Beadfest bounty.

I wanted to share with you some of the treasures that I brought home from Beadfest. As I may have mentioned – I am thrilled to be a part of this creative community, and found the environment of Beadfest invigorating. I came home with materials, artist beads, and ideas to last me a good while. I do have a tendency to live with the new materials for a while before incorporating them into new pieces. The artist beads and focals are handcrafted by colleagues, fellow artists; I want to share their information here – we all support each other with marketing, blogging, social media… wherever we can. And although I have unplugged these last two days in an effort to feel restored before I dive back into the studio – I am inspired to create with: 

S+S Shivam

Cabochons – S&S lapidary

Gems – Shivam imports. (Labradorite, citrine, garnet, labradorite, spiniel)

Dakota Stones

Dakota stones  – onyx, ?, dragons blood jasper, moss agate, apatite,?, amazonite.

Carol DeeZigns

Gorgeous enameled components from Carol Myers of Carol DeeZigns. Carol is the FIRST certified “Painting with Fire” instructor!

glass clay booty1

Lampwork Strands ( top to bottom) SueBeads, HMB Studios, Gardanne beads. 

Lampwork “stone” – Kerry Bogert of Kab’s Concepts. 

Polymer Buddha – Barbara Bechtel of Second Surf

Matte finish lampwork beads – JoAnne Zekowski of Z Designs in Glass

Moon/ocean lampwork focal – Jan Onipenco of Molten Mayhem

clay metal booty

Left: Ceramic components by Mary Hubbard of White Clover Kiln

Bottom: Bronze pieces by Staci Smith of Staci Louise Originals

Right: Ceramic and raku pieces by Diana Ptaszynski of Suburban Girl Studio

Green Girl treasures

Green Girl Studios!

Andrew Thornton originals

Andrew Thornton sculptural bronze components and focals. Andrew was one of my Bead Swap partners…

And – one of the highlights of Beadfest is the BEAD SWAP organized by Diana P. of Suburban Girls Studios. My lovely partner this year was Sandy Miller – and she showered me with goodness! Interesting that it was the ceramic artists I knew, and the lampwork artists that I am thrilled to be introduced to… I was tempted to unwrap one wee parcel each hour Saturday afternoon, but I quickly lost that will power and dove in: 

Bead Swap goodies

From top left to bottom right: Studio by the Forest, Nancy Schindler at Round Rabbit, Chinook ceramics, Outwest glass, Lori Lochner, and Lava Lampwork

 

Thank you to all my artist friends for doing what you do, sharing it with the world, and pursuing the (not always easy) path or a self-supporting artist! Until next year…

BeadFest – these are the people in my neighborhood

My first Beadfest as an exhibitor has come and gone. It was most definitely worth the days spend firing and glazing in a frenzy! I had a wonderful time – seeing my pieces well received, meeting new friends, catching up with old friends. And I managed to fit in a little shopping and a bit of barter (tomorrow’s post). For now – a recap of the booth, and a few of my neighbors. I regret not taking more people pictures…I seem to have focused on the beads. 

My booth

high fire and words

"Mythic Nature" series

Lunar Hare

Lampwork lovelies from my neighbor Sue Kennedy of Sue Beads

 Sue Beads

What patience! Hundreds of raku beads from Amy at Xaz Bead Company

Xaz Bead Co.

One of a kind ceramic focals and buttons from Mary Hubbard at White Clover Kiln.

White Clover Kiln

Green Girl Studios – pewter charms, buttons, pendants…

Green Girl Studios

Lampwork from Heather of HBM Studios. 

HMB Studios

Lampwork focals from Anne of Gardanne Beads. 

Gardanne beads

The show was great, although long hours on one’s feet. The atmosphere was very invigorating, and creative. I am thrilled to be part of this community; I am very glad I took the leap and applied. Although it seems very quiet here at home, alone – I am full of ideas and energy – so thank you friends!

 

 

 

Friends, fae, family… faces of Spoutwood

I didnt know what I had been missing until I found it. When I did my first fantasy/fairy themed event – I was overjoyed at the sense of community. I had found a tribe of people from all geographic locations, all walks of life, all ages, that were like me. Artists, performers, dancers, musicians… people that live a creative life, work at their passion, follow their bliss… (Not to sound trite – its true.) A tribe of people where many of us share similar spiritual beliefs, are inspired by similar experiences, where you can discuss folklore and myth more easily than current events. Here are people that keep a hold on that joie de vivre…that ability to play, celebrate…and its a place where all are welcome. 

It was wonderful to spend the weekend at Spoutwood with my friends, my tribe…

Angela, Virginia, and me

Robert/Gandersnitch

Trinket

Scott - Frenchy & the Punk

Samantha - Frenchy & the Punk

Twig

Maypole

Performer

Me and Wedji

Angela, Virginia, me

Thank you! Until next time…

 

Filtered flowers, fun with Instagram

Oops. Day or two later than I promised… I wanted to post a few more pictures from the Philadelphia weekend and the Flower show. I set aside the images that I had altered, applied filters to in Instagram. It is one of the hundreds of things I love about my iPhone. A regular commonplace picture – black and white, intensified, retro style? All with the swipe of a finger…

Oldenburg

Oldenburg’s Clothespin

pale and luscious

Shades of pale

vintage Scooby

Vintage Scooby

striped spring

Striped Spring

Spots and stripes

Exotic. 

afternoon fortification

Afternoon fortification. 


Retail therapy

Saturday was a day of retail therapy and fabulous friends – old and new. I went to the Berks Bead Bazaar with my friend Marsha (Marsha Neal Studio) and her daughter Chloe – bead babe in training! I stated emphatically in the car ” I don’t NEED anything…” but was very much looking forward to lunch with friends and a bit of eye candy…

First stop: Lisa Peters Art

Lisa Peters1

Stoneware, cabochons, buttons Oh my!

Lisa Peters2

I met Lisa – what is it now? – 4 years ago at the Moravian Tile Festival – through Marsha. We three had a great time, and I have counted Lisa a friend since! She is a generous, creative, funny, fabulous woman who makes exquisite one of a kind ceramic creations. Why – you ask – do I need to buy ceramic cabochons since I make them myself? They are attractive, inspiring, different… Every truly creative clay person makes pieces so unique, stamped with their personality – I need all the more because I love clay so much…

Next up – catching up with Diana P. of Suburban Girl Studio ( back to her later) and finally meeting Staci from Staci Louise Originals

Silly. Silks.

Staci Smith at her booth

Staci’s booth display was gorgeous!( As is her polymer.) She works on PMC, bronze clay, and polymer. I especially like the crackle finish pieces. They had an air of antiquity I liked: 

crackle polymer

We had an epic lunch with Sandra Miller and Mary Hubbard & Molly Hubbard and Kristie Roeder and Melinda Orr  and Diana P. – service was slow, but we were talking and talking and didnt notice – except that there was a bit of shopping to be done…

bead babes

(L to R: Melinda Orr, Lisa Peters Russ, Marsha Minutella, me, and sleepy Chloe)

But I said I didnt need anything… I was very restrained, let me show you the loot: 

loot1

2 Stoneware cabs from Lisa Peters Art. Strands of green garnet, amazonite and aqua terra jasper. 

loot2

And thinking of Spoutwood Faerie Festival, I wanted some cabs to tab set. (wrote them down, cant remember…) That bronze moon face by Staci might be mine to keep!

And I did get one more bit of bead loot recently! I said I would tell you more about Diana of Suburban Girl studio? Well, I am a member of her first annual design team. She is going to give us challenges – seasonally – to create an original piece using one of her ceramic components. This Spring challenge includes a lampwork bead from Jan at Molten Mayhem (also a design team member). I think the palette is very “Spring” but a bit out of my comfort zone. Well, it IS called a challenge.. I definitely have some ideas percolating in my head. I will keep you posted!

suburban girl loot

FaerieCon m.a.g.i.c – G is for good friends, good neighbors

Robert Frost said “Good fences make good neighbors” That sprang to mind when I sat down to gather my thoughts  for this post. Good neighbors make for a good festival. Good neighbors also make good friends – and vice versa. This FaerieCon I was in my regular space, my home away from home. I have vended the event three years running in the upstairs hall. Yes, its hard to select and filter what to bring for a 6′ table display when I am accustomed to a booth. But to be surrounded by friends, old and new; to listen to fantastic music during the Masquerades; take a look: 

JDR table

Let me introduce you to some of my gypsy fae family. 

Sarah and JDR

Sarah and I have been friends for years – she was one of my first friends when I moved to Delaware. One summer she and her teenage kids ( my students) gave me a wee soft sculpted artist doll mermaid. A few years later, she and I are set up side by side at FaerieCon. She was the person who introduced me to FaerieCon and planted the seed that we should each vend! And she is one helluva a baker, too…

Toadstoolsntreestump

You can find her on Etsy at ToadstoolsNTreestump!

Sarah and I met Kimberly of Goblin Bazaar at the first Baltimore FaerieCon. If her shop is closed – she is either out geocaching of catching fae critters… She runs an adoption agency of sorts, coaxing the critters in from the wild and finding them homes with open minded magically aware humans. Some need love, others understanding, but they find the right match in the end. 

Kimberly and JDR

And there are goblins. Nose Goblins, Oak goblins… goblins wearing exquisite leather masks – they might let you wear one as well with just the right bribery. Of course I am talking about Goblin Road! Robert represents this husband and wife business/team at FaerieCon, and he is a welcoming presence, a wealth of information, freely shared. He has a certain “je ne sais quoi”. 

Robert Goblin Rd

We adopted Dru` the oak goblin a year ago (?) and he is a welcome addition to our family. (Dru` is Gaelic for oak, naturally.)

oak goblin

One additional friend, although not on our hallway – Noelle! She is a multi-faceted actress, performer, artist who never ceases to amaze me. I am so glad that FaerieCon and Frenchy and the Punk brought us together! Wouldn’t quite be the same if you werent there, darling! (Scott and Samantha you were missed! Hope you can return to the Realm next year!)

Noelle and JDR

And this hallway was the place to be! New people to meet! Much fun to be had! (And the lights bounced! Inside joke…)

Meredith Dillman – I was familiar with her work from the Interwebs – great to meet her. A picture, you ask? Sorry, no. How about her work? I love “Kitsune”!

Dillman Kitsune

There are many faeries and lovely and mysterious ladies on her site as well. But I can never resist a fox fae!

I was thrilled to see Reyen Design Studios on the map across from me! I am familiar with their wool and silk felted creations from previous FaerieCons and Spoutwood. Hand dyed, merino wool felted onto silk – they defy words. A must to see, feel, wear. And such good neighbors! ( This picture is a rough phone shot, but I had to do it…) Serenading Satyrs!

Reyen satyrs

Last but not least – Danielle from Earthly Leather Designs. We were Etsy acquaintances, and I am thrilled her first FaerieCon was a smashing success! Here’s to many more! (And hoping we get to chat a bit next time!) 

Earthly Leather

Thank you for being the best neighbors a girl, and her dryad, could wish for. Have a wonderful year, til next we meet! 

Art Bliss.Pure and simply – art bliss! DC 2011.

Art Bliss 2011

The second annual ArtBLISS retreat was held in Dulles VA on September 23-25th. Our hosts Jeannette Blix and Cindy Wimmer created another magical weekend of creativity and camaraderie. In some ways its hard to write about… I find as an artist that I need times away from all of the life/human/house/pet responsibilities when everything is attended too and I can simple create. And be inspired, experiment, share ideas, and recharge. I work alone in the studio most days, with dogs at my feet. Although I do talk to them, they are not so well versed in critique and composition…

So this retreat weekend is very valuable to me. I made some good friends last year, and it has been a pleasure to see them on Facebook and the like. I anticipated more of that relationship building and networking. Add to that that my best friend Jen was coming! Hurrah! We met in college, in drawing class… but I will save that for a follow up ArtBliss post… 

Jen and I took “Rings and Things” a class with Robert Dancik to work with his material Faux Bone. I had worked with it on my own, and liked it, but wanted to go straight to the source as it were. Here is my workspace early into class – and a ring in progress. 

FB begins 

The material is a plastic, and it is incredibly durable and versatile. Saw it, file it, sand it. It sculpts on a belt sander like soft clay! Its non toxic, and takes color…The ring below was sculpted out of 1/2″ thick material and designed to showcase that antique button. 

FB rings

But I decided it needed to have another focal, and so this button is interchangeable! So sweet. Never would have imagined. But I had never used the myriad forms of microbolts before either…. Each button has a microbolt epoxied to the back where the shank was – and that is what connects to the ring shank itself. Ingenious!

Fb ring 2

Glad I finally got to work with Robert – it was a great class. 

Davies and Dancik

Saturday night – a trunk show of my ceramic beads and charms. Thats Jen there sketching in the room. It was such a party! Thanks to everyone who came and made it a success! I hope to see your creations here on the Interwebs in the future! I got to meet so many beaders/designers/artists whose blogs I read, whose work I follow. A pleasure! 

JKM and trunk show

On the second day… there were watches. “Watch this” with Richard Salley to be exact. I have know Richard for a few years, having met and worked with him at the Shepherdess in San Deigo. I have a huge stash of watches, and was seeking inspiration. Here is the day’s breakdown: 

Salley class1

Setting up: coffee, clean table, sketchbook. (Isnt the pen bandolier the best? Cleverhands on Etsy) 

Salley class2

In progress/sketching: I wanted to use the antique cigarette card of Athena – so I wanted to take the time to plan and thing things through. How to create tabs? Where to rivet? What embellishments? To do her justice and not mess up the only one I have…

Salley class 3

Working: tools strewn around, notes, seltzer…

watches WIP

This was the end of the day. The Strongbow cider lid/watch needs Faux bone for the backing. The Athena watch awaits resin. I will post pix when they are done!

watch crew

The crew – thanks for a great class, and being a part of a great weekend. I wish I had taken more pictures! The Meet and Greet, the charm swap… The whole experience is so rich – I will come back another day. Stay tuned. But for now – back to the studio, and a heartfelt thanks to the teachers, the organizers, my fellow attendees…It really is aptly named “art bliss” 

 

 

 

Pearls in a pod…Beadfest, and BTW

Pearls pod bracelet

Pearls in pod slices. With a ceramic focal, made by… me. Gee – who would have guessed? That was on my bead table for the weekly Bead Table Wednesday Flickr group. Then it was on my wrist after that. 

OK – lets get to the eye candy…Last Friday – I took a day off, a field trip, and a business trip all rolled into one. Marsha (of Marsha Neal Studios) and I headed to Beadfest outside Philly. My furry kids were in daycare, as where Marsha’s flesh and blood children…I had a budget. (Please dont ask how THAT went. )

As soon as we arrived we saw Barbara Lewis doing a great demo – enameled beads. Its magic, and fire, and instant gratification!

Barbara Lewis

Thriiled to run into Shelby of SunDown Bead Designs, a friend from last years ArtBliss retreat! Chatted a bit about the DE Etsy street team, and them commenced the shopping. (Her blog entry on Beadfest is here.)

Shelby and me.

It is overwhelming. The vast amounts of gorgeousness, the gemstones, the one of a kind artisan beads, imports, cabochons…sigh. Bounty! Treasure!

Table of teasures at Bead Dreams of New York. 

Joanne Z

Joanne Zekowski – friendly, funny, and incredibly creative. Her glass beads are both new and unique, yet ancient and mysterious!

Joan MIller owls

Porcelain owls by Joan Miller. Even as a ceramics person, I am amazed by what this woman can accomplish in the medium!

And in my hands, and on my work table: Briolettes and drops for earrings. 

loot 1

loot 2

Green Girl Studio.  ( That is where I lost control of said budget.)

Riverstone Bead Co. – drilled pebbles. 

Joanne Zekowski glass beads

Loot 3

Labradorite, moonstone and garnet were the only things I actually had on my “Need” list… ( Aren’t they always on that list, Jenny?)

loot 4

loot 5

Small stamps in lowercase! Thank you PJ Tools! And I didnt have to pay an arm for the set! Since you do need both arms if you are stamping the metal…

Alright, I better get to work. The Appel Farm Arts and Music Festival is in early June. See you there? 

 

 

 

And now for something completely different…

Sometimes a simple thing means the world. 

The ceramics studio where I work is called the Art Studio. Its a community center, offering classes in a wide array of media. We even have a full weaving studio – floor looms, the real thing. And it attracts a diverse group of people. During the days, it is people with flexible schedules, people who have retired, and me. We work, and chat a bit… ( I for one can’t chat and work. I need to be in the zone.) We share finds, recipes, book recommendations, the like. I was discussing a recipe and I mentioned that I was going to go to the Indian grocery to get Garam Masala for a butternut squash I wanted to roast… Another friend was discussing saffron…

My friend Vinita stepped in – an angel of spices!

Vinita's spices

She brought me store-bought; and made me homemade! She may have been a bit amused at my need to buy it – since she has always made her own… 

spices

Cumin seed, peppercorns, cloves, cinnamon, and two different cardamom pods. It smells divine. 

She is so sweet and thoughtful – she brings me scraps of sari fabric from her tailor whenever she goes back to India for a visit. Her artwork is amazing: right now her Etsy shop is empty after the holidays… She does one of a kind watercolor cards. And gorgeous ceramics of course! (Maybe I can add a few pictures in the future…) Thank you Vinita for your thoughtfulness and generosity!!!

 

a few more…making music; making friends

While I am doing new work, decorating for the holidays… I am also still feeling I have Faerie (Con) dust sprinkled on my shoulders. Perhaps it is part to the Fairy strands I have in my hair…

But a few more pictures I wanted to share: 

The Gypsy Nomads played the Good Fairies Ball on Friday night with Woodland. (Samples and photo galleries – take a look!) Had to post a few Nomad pix, they have become friends over the last year or so…

JDR and SStevenson 

GN at FC

Scott of the GN

Samantha of GN

Another FaerieCOn person that has become a good friend – for although we only see him twice a year, we make the most of it – is Mark Lewis. Storyteller extraordinaire! and MC of the event – tune in Dec 12th and see his guest appearrance on the TV show “Leverage” as Santa! (Its a good show anyway…)

Mark Lewis

Yes, he is playing 2 recorders in this picture. A few of his stories are available as podcasts. Listen to them. They are wonderful. 

One thing about FC that I am sure I have mused on in previous posts, is the sense of community. THere are no separations between attendees, performers, VIP’s, artists/vendors. It is refreshing to be respected and recognized by your peers, and adds to the air of excitement to be mingling with the famous. Lets be honest – it was exciting to have Brian and Wendy Froud seated behind me at dinner in the bar! And they were left in peace, respectfully during their meal. When they are at their table, signing autographs then its fair game, but otherwise they are usually left to mill about in (relative) peace.  

So in this shared environment of respect and creativity – I had an opportunity to not only meet but talk with two artists whose work I had known and admired for years – Linda Ravenscroft and Helena Nelson-Reed. Linda was at the Faerie Magazine booth, with her husband John, also a very charming individual. We chatted about many things, including the location of the Fairy Bridge in Wales – featured in the original watercolor sketch of Linda’s  that I purchased. (Soon to hang framed next to the Charles Vess print from last year…) Helena and I struck up easy, comfortable conversations on numerous occasions as we were out of our booths strolling around. I am thrilled to say that soon 3 of my pendants will appear in her talisman necklaces. And an incredible print of hers will be hanging in my library… Trading with another artist is the most satisfying!

JDR & Ravenscroft

( Sorry for the iphone pix. Had Linda’s husband John snap this of she and I at her booth.)