Thursday, January 31, 2013

AlphabeThursday - K is for Kits

This past weekend I put together my first bracelet kit; a way for a person to enjoy designing their own bracelet without having a lot of supplies or experience in jewelry making.  The idea came from another student in our Alphabet Thursday class: SplendidLittleStars.  Thanks for the idea, Margaret!

Here are the beads I rolled and sprayed.  The paper is called chiyogami washi paper.  I love Japanese paper!

The kit includes (28) paper beads, approx 14x10mm, or ½" long.  They are hand-rolled by me on a 3mm metal rod and sprayed five times with clear acrylic sealer to make them more durable and shiny.  To go with them, there are (40) copper beads, which are 6mm in circumference. As you can see, I'm including 4 loops of Memory Wire, measuring approx. 20" in length.  You can string the beads in any pattern you want and use pliers to close the ends of the wire.  

Jewelry bracelet kit - Copper and Paper Beads
I have lots of beads that are not being used anymore from my jewelry making days.  So I plan to make more sets after rolling additional paper beads.  This kit is going for $7.00 - come visit my Etsy shop, the Storybeader's Bookshelf,  if you're interested in paper beads or journals.  That's my specialty. 

For my second kit, I took (14) paper beads that were listed on Etsy by themselves and added turquoise to them.  They are also hand-rolled and sprayed, using the same technique.  I purchased the paper for these beads while in Florence at a shop called Il Papiro (operated by Florentine papermakers, Francesco Giannini and Gianni Parenti).  The paper includes scenes of Venice.  

Jewelry bracelet kit - Turquoise and Paper Beads
The paper beads are approx. 11x13mm (ovals that are ½" long).  Included are (42) chalk turquoise "dogbones" that I had in my bead stash.  They measure 10-12 mm.  I'm selling the whole kit for $14.00, including Memory Wire.  There's enough beads to make a 3-strand bracelet.

These Jewelry Kits were finished off this month especially for the Letter K.  To see other AlphabeThursday posts, click over to Ms. Jenny's blog, on my tangent...

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

List It Tuesday - Things I Collect

I collect paper.       Big surprise.
I collect stamps.   And make them too.
I collect turtles.   Ceramic, glass, silver, crystal, fabric, stone. You name it!

I collect books.  All my shelves have a row of books on them.  
I collect postcards.    Great to pick up while traveling.  
And now I'm a member of Postcrossing.

I collect molas.   They are my favorite pieces of textile art.
I collect ribbon.  Can't buy just one roll - they're so inexpensive and colorful. 

I'm sure there's more I collect, like different kinds of art supplies, but this is what quickly came to mind.  

See other lists at Aimee's blog, artsyville

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Two weeks of Etsy treasury thanks, Jan 13-26

In the second and third week of January, the Storybeader appeared in a number of treasuries.  I have to give an extra loud shout out to Dix, who curated something from my shop, someone who I've never met before.  Of course, thanks to one and all.  Come and look at all these great treasuries with me!

I love turquoise!  So South by Southwest by Cynthia (Antiquity Travelers) was a real treat!  She selected my repurposed wildlife animal sketchbooks for this treasury.  And I chose her beautiful turquoise and silver earrings.  Those are sme great looking gemstones!

Here's a treasury with a great mix of vivid colors.  It's called Pretty, Please!  and was created by LeAnn (Pasqueflower).  To get a good view, don't forget to click over to her treasury.  She picked my flowered art journal, to add to the mix here.  And I picked her great pillow cover - again, lots of colors for the eyes to feast on!

I'd like to introduce the BBArtisans team to Dix, of Dix Sterling.  She was so nice to include my repurposed wildlife animal sketchbooks in her treasury, All Creatures Great and Small, two weeks ago.  I featured a pair of her beautiful earrings in my treasury last week, called Geometric Blues.   Here, I chose to highlight her exquisite Fossil coral pendant.    

I'm not a pink person, but Nancy's (Fallon Design Studio) Pretty in Pink treasury is sure attractive.  And her Three combo case set looks great on the muted pink background here.  She chose my Maroon covered art journal to grace her treasury.

Lime and turquoise is a great combo that Linda (Pruitt Creations) used in her treasury, called Nice Lime and Cool Turquoise.  I found one of her great looking, cool turquoise cup cozy.  I think it fits perfect with the items she chose, including one of my art journals.

Hope you enjoyed the treasuries as much as I did, and the great features I chose for each one!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

AlphabeThursday - J is for Journal

morning papers book, junque journal and art journal, 2011-2012

Call me journal crazy - I know I am.  I have always kept some sort of journal or ledger, running throughout the year.  Don't have any children to pass them on to, and I doubt if I'll become a famous artist who scholars will want to study.  I just keep my journals for self expression.  And I like looking back and see where I've been.    

Jewelry Journal, 2009-2010
Like my jewelry journal.  I used to take a photo of my finished piece, write my haiku on the page, list my supplies, and figure out how much I should charge.  It was also helpful to look back and find the name of a certain bead I wanted to use again.

Art Journal, 2012
Then came bookmaking and art journaling!  Now I had a mixed of everything (art, calendar and experimentation) in one place. 

GoTo- Journal, 2013

This year I decided to try something new.  I have THREE journals going at one time!  It was a little scary at first, but it seems to be working out ok.  One journal, given to me by my Secret Santa, I carry around with me.  When I wake up in the middle of the night with a bright idea, I can write it down without falling back to sleep and "losing" it.  I also carry this journal into the den, where I write and research with my smart phone while DH is watching TV.

PostCrossing Journal
I have one journal devoted to my newest pastime, Postcrossing.  I write down everyone's addresses (names removed for this photo to protect the innocent), along with what they like to collect.  I think I'll use some plastic corners to affix the postcards that I received.  Here are two; one from China (top) and the other from the Netherlands.  It's exciting.

Art Journal, 2013
What about my art journal?  It's a large children's book that I'm taping my art pages into.  There are 11 two-page spreads (wish there were 12, for every month!)  As you can see (top photo), my other art journals are bulging at the seams.  I tied ribbons around the spine to make the journals more secure.  I'll figure out some way to close my new book, once it start bulging.  And I'm sure it will.  Maybe a button or a bead with on some ribbon... 
What were other bloggers thinking about, when confronted with the Letter J?  Find out on Ms. Jenny's blog, on my tangent...

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

List It Tuesday - Design Change

My design change is the addition of houseplants.
  •   kitchen window - herbs
  • bathroom windows - small potted plants
  • workroom windows - ivy and small potted plants
  • bedroom - African Violets
  • den - lemon tree
  • living room - large plant, bouquet
  • porch - annuals, in spring
Plants always make a room more cheerful.  And during the winter, it's especially nice to bring some green inside.    So instead of a bouquet of flowers (except for special occasions), I'd rather have plants sitting around the house.    

For my birthday, mom is getting me a lemon tree, that I can move inside during the winter.  They aren't available at her nursery right now, so it's a gift I can look forward to in the spring!

See other List It Tuesday colorful posts, at Aimee's blog, artsyville.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

AlphabeThursday & BBArtisans Challenge - I is for Ink

One of my short-term goals for January was to start working on some new art journaling projects.  I've been interested for some time in using inks in my journal.  So I'm starting from scratch, and will see where it takes me.      

The videos that I've watched haven't helped a lot except for telling me what supplies I need.  I bought three different colors of Adirondack alcohol inks and some photo paper.  After two dark cards (above) I realized I needed some Silver Mixative and Blending Solution to dilute the ink.  At least I think that's what was wrong.      

Working with alcohol inks can be very... messy!  And dangerous!  I'm glad I was using some heavy paper to protect my table.  If you do use inks like these, protect your hands too.  After my first session, I decided to wear plastic gloves after walking around with multi-colored hands for a week!

I tried some of the inks I bought in Italy last spring.  See this yellow card?  Well, I spilled my little bottle of yellow ink all over my drop paper.  Not to waste the ink, I rubbed my photo paper in the spilled mess.  You can see how the red alcohol ink reacted a little (not a lot actually) with the yellow.   

Here's why I decided to continue making alcohol ink sheets: they work well as focal points in my journal.  I took one of my sheets from last week, pasted it into my journal, and started drawing and writing on my page.  I'm thinking I might created a theme with these alcohol ink sheets.  We'll see.  

Here's my second try.  One this page, I decided to tape the sheet into my journal.  Again, I wrote a little about what was happening that day.

This post is for both AlphabeThursday's Letter I and my BBArtisans' January Challenge - Try A New Technique.  Come visit other AlphabeThursday links at Ms. Jenny's ... off on my tangent...

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Starting the New Year with Featured BBArtisans' Treasuries

Here are four BBArtisans team members who included me in their Etsy Treasuries starting two weeks ago.  Help me thank them and visit their shops - you may see something you want to save in your favorites!

Looking through Edi's (Memories for Life) shop, I see it fits so well with the shop's name!   She picked my Red and Pink Paper and Sterling Earrings for her treasury called Shopping for the New Year ; and I chose to highlight her personalized wine glasses.  I'd like them for myself, actually; I'm sure she could put my name on them!

Cats, Hearts, Friends - What Could Be Better? is a treasury that Sharla (Beaded Tail) put together for the end of last year.  And she's so right!  Well, maybe I would start out with "Dogs" instead of "Cats", but the sentiment is the same.  She picked my Purple Handmade Journal to add to her treasury.  And when I saw the cover of this journal "This too shall pass... NOW!", a favorite saying of mine (without the NOW...), I knew it would be perfect for this feature.

I love going into Duni's (Peri Dot by Duni) shop.  She has the cutest things.  Handmade goodness 100% BBA is her first BBA treasury, with all shades of blue.  How lovely!  She picked my Blue Handmade Paper Beads.  I thought her Sky blue Summer Shorts would be a perfect fit for this treasury; love the polka dot trim! 

I was so surprised to be in a new BBArtisans member's treasury.  Let me introduce you to Trina.  Her etsy shop (Trina's Clay Creations) is adorable.  Don't miss her new blog, Trina's Trinketts, either! Her treasury, Pretty Pastels!, is an amass of light colors, including some of my Blue handmade paper beads.  It was so much fun, going into Trina's shop and looking at the characters there.  All the little clay figurines have their own personalities.   It took me awhile to narrow down my choice, but I decided on something that reminded me of my childhood: Ready for Bedtime, a little girl with book and stuffed animal in hand!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

AlphabeThursday - H is for Haiku

I started writing a haiku for every single necklace, when I started making jewelry.  Just an extra added gift to my buyers.  Here's a video with haikus and necklaces I made for YouTube; it "lives" on the bottom of this blog!

When I started making books and journals, I placed a haiku on the inside front cover.  Here's a few of them:

The little boy plucked
The cherry blossoms off the
Trees along the path.

The wedding planner
Wished she was hanging the kites
For her wedding day.

She threw the purple
Petals in the current and
Watched them float downstream

Come visit the AlphabeThursday group at Miss Jenny's blog, on my tangent... and see what we have to say about the Letter H.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

List it Tuesday - What's new

Aimee is back with her List It Tuesday inlinkz.  Come see "What's new" for this group of listmakers!

I usually pick three short-term goals every month and see if I can achieve my objectives.  This year, I decided to look at some Long Term Goals, each having a 10 in it:  

* Cycle 10 miles on Exercycle / week
*Make 10 new books, any kind
*Read 10 books
*Send 10 postcards / month (Postcrossing)
*Lost 10 pounds
*Visit 10 state parks
*Make 10 kits to sell on Etsy

Thursday, January 3, 2013

AlphabeThursday - G is for Gift Tag

I started my 2013 art journal this week with gift tags on my mind.  What different ways could I use my new gift tag stamp?

 I tried cutting the stamp out, centered inside my largest round hole punch.  That didn’t work.  I took my (only) pair of scissors and cut the stamp out, but came to the realization that here was another reason why I needed some really small scissors (to get into the tiny corners).

I was lucky enough to get a pair of pinking shears from Mom this past weekend.  But still I need a pair of little scissors.  Let's see if I can do better, cutting out the gift tags.  To be continued...  

Come and visit other Letter G posts at Ms. Jenny's on my tangent...   

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Short Term Goals - January 2013

out with the old, in with the new!

 It's a new year and a new month for short term goals.  For a wrap-up: last month, I got my monthly newsletter sent out on time.  Hope everyone enjoyed it.  If you want to receive the newsletter, you can subscribe here.  I planned on exercising and  have been walking with a walker.  For Christmas, DH found an antique exercise bike, which he fixed up.  The third goal for me last month was to visit Linda's (Pruitt Creative) 30 days of Christmas.  But then I backed away from the computer, so I didn't get to visit anyone's blog at the end of the month.  Sorry about that, Linda...

I do have three goals for this month:

Fantasy Faux Mail with Sondra Holtzman
Start working on new art journaling projects.  
First of all, my 2013 journal needs to be prepared.  And a January calendar.  Yesterday I bought supplies to go with my alcohol inks, that I may have been missing.  We'll see if that's why the inks weren't reacting like I wanted them to.  I signed up for a new class with Joggles, but it doesn't start until February.  In the meantime, I have some ideas I want to try with snail mail and my postcards.

Storybeader's eyeglass holders; kits coming soon
Make jewelry kits for Etsy.
This is a new project for my Etsy shop (thanks Margaret, great idea): I'll put together some jewelry kits and sell them on Etsy.  Include special orders too!  I typically use my paper beads with gemstones when I've made eyeglass holders and jewelry in the past.  This is a perfect way of selling some of my bead inventory, which is still very large.   

Exercise Schwinn bicycle
Keep on exercising.
I'll continue walking with my walker.  DH is carving me a cane, so hopefully I can use that soon!   And I'll continue using my new antique bike.  Now I have to be diligent with home exercises for my ankle, since I won't be going to physical therapy anymore (my health benefit deductible starts all over again with the new calendar year, and therapy is too expensive).  Hopefully this year will be a healthy one for both me and DH.  
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