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72 pixels new pendent

It’s been quite a while since I’ve written anything here. But not since I’ve written stuff. Not only do I write for the local paper, but I also have nearly finished our new book, How to Win Friends and Influence People in the 21st Century. Now that’s an adventure. Well, actually, the writing is pretty simple. Then we began looking for an agent. My co-author knew one of the best in the business, so he contacted him. The agent sent us a list of everything we needed for a proposal. OMG!

Now, if it were fiction, I’d just send the book, but a non-fiction requires much, much more. Mostly to dedicate your life to it. That being said, we are sending proposals out to smaller publishers even as I write. The book is one that is needed in today’s world and I’m sure it will be a best seller.

But sometimes a girls’ gotta take a break. When that is necessary, I go to the table and make art. The above piece is one that I have in the works. It started as a fringe sample from one of my vendors. I embellish it and when that’s done, I’ll string it onto something. I haven’t got that part worked out yet. I’ve sold a couple of these through a local gallery. Fringe is all the rage right now.

I am also doing a series I will call, “Sticks and Stones.” I am using wood and rocks found in our wonderful desert to make wearable art. I’m not sure I’ve posted this picture…it is the first of the series.rusted metal web imageI sold it at a show and have made another similar. It is a piece of rusty metal embellished. I really loved it, as did the buyer.

The next picture is of the newest in the line. I am also already working on another one. They are such fun!metal and wood sized at 72This one is of rusted metal and a wonderful piece of wood. I have lots of wood and stones because I love it all and just have to bring it home and make art with it.

I will be setting up an Etsy shop for our art, including the cliff spirits and the vision spirits and my storytellers, so stay tuned. That will take some time. Another adventure. I also will have a blog for the book!

Thanks for your interest. I hope to be more faithful with the blogs.

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Just A Few Musings

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It has been a really busy few weeks. But summer is here and the snowbirds are leaving. That usually means things slow down. So, I was just going to write a happy mom’s day to all you mom’s out there, but didn’t even find time to do that.
I’m back at it, but a little pushed for time, so this will be short.
Although I bought that really good book about fabric beads, there are just some things you have to learn by trial and error. So, if you’ve taken an interest in this subject, hang in there.
One tip I’d give is that you must be very careful when rolling the beads to get the ends perfectly even, or you’ll be trimming them–a big time waster. Also, you’re gonna find that some fabrics just don’t roll well, so stick with silk, cotton, linen and leather. Sometimes polyester will work, but you’ll probably have to reglue them at the edges. Which reminds me, use only enough glue to coat the fabric strip. If it bleeds thru, it will leave dark places. As will getting it anywhere on the front side as you work, so keep a wet cloth handy to wipe your hands and a dry towel to dry them.
I finally received the bail I’d ordered from Art Beads and made the necklace I showed the beads for. I will photograph it once I get earrings made and post it for all to see.
Unfortunately or not, I need several projects going at once to be happy, so the earrings are not done yet. But I have comitted to competing everything I have going before I start anything new.
If you’re delving into this adventure with fabric, good luck and enjoy the journey.

Just A Few Ideas

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The simplist way to see what to do with fabric beads is to see some photos of jewelry. I am always pushing the envelope to make it more interesting and exciting. Also, it is good to know beading basics so you don’t spend time taking apart and remaking jewelry. I have a habit of just jumping into the pond and learning how to swim later.

This time I actually bought some books to help out, and later I found a friend who taught me alot. But before I really knew what I was doing, I purchased findings that are too inexpensive to put on my jewelry. I know better now, but it did give me the opportunity to sell some things and make some money to buy better quality stuff. I also went to a bead show and bought some stuff that wasn’t of good quality. Now I know better. There’s one coming up in June in Las Vegas, and this time, I’ll be a more educated consumer. Saves money.

So, I’m going to post a few pictures to give you some ideas. You can ask any questions you like and I’ll be happy to help you solve any problems that I can.

I had another photo for you to view, but wordpress and I can’t agree to insert it. Got it and it was my fault. Sometimes the gremlins attack!

As you can see, both types of fabric beads have been used. When it is simple stringing, it is important to put gemstones, pearls, wood beads — some type of bead to help stabilize the fabric beads.

Have fun and let the adventure begin.

Beading Requires Beads

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Just a quick note to show you a picture of some beads that I recently made for a great looking necklace. I thought you might be interested in seeing what they look like when embellished with a rubber stamp and metallic paint. Of course, I did the stamping before cutting the beads. In this case, I used a polyester fabric that is a little diffcult to work with, but has great colors.

It’s really hard staying indoors right now as the weather is finally warm and the honeysuckle is in bloom. Come this weekend it will be hard to choose between going on an adventure and cleaning up the yard. This has been a very strange winter without good time to do winter clean-up, and now it looks as if it is going directly from cold to hot. When I say hot, I mean 100 degrees after highs of 55 degrees.

Our snowbirds have already begun to leave town in droves, although where they are headed the weather is still awful. That’s why they head to Mesquite in the winter. It is tolerable here compared to where they come from. Even Mesquite is too cold for my liking, but how can I complain when it didn’t dip below freezing all winter. The fish in our pond barely had time to lower their metabolism before getting hungry and begging again.

But it did give me some good time to express my creative nature, so staying inside isn’t so bad after all.

Here’s the picture of beads that I promised. Let me know what you think of them and the technique. Next week I think I’ll give you directions on how to cut and roll the beads. Then you can begin to create on your own. Remember that very few people do this, so you can express yourself in a unique way and when I do shows, attendees love the things I make. I never worry about giving away trade secrets because whatever you do will be totally unique to you.

I used text and lilly of the valley stamps.

The Adventure of Art Began With a Bang

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I can safely say the adventure of art started while I was the staff writer for our local paper, but took some years to germinate. It turns out that one of the artists I interviewed would be my future husband. That in itself is an adventure.
Turns out he used to be a tour guide in the Canyonlands area where he and his group of friends spent many days on camp-outs. His company was called Mystic Eye Expeditions and its tag line: “the adventure of art, the art of adventure.” All that time he was also painting and developing his massive talent as an artist. Me, I was a mom crafting and keeping busy learning skills I would later use.
Well, we met and married and I opened my Interior Design business. I had these massive inventories of discontinued fabrics and left-overs from jobs. Being an environmentalist, it pained me to throw them out.
I looked for something to do with them and Randy (the spouse) and I created our Cliff Spirits (They can be seen on redrockartisans.com.), but that didn’t begin to help. 
One day we were walking through Joanne’s Fabrics and I spied a book called “Fabulous Fabric Beads” by Kristal Wick. That was the answer to a prayer!

I love fabric. I love textiles. My art centers around fabric and I am always asking, how can I do that with fabric. So the fabric beads were the beginning.
With the guidance of the book I began making beads by the dozens and jewelry with the beads. Then came the craft shows at which I sold almost everything I made and where I grew in understanding and art.
Unfortunately, or fortunately, I never do things by half and beading has become an addiction. I have trays of beads in every color and tubes of seed beads too.

But, I digress. I wanted to share with you some of what I have learned about fabric, jewelry, art and adventure. Today, I’ll talk about fabric beads, but later about our adventures! So, far it’s all been fun!

Instructions on making fabric beads make the process look simple. Maybe for some it is, but I worked at getting it just right. First, you have to start with the right fabrics. Many of those I had just wouldn’t do, so I gave them to quilters to create with.

The best fabrics to use are silks, cotton, muslin, batiks and vintage kimono fabric. Polyester, nylon and upholstery fabrics just don’t stick well at the edges. I have also found that I love to work with leather and friends in the furniture business have donated much of that to me.

But fabric is just the beginning. You need a rotary cutter, ruler, iron and self-healing mat like quilters use. Then there are the glues, paints scissors, spatula and straws. Never mind, the embellishments: beads, bleach, copper sheets, crystals, dyes, embossing gun, embossing powders, fibers, yarns, wire, hole punches and die cuts, inks, ink pads, metallic markers, glitter, paint brushes, rubber stamps, templates and texture pads, salt, sponges, stencils, and stringing tools. Beading is a whole other subject, which we will take up in parts.

Meanwhile, if you think you might enjoy making fabric beads, I’ll be giving hints and tricks right here.

If it works like it should I’ll insert a photo of a finished necklace right here.

Image

I call this necklace Carnival, and it is sold. I never make any two alike, but can make similar ones.

Next installment: How it all works.

Reinventing the Wheel

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The problem with art is that you always seem to be reinventing the wheel–figuratively speaking that is.
Actually, that’s what makes it an adventure.
I am making a beaded purse. Well, part of it is vintage kimono fabric that I beaded and now must attach to ultra suede. So, I have to figure out how to make it look finished and ensure that nothing comes apart!
Thank goodness I did all that sewing in my younger years. The lesson is that everything we learn gives us more options. Nothing we learn is for naught. Even if it seems so early on.
For example, I studied copy writing with AWAI. I have done some web copy and some work for Robert Bly, but not really jumped into the pool. But it has helped with my own webpage and marketing. So, it’s all good.
I hope to help you all out there with this and more, so stayed tuned!