Tuesday, May 21, 2013

On Fire for Handmade - Featured Artist


VaBeachQuilter – Featured Artist

  This week’s Featured Artist is Kim Brinsfield of VaBeachQuilter
You will find stunning, handmade Quilts, Table runners, Coasters, coupon organizers and more in her Shop.   She is a member of the On Fire for Handmade Team on Etsy and we are thrilled to have her!

Find VaBeachQuilter on:

Etsy   Facebook   Twitter   Website   Blog   Rebelmouse  Pinterest

Are you On Fire for Handmade? http://onfireforhandmade.com Grab the code for your Blog and Share! Click HERE for code!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

On Fire for Handmade -- Artist Spotlight

Brushes with a View Featured Artist

Brushes with a View - Featured Artist

  This week's Featured Artist is Ann Yaconis of Brushes with a View! You will find stunning, hand-painted glassware in her shop on Etsy! Beautiful works of art that will truly enhance a table setting and make that gathering a perfect one! She is a member of the On Fire for Handmade Team on Etsy and we are thrilled to have her!

Find Brushes with a Veiw on:

 Etsy Pinterest Facebook Twitter Blog! OrangeTwig

Grab the Code for your Blog HERE!  Are You On Fire for Handmade?!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Monday Musings

Perspective, or point of view, is crucial for any artist.  It's what keeps your designs focused and uncluttered.  It makes your work unique and different from anyone else.
When started my business, I was painting on glass.  There were classes in the "Donna Dewberry" way and while I think she's a fantastic artist, I DID NOT want my work to be a duplicate of hers.
In fact, at my first craft show, a fellow glass painter (who had been in the business for years) made a point to come over to my table and chat with me about my technique.  When I told him I taught myself and that I wanted my work to stand out because it was different from what everyone else was offering, he came behind my table to shake my hand.
It confirmed what I had suspected...the way to be noticed in a sea of talented people was to create something that was unique.
I've carried this same idea over into my jewelry designs.   There are lots of jewelry shops on the internet, but mine is different from anything else.  I collect all the sea glass for my designs (except for a few pieces that came from Scotland and some colors that are more common on the New England coasts but not where I live).   
Be confident in your point of view!  You see the world from a different perspective than anyone else...share that through your designs. 


Friday, May 10, 2013

Friday's Inspiration

Inspiration comes in all shapes and sizes!
When you create something, you want to make sure it is constructed well and your technique is solid.
But an important factor you don't want to overlook is adding the unexpected.  What sets this palm tree photo apart from the hundreds of palm tree photos?  The fact that it looks like it belongs in a Dr. Seuss story!
Experiment with color, shape and design...walk outside your box and see how different the perspective is from over there! 

Monday, May 6, 2013

Monday Musings

I have found that the fear of something is worse than actually doing it. 
Getting started creating jewelry was a daunting task for me.  I really had no idea what type of jewelry I wanted to create and no way to make my work stand out from the amazing crowd of jewelry designers already out there.
I started out with simple wire wrapping techniques, like the earrings above.
Then I started creating my own links and findings and added that skill to my wire wrapping techniques.
Then a friend showed me her collection of sea glass and told me where she went to collect it.  I almost didn't start creating my sea glass jewelry because I was afraid to jump into a new technique.
I watched countless videos of different wire wrapping techniques and decided that I needed to start somewhere and that starting was better than just sitting there.  These earrings above were one of my first sets and I was quite proud of them!
Figuring out how to have a loop at two ends of a piece of sea glass was a real challenge.  It took many times trying and re-trying, but that's how you learn best.
Somewhere along the way, I realized that I wasn't afraid to try new techniques anymore.  I jumped in with both feet into the beading pool...and check out these designs! 
Starting anything new can be scary.   But unless you take that first step, you'll never know how far you can go!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

...And They're Off!!!

My dad and I always wanted to go to the Kentucky Derby and see the "Run for the Roses" in all its glory.  But we contented ourselves with watching the pageantry on TV together.   And now that he's gone, I've continued the tradition on my own.
So when I saw Bobbie Rafferty's Hat's Off  Challenge, I had to jump in! 
The challenge?  Choose one of the amazingly over-the-top hats that have been worn to the Kentucky Derby over the years and create a piece of jewelry that is inspired by that hat.  (Here's the link to all the hats we had to choose from:  Hats Off Challenge)
 My favorite is this vintage hat...I loved the colors and the movement of the feathers.    
  So I started with a nice sized piece of white sea glass, grabbed my beading needles and started going through my bead stash!
I decided to use variegated green 11/0 seed beads for the beaded bezel and the main color of the necklace.
I had never created anything using the St. Petersburg stitch...so since I try to learn something new for the challenges, this was my time to dive in! 
The necklace is created with a double St. Petersburg stitch.  The necklace is mostly the variegated green 11/0 beads, with orange and pink 11/0 beads as the accent colors.   
Not colors I would have normally chosen, but perfect for the warmer weather that is (finally!) coming our way!
Thanks for dropping by to see my challenge creation!  Here's a list of everyone who is part of the Hat's Off Challenge...please be sure to visit and see all the amazing creations inspired by the Derby hats! 

Bobbie Rafferty www.beadsong.blogspot.com
Cindy Wilson www.itsmyseaofdreams.blogspot.com  You are here!
Susan Nelson Bowie www.susanbowie.wordpress.com

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Monday Musings

Disclaimer:  I know it's Wednesday...but Monday was my birthday so I moved the Musings to today for this week.  :)
I am a great one for planning.  Growing up, we were 30 minutes from anything (except the post office).  Even getting gas was a 30 minute trip to town! 
And what about holidays???  You had to make sure you had everything you needed because NO ONE was open Christmas Day, Thanksgiving, Easter, Good Friday...  If you didn't plan ahead, you learned to do without!
But looking too far ahead when searching for sea glass means you miss what is right in front of you. 
On my last trip, I wish I had looked up a little more than I did...I almost walked into a dead fish that was really high up on the beach.  My friend saw me heading towards it and warned me just before I stepped on it.  
But the odd dead fish aside, another good rule of thumb is to look carefully where you are walking, not 3-4 feet ahead. 
Most of the jewelry-grade sea glass I find is the size of a quarter or smaller.  They can be hard to see until you are right on top of them.  And when you are looking near the surf and the glass is wet, it almost seems to disappear.   
This is a picture of what I found on my last sea glass trip.  A nice mix of brown, white and green sea glass in a variety of sizes, which is perfect for all kinds of jewelry designs!
 We also found a lot of really amazing shells this trip.  As soon as I get the drill fixed (drilling sea glass is harder than it looks!) I'll be drilling a small hole in these beauties and creating some amazing necklaces with them! 
So I guess it's safe to say that while planning ahead is really important, don't forget to enjoy where you are right now!  After all, this time won't ever come again so enjoy it while you are here in it!