone who submits too late).

Wahoo! This will be fun!
Thanks Dawn for the superb blog!
:) Heather
The Beadin' Path

I am also offering an "honorable mention" prize for best use of a small crafting space. If you're stuck with a corner, a closet or have to do your crafts on the sofa, tweet a picture of the space in use (if you're camera shy, just show the stuff you craft with at the place you craft - you don't have to be in the picture) and use the same hashtag but mention "small space" or "sm.sp." to keep it short. I'll send the winner a special prize, something that won't take up too much space either: a Bead Buddy Dual Lap Desk.

So you have the weekend to tidy up (or not if you want to win Holy-Cow-I-Can't-Believe-You-Get-Anything-Done-in-that-Space) but post your picture and use the hashtag on Monday to enter.

Speaking of contests...

Some time ago I got the news that I was one of the ten finalists in the Step by Step Beads magazine Colorworks contest held in the Spring. The contest finalists' pieces (including mine!) will be featured in the November/December '09 issue of Step by Step Beads with comments by Margie Deeb.

I have wanted to post a picture of the necklace ever since I heard, but I'd removed one of the copper chains to use for another necklace that I sold at BayCon, because I'd run out of that chain and didn't have time to order more. I'd put the necklace aside to wait for the replacement chain. Now that I've worked my way through the organizing (mostly) of my workroom to the point where I uncovered the necklace, I could replace the missing chain and take a picture for you:

The rules for the contest were to use the green, orange and purple triad of the color wheel. I'd already started what is the top beaded strand in the first picture, with those colors, so I used that design as my starting point for the final piece.

It went through several iterations before I finished it. I wasn't sure about it having five layers, but I just wasn't happy with it and kept on adding layers, until I had five.

So, there's the necklace and its story. Hope it was worth the wait...

My apologies for not being ready to review the Wubbers yet, nor having an interview ready - I need to carve out time to do some research and email good questions to the potential interviewee - hope to do so this weekend.

See you tomorrow for my Friday Pick!

PS - Picture credit: The picture at the top of the page is in the public domain in the United States. This applies to U.S. works where the copyright has expired, often because its first publication occurred prior to January 1, 1923. This image is available from the United States Library of Congress's Prints and Photographs Division under the digital ID cph.3b06083

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Weekly Wanderings Around the Beadosphere

Well, that's it for today's wanderings - see you tomorrow for Monday Miscellany. I have a Beadin' Path design partner necklace to show featuring their new glass River Rocks, *plus* I'll finally be able to share pictures of that Step by Step Beads Colorworks design contest finalist necklace I made, so I do hope you'll stop by.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Weekly Wanderings Around the Beadosphere

Today is the Mountain View Art & Wine festival and I'm really looking forward to visiting it. The weather will be cooler this year with a small chance of showers. Maybe that'll make it less crowded in the morning when we go. I love to visit all the jewelry crafting booths - they're part of the inspiration to make my own jewelry. I only get to buy their pieces once a year, but in the meanwhile I can create complimentary things on my own all year 'round.

It is also my son's 24th birthday today. Happy Birthday, Matt!

Well, I know you're not here to hear me ramble - you're ready to wander so let's get going!

That's it for today - I'm sure this was a lot less exhausting than the Art & Wine wandering will be - but definitely easier on my pocketbook! See you for tomorrow's Monday Miscellany where I'll share some of the new work I've managed to get done between bouts of workroom clean-up (it seems to be a neverending task!).

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Dawno's Weekly Wanderings Around the Beadosphere

It's Sunday, so you know the drill - grab your walkin' shoes (aka, mouse) and let's go wandering around the beadosphere...

Speaking of suppliers - don't forget to peek back at my Supplier Sales Saturday post if you missed it to get the scoop on some good sales - some are ending today, others pretty soon, so don't miss out. I hope to make this a regular feature every Saturday.

If you have the time tomorrow, do drop by, I'll be sharing a new piece which is *finally* using the last of the Rings & Things gluable challenge (and it was back in March) bracelet blanks that's been sitting on my worktable mocking me since.

I visited Michael's on Friday to pick up, oh, one or two things (ha! thank goodness I remembered my 15% off coupon) and found a whole bunch of gunmetal items from Plaid. One of them inspired me to grab that bracelet blank and make something! Hint: it's not a bracelet and there's no glue involved.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Thursday Feature: Reviews & Interviews - Beyond the Bead by Margot Potter

I was so excited when this book finally arrived. Margot's work is fun, imaginative and inspires me to try and think more creatively about what I'm doing. I've done a few things in the last year that were well outside my comfort zone as a result of following her blog and admiring her work for Beadalon and Swarovski. In fact, when she made a kind comment about something I made with a Rings & Things product earlier this year (choker forms), I could hardly believe it! It helped me gain even more confidence about pushing back the edges of my creative envelope.

Well, enough about me - what about Beyond the Bead?

Basic facts: 8 1/2 by 11" full glossy color book with tons of great photographs, which is what I expect in a how to book, but the artful way the pages are composed makes each page a pleasure to the eyes. 128 numbered pages - there are a few extra pages as well that deserve attention - the acknowledgment and bio pages are not to be skipped, Margot's writing style is a joy to read.

The book starts off with sections on Building Blocks, Tools, and Techniques. Even though I'm getting fairly practiced and feel confident about most techniques, I always check these sections out - you never know when you'll pick up a new tip or get a refresher that improves your skill.

Then each of the next sections has a lovely introduction before going into the projects which are thoroughly and artfully described and illustrated. There are 26 in all. As I read I realize that almost anything you might find lying around the house could become a unique and eye-catching piece of jewelry.

Most of the projects require a bit of specialized equipment or a few specialized products that crafty people probably already have, but even if your work room only has beads and wire, you will be anxious to get out to the crafts store (or go online) and grab some new items. Rest assured, you'll use them again and again once you're hooked.

Margot is all about mixing it up - using many different media to create interest and depth. There's glitter and grunge, wire and washers (not the laundromat kind), and lots of fun with glue.

One of my favorite projects in the book is right at the front - the Vogue Slide necklace. Aside from a memory glass slide and frame you probably have all the rest of the materials on hand. The look of the piece is all about what image you choose and everything else can be adapted from there.

The other piece from this section, the next project on using embossing powder on glass, I liked was the gallery piece "Optically Stained" - Margot listed that piece on Etsy and I snapped it up the moment I read about it! It's gorgeous and gets many, many compliments when worn.

There's another project section I want to try soon, it's the "Scrapped - Working with Scrapbooking Supplies" - especially the faux enameled jewelry using chipboard shapes. You can go really big with these and they're so lightweight it won't matter. That's important to me as heavy necklaces give me horrible neck aches and sometimes even headaches.

The one piece that seemed the most complicated was the glass etching - lots of specialized materials to buy and some soldering. Even so, I can't see the tools and materials going to waste, I'm sure I'd have other ideas once I had the products.

This book was well worth the wait - but I recommend you get it right away! Here's a link (below) even - if you buy it here your purchase will add a penny or two to my piggy bank. If you'd rather the pennies go in Margot's bank - here's the link to her blog and she's got her affiliate link to the book in the sidebar.

Thanks for stopping by, hope you enjoyed the review (enough to buy Margot's book, even!)

I'm hoping I'll have the energy to do a Friday Pick - if not, I promise to try and share something interesting.

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