I returned Monday from Milwaukee from the annual Bead and Button Show sponsored by Kalmbach publishing. This is the 4th year in a row I’ve been at the show and my first time teaching. It was really quite incredible to have my own table at the Meet the Teachers night, a big event where all of the students purchase tickets to see and purchase work from the large cadre of instructors. To be in their ranks was, indeed, an honor. I had butterflies in my stomach as I was setting up my table and putting out all of my published jewelry samples, along with some of my work for sale and my books and DVD. My work elicited some of the best comments and I was walking on air at the end of the evening. I also got to meet in real life Jo Jones, better known as JoMama, a fab artist on our ICE Resin Creative Team this year. She is a hoot!
The ICE Resin booth was handled this year by our incredible associates — Carol LaValley, Misty Grosse and Cindy Moss. These ladies worked their fannies off for four solid days. Cindy and Misty did two make ‘n takes with Iced Enamels and Misty rocked the booth demos of them out of the park. I was just so proud of our team! My workshops were awesome and so much fun. I particularly loved my Cold Enameled Cuffs class because there were a couple of students who’ve done a ton of traditional enamel work and were blown away by the grace and ease of Iced Enamels on the curved cuff form. Susan’s two workshops were completely filled and I heard lots and lots of fun and laughter coming from her students.
I got a little time the last day of the show to walk the floor and buy a few goodies to use in my work. I had to see Green Girl Studios and ogle their great charms. I also ran by Heather Powers from Humblebeads to see her gorgeous handmade beads. The pic above are some of her gorgeous handmade peacock headpins that I absolutely had to purchase so I could make a pair of earrings for myself. The star of these earrings, of course, are Heather’s clay beads. It was simple to add some crystal rondelles and blue faceted crystals and wire them up really quick. The moment I put the sterling silver French ear hooks on them, they went into my ears and have been happily hanging out ever since.
I’ve had a few days to rest and unpack. Tomorrow I’m off again for Southern California where I’m teaching a couple of metalworking classes at the brand new Charity Wings Art Center. Next week, I’m home for about 5 weeks before I have to head off to Summer CHA in Las Vegas. I have plans to do some fun family things with my kids for the summer break, as well as get some samples made for next year’s classes.
I sincerely hope you’ve been able to eek out some creative time in your studios or art rooms. And for all you parents out there who find it much more difficult to make work during the summer months, just know I’m right there with you. As soon as I get a chance to clean my studio a bit, my daughter and I will be back to spending some art mornings together painting and drawing.
There was a little glitch with the Interweave store over the weekend and sign ups for my webinar this Thursday were not available. The good news is that it’s been fixed and the link is working. If you have some time Thursday, May 16th at 2 p.m. EST to take my online workshop/webinar on found objects, mold making and casting, I’d love to have you join me. Remember, even if you’re working and not able to join, you can still sign up and watch the webinar at your leisure. Here’s the link: http://www.interweavestore.com/on-the-hunt-for-found-objects-how-to-create-new-and-eclectic-molds
Cold-Enameled Heart Necklace class. Learn all new enameling techniques for adding color to metal and also advanced resin techniques as well.
I’m still working on building my new website. My goal is for it to be up and running by Jan. 10. which is the in-store date for Making Metal Jewelry. The site will have a gallery of my work, my class schedule, an option to purchase signed copies of my books, etc. Since I’ve been getting questions on my Facebook wall about next year’s teaching schedule, I thought I better put it on the blog now.
Susan and myself and many of the ICE Resin team will be at the Craft and Hobby Association trade show in Anaheim Jan. 11-15. Susan and Kristen are teaching sold-out workshops during the show and I’ll be in the background helping them TA since the classes are maxed out at 50 people. This trade show is open only to members of the crafts industry and is one of the big shows we do each year to introduce our new products. We have some amazing new things coming out next year and are thrilled for this show to get here.
Then, a mere two weeks after CHA, we’re heading to the Tucson gem show — To Bead True Blue — where the team is teaching lots of interesting workshops. If you love making jewelry and you’ve never managed to get to Tucson in February, I suggest you put it on your bucket list right now and find a way to make it happen. Anything and everything with gems, minerals, beads and unique objects is found and focused on at these shows. I’ll be teaching five classes in Tucson and registration is going on now.
Feb. 28-March 3, I’m excited to be teaching classes at Linda Young’s event Adorn Me in Houston, Texas. There are still spots left in many of the classes, all featuring metalwork and/or mixed-media jewelry with top instructors. Take a peek at the workshops here. A couple of classes, such as So You Want to Write a Book, are classes I’m only teaching at this event for 2013.
I’m thrilled to be back for my third year at CREATE, hosted by Cloth, Paper, Scissors magazine in Orange County, California. I love this show so much because the event organizers always let me teach both straight mixed-media and also mixed-media jewelry classes. I’m thrilled to be doing a journal, as well as some very cool new classes using our brand-new products and techniques that we’re introducing at CHA and Tucson. Registration for this event just opened yesterday, and my journal was featured on the announcement email. So very cool to see as an instructor! I’m in such amazing company at this event and a few of the instructors are my very dear friends. I get a smile on my face every time I realize I’m going to get to see them very soon.
The last event to tell you about for now is the Bead and Button Show in Milwaukee. This is another one of our annual big shows for ICE Resin. I’ve been at the show the past three years with our company, but this is the first time I’ll be teaching there as an instructor. Honestly, this is an event I never thought I would be instructing since it’s home to many of the best of the best master silversmiths and jewelers. It was kind of a pinch me moment when the acceptance email came in. I’ll be teaching resin, of course. (grin)
There are a couple more events I’ve applied to that haven’t been announced. I’ll be adding those to the calendar as soon as I hear (fingers crossed) that I’ve been accepted. Just a little note on this, I’ll be writing a future column on the teaching application process for those of you who wonder how this all comes to pass. I did write a basic one for CreateMixedMedia last year. If you didn’t get a chance to see it, you can click over to my columns on the website.
For any of you whom are thinking of going to an art retreat for the first time, but are maybe wondering if you can afford it or if it’s worth the time and expense, let me tell you they are! When I fell in love with mixed-media all those years ago, it was these retreats and the amazing, giving and wonderful instructors that set me on my path. It was a journey that’s been life altering for me, and I’ve seen the same story told again and again for many others.
Here’s wishing you a truly Artful day as you head into the final stretch of the Holiday season.
If there is one thing I have learned over the years making mixed-media jewelry is that my style is definitely not everyone’s cup ‘o tea. While some people truly “get” me and my funky, artsy style there are others — like my very own mother-in-law — who respond to my work with descriptive words such as “interesting” or “nice” or “wow, different”. I admit it, at one time it used to bruise my ego just a tad when I heard these things because I knew it meant they didn’t like my work. I’ve so gotten over this as I continue to make work and grow as an artist. The bottom line is that I have to like my work. No one else. I’ve learned there are, indeed, other souls who view this world through the same quirky glasses I do and, somehow, we seem to find each other.
I bring this up because of Brooke. I met her this past weekend when I was teaching at Seaside Soiree in beautiful La Jolla, California right at the Scripps Institute with gorgeous ocean views. Brooke is a former Marine and a very dear friend of Elena’s. She worked her booty off as a volunteer at the art retreat, setting up decorations and picking up trash and doing her best to keep things running smoothly. Brooke is not a crafter. She doesn’t get the fascination of playing with inks, paints, resin, etc. She swears whatever she tries to do that’s crafty doesn’t work out.
I was so surprised when Brooke came up to me at the end of the night after the ladies had all poured their ICE Resin bezels and asked to make one. She swore up and down hers would be terrible and the resin would be sticky or not come out. I shrugged my shoulders and told her that it’s nearly impossible to mess up ICE Resin. Guess what? I was right. Brooke made a gorgeous collage and glitter bezel in ICE and it turned out perfectly.
Brooke’s face says it all…
I saw Brooke again Saturday night at the Seaside dinner and art auction. I was wearing a resin casting ring. I made a mold of a ceramic doll’s head and then painted it to finish it off. I then embedded the head in layers of resin paper and set it into one of our Art Mechanique prong rings. I happen to love my ring and wear it when I dress up. When Brooke saw the cast doll head, her expression said it all. She was so shell-shocked that she couldn’t even come up with the words “nice” or even “fine”. I burst out laughing at her reaction so loudly that Avila, one of the other ladies attending the retreat, snapped a photo.
I had a wonderful time at Seaside. It was my second year volunteering to teach to help Elena raise money for Charity Wings and I think it was even better than last year. About 40 very talented and very creative women participated and gave myself, Danita Art and Jennifer Priest an incredible outpouring of love and respect. I won’t be returning next year, as I have a pretty full teaching schedule for 2013 already, but I will definitely be there for Elena and Charity Wings when they open the doors to their new art center.
Here are a few more Seaside pics…
Carol LaValley, our social media curator for ICE Resin having fun painting her dress form
Pretty collaged and poured ICE Resin bezels and also resin paper for the journal class I taught the next day.
Jen and Jenn taking some pics before my filming begins.
With Thanksgiving right around the corner, I’m feeling much gratitude for my experiences last week. As you may know, I spent a couple of spectacular days in the Interweave/F&W studio in historic downtown Loveland, Colorado. I was there to film a dvd workshop on mold making and casting for Cloth, Paper, Scissors magazine.
As if the filming wasn’t enough, I was able to do this hand-in-hand with one of my best friends, the amazing Kristen Robinson. Kristen was there to film a resin jewelry dvd for CPS magazine and is also one of their 2013 DVD Workshop artists. Being able to film a dvd and have Kristen beside me was like birthday and Christmas all rolled up together.
Our director for the shoot was the incredibly talented Jenn Mason, editor of Cloth, Paper, Scissors and a pretty kick booty mixed-media artist as well. It was really fun to get to hang out with her for a few days. She is actually a very funny person with a great sense of humor. Joking and giggling is always part of her process. I believe it’s how she manages to shake off some of the stresses of her very high-pressure job.
My favorite part of the shooting was when Kristen and I got to go into the prop department and pick items that spoke to us to create the backdrop of our sets. All of the artists were asked to bring samples of our work, but then we had an entire room of goodies to choose from to help the set look more like our home studios.
Kristen’s set is simply gorgeous! It looks just like her — cream and lace and vintage and oh so pretty! We got it set up and displayed in about 20 minutes and then she started to roll. Her entire taping, plus some extras that were added for some future promo material, ran about 3 hours.
It was my turn right after lunch. We stripped down Kristen’s set and put up mine in the same amount of time. In the prop room, I chose and old door, a vintage shoe stretcher, an old box with rusty nails poking through, a crackled white chair, burlap sacks and then pops of color with glass and ceramic items. I loved how we literally went from one visual extreme to another in less than 20 minutes.
Ready for my close up…
After some photos of the set, it was my turn to begin. I have to tell you the truth. The first 5 minutes of filming are miserable. You can’t help but be nervous and stiff and feel as though wads of cotton are in your mouth. My voice sounded tinny and my movements seemed so theatrical. However, very quickly I found myself getting into the groove. My “student” for the day was Johnny Depp on the camera monitor. The next thing I know I was simply doing what I do…talking about my love of found objects and teaching how to make molds and do castings. Knowing that everything will be edited and that everyone in the room was there to make me look as good as I possibly can helped tremendously. Now, there is nothing but excitement to see how the project all comes together.
Then Wednesday, Kristen and I had the day to ourselves to do a little shopping and then a long talk about CHA and ICE Resin business. Of course, we had to get a little antiquing in there as well. Always on the hunt for treasures to mold and cast!
The plane home was uneventful. I took Thursday off to catch up on some family things and then I spent Friday teaching locally. It’s amazing how the days just seem to fly by. I had planned to update my blog Thursday, but time just slipped on by.
I hope you enjoy the pics of the trip and filming. No worries, I will be sure to post more about what month the dvd will be released next year, etc. as I get updates. For now, I hope you, too, are feeling the gratitude for your life and all the wonderful things you experience on a daily basis.
The last 10 days or so, I hung do not disturb sign on my studio an let everyone at work know that was going into art making mode; overdrive. I have two major deadlines – one I can talk about and another I can’t yet. Between the two, I need to create 25 brand new pieces of work. Yikes! That’s how many I had to make for my book. My heart took a crazy roller coaster ride while I had a momentary freak out. Then, I did like I always do. I took a deep breath, sucked it up and went to work.
Tonight, I’m packing 10 of the new collages, assemblages and jewelry up for my DVD shoot Tuesday with Cloth, Paper, Scissors. I’m off to Colorado tomorrow morning and, although I feel stressed because I didn’t get a chance to practice at home from start to finish, I’m as ready as I’ll ever be.
As for the other big thing in the works, I have made 13 pieces — all jewelry — and I have another two to go when I get home. I hope to make an additional two to throw in for good measure. I try really, really hard to keep editors happy. (grin)
My Seaside Soiree packet for guests and instructors arrived in the mail this past week. Love the altered sea glass necklace handmade for everyone by Miss Vicky. She rocks!
While I was working, I heard from Elena there are only 2 spots left in Seaside Soiree at the end of the month in gorgeous San Diego at the Scripps Institute. I will be teaching a fun journal using ICE Resin and some wirework and all kinds of painting, stamping and resist techniques. This event is a fundraiser for Charity Wings. It’s the only event Elena does each year to specifically raise administrative funds for her 501C3 organization in order to keep up the crazy event schedule she does the rest of the year raising money for all kinds of amazing charities.
If you happen to be local and you don’t necessarily want to attend the long weekend, you can still support the organization by coming to the amazing dinner and art auction Saturday night, Dec. 1st. Tickets are $50, a great tax write off and also a chance to bid and win some incredible original art.
I took my iPhone, my iPad and my good Nikon SLR to France. Technical difficulties made it hard to be in touch with my normal life back at home. Once my husband and family knew I was safe, I made the decision to be present — fully, deeply…to enjoy every moment. I released worry, let go of deadlines, of business. I breathed in my experiences. I learned new things, saw inspiration all around me and took photos of whatever random things caught my eye. I made this little video. Please take the moment to click the link below to see a short representation of my journey. I hope this little taste of France inspires you in some way too…
I’m home from my trip to France. Paris was amazing as always, but the real joy was the South of France — delectable in every way imaginable. Jet lag this time around has been intense. I also returned to house chaos with a carpenter finally building my new laundry room, air conditioning guys crawling on my roof to give quotes, my son’s birthday and my children’s Fall break from school. Today was my first day back at work and my cell phone was down to 12% battery by noon.
So this post, for now, is simply to let you all know I am alive and home from our workshop adventures. I’m hanging out my Je Reviens sign for a few more days. I shall return with an update, but the words of what I want to say need a little longer to percolate. I know it’s not the way its done in today’s fast-paced social media world, but it’s the best I can do at this moment.
Trust me, I have some inspiring photos. It will be worth the wait. (sly smile).
The time has finally come for me to get on an airplane early tomorrow morning for our workshop in France. It is going to be soooo amazing. Not much time to write, as I have to finish packing and a zillion other little details, but I thought I would share the promo video I made last year when we had only 2 spots left in our workshop. We filled those fast and had a wait list as well. We’ll be booking for next year, so take a peek and let me know if you want to join us next Fall. For now though, Au revoir mes amies!
I just put the finishing touches on my last .pdf document for my upcoming workshop called The Pitch, The Project, The Paycheck that I’m teaching this coming Tuesday evening at Art Unraveled in Phoenix, Arizona. I’ve put a lot of thought and time into this lecture-style workshop because I truly wish to teach people the ins and outs of publishing and how to get their artwork featured in magazines. There is nothing quite as thrilling at that first time you pick up one of your favorite art magazines and see your work and words there in all its glory.
As many of you know, I began my career as a newspaper reporter and, later, an editor. I really enjoyed my decade-long career doing it, but don’t regret for one moment leaving the daily grind to be a mom. When I left The Arizona Republic, I thought I was going to be an at-home mom who only occasionally did freelance. The Universe had other plans for me, as I was fortunate to take the first six months of my son’s life off work and return to a healthy freelance writing career. I was trying to add up how many articles I’ve written in 22 years and, well, I had to stop and leave it at “bunches”. All this really means is that I realize I have some good information to give and I hope to help others with my class on Tuesday, and hopefully more workshops to come.
Here’s a little preview of what I’m talking about: How to approach editors; how to write a good query email; how to find the “hook” of your story that makes editors, and ultimately readers, respond to your work; how to handle photography and how to take the right kind of photo to sell your story; editor pet peeves and how to avoid them; handling deadlines; writing a press release for important events/awards in your life; marketing your articles when their published and a lots, lots more.
There are still spots left in my class. I’m secretly hoping some of my fellow instructors sign up for it Tuesday evening. I know I’ve had more than my fair share of these types of questions and conversations at past retreats. So many of these amazing creative people have shared so much with me over the years, I would love that chance to give back a little to them.