Sunday, August 31, 2008

Complimentary Contradictions

That is the theme for the Etsy Beadweavers September Challenge. For once, I wasn't scrambling to finish at the eleventh hour, and I had so much fun with this one! My piece is called, "Black and White - A Story in Color." It's made up of six hexagons woven together. Three of them are made up of different colors, and two of them are black, white, and different shades of gray. It's finished off with a real silver chain and a red glass bead. I'm really pleased with the way it turned out. These colors were so fun to use, and I'm also really pleased with the final proportions. I have a feeling that this piece will be my inspiration for many pieces to come.

You can vote for your favorite September EBWC Entry on September 9th on the EBW blog,

I've only been a member of the Etsy Beadweavers since May, but it's been such an awesome experience so far. And the three challenges in which I have participated have truly influenced the way I bead, for the better! Lately, I haven't had much time to bead, because I've been getting ready to move apartments, and I've also begun the law school application process. I have finished a gift and a custom order, and I finished two more bracelets a couple of weeks ago, but I haven't had a chance to photograph them and get the up on Etsy yet. But I will soon! All in good time...

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Guilty Pleasures

I've developed an addiction to reality TV shows on Bravo. In the past, I would never had admitted to this, but we're all friends here, right?

My all time favorite, of course, is Project Runway. I've also really gotten into Shear Genius. I love watching the challenges and the wonderful and awful things that these people come up with. I love choosing my favorites and least favorites and imagining myself wearing those outfits and haircuts. My favorite "character" is Stella, the wonderfully ridiculous designer of all things "leatha."

I rush home every Wednesday to watch these favorite shows of mine. If I can't be home to watch them, they'll always be on the next day. And the day after that. And pretty much every day until the next Wednesday, the next episode. But then, all the episodes are on that day too...

This all got me thinking. What if there was a Bravo TV show about the type of designing that I do? What if there was a show just about beadweaving. Or about knitting and crocheting. The camera focuses on me. I'm beadweaving, and you hear a voiceover. "I decided to do a peyote cuff. So I started with some beads. And then I put on another bead. And then I put on another bead. And then I put on another bead. And then I decide to change colors." Or "I did a row of knit. And a row of purl. Then I did an intricate lace. Yarn over..." Maybe it's just that I've been watching too much TV and frying my brain, but this concept makes me laugh! Just imagine how entertaining that would be to the outside world! (Not!)

But it also got me thinking about the people I design for. I always design with a little piece of myself in mind. After all, who could love something I make that I don't even love? In their own way, the Etsy Beadweaving challenges are kind of the same concept. The last challenge in particular got me out of my comfort zone, but I was determined to make something beautiful within the guidelines that was still true to my own sense of style, and I'm pretty sure I pulled it off.

And of course there are the people who wear my jewelry. I just love opening a package in which there is something wearable that I ordered from Etsy. (Lamp work jewelry is another guilty pleasure of mine.) And when I put it on, I feel amazing and beautiful. That is exactly how I want people to feel when they wear my jewelry. I want them to feel like the powerful women they are, or to feel like princesses. Whatever makes them feel best, that is how I want them to feel. Whether I give pieces I make away or people purchase them or even have me custom make them, I just want my pieces to be loved, and I want the people who wear them to feel just that little bit more amazing.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Art Deco

Once again, I listed my EBW Challenge piece at the very last minute, but I listed it!

This piece was inspired by colors and geometric designs of the Art Deco period. It's an adjustable peyote cuff with rectangular windows ascending (or descending, depending on which way you look at it) across the bracelet. I'm very happy with the way it turned out.

When I started this piece, I had a vague idea that I wanted it to be red, with maybe some black and or white, and preferable with some sort of window. It evolved as I continued with it. As geometric as it is, this piece is the closest I have ever come to free form. Perhaps it is time for me to give real free form a try! :-)

Starting August 9, you can see all the beautiful entries on the EBW Blog, and vote for your favorite!

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Checking In

I've had various things going on for the past couple of weeks, and I've been kind of absent from the blogosphere. A few weeks ago, Sam and I had an amazing time visiting friends in Ithaca. And the Thursday and Friday before last, I had jury duty. (Yes, in New York, federal jury duty lasts two days!) I spent all of Thursday in a court room, but in the end, I didn't get picked. It was pretty interesting, though. I started my Art Deco challenge entry that night, and was able to work on it a lot on Friday in the "Jurors Lounge" and then at Starbucks as I waited for Sam to get out from work so we could head off to a Ween concert, which is one of his favorite bands.

The next day, Saturday, was Sam's birthday, and we walked from his apartment in Astoria to Peter Luger's in Brooklyn. It was lots of fun, but I wasn't wearing the right shoes. We finally took advantage of his back yard that night, during Sam's big birthday bash. When I excused myself to "nap" (i.e. go to sleep) at 2:00, the party was still going strong.

My big endeavor for this week was to finish my August EBW challenge, Art Deco. Sam and I had planned to go hiking upstate with a few friends yesterday, but a few hours into our drive, it started to thunder and pour. So we took a tour of an old mansion for an hour or two and then got ice cream before the long ride home. But today, at 1:00 p.m., I finally finished my piece! I took my pictures, but I haven't had a chance to list it yet, or even put up the pictures (a very late brunch in Sam's neighborhood took priority) so I'll get them up tomorrow before the midnight deadline. But...Woohoo! Done! Yay! :-)