Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Big News

Hi there! Look at this fabulous handbag that Anne Choi sent to me! She knew that Ellowyne would love it. Yes I'm obsessed. While I'm carving, I'm thinking of handbeading a dress, or sewing a miniature corset. I'm considering designing a line of tiny charms, so she can wear GGS! That would be a real trick, carving a tiny version of something already small.
Ok, here is the news.......I'm writing a book on mixed media jewelry and I just signed the contracts! Yay! The good folks at Interweave Press will be publishing it and I couldn't be happier, because I love their books and magazines. They produce some of the best stuff: Stringing, Beadwork and Fiber Art (just to name a few).
The book will be presented like an artists journal, with watercolors and drawings, loads of useful tips and overflowing with magical looking examples. I will go over techniques using polymer, pmc (like creating your own ojime, making a bezel to fill, creating your own stamps, bead caps, chain and more!) I'm adamant that it will be worth the money (which is important to me, something you'd know if you took one of my classes- no one leaves until they are satisfied). This is partly because I hate to feel gypped and don't want anyone else to feel that way and I'm a perfectionist and can't abide the thought of doing something half-assed. So, it will be a lot of work, but I'm determined to make something useful and inspiring. I've been dying to put up pictures of the projects and of the sketchbook I submitted, but I wanted to sign first then show the goods. I'm so excited! I feel really fortunate to have this opportunity to share my knowledge of these materials. I've spent the past 12 years learning, making mistakes, experimenting and discovering ways to make beautiful things. It makes me happy to share.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Hi! This is a tiny watercolor and gouche art card. I've made loads of the swirly, bubbly backgrounds to paint on and this is the first one to get finished. I love painting the patterns and creating the watermarks with the gemstone paint, they settle into a shimmery, miniscule design. I really like the size as well, they lend themselves to constant shuffling. I also gilded the edges, which adds to the preciousness of the small size.

It would seem like all we do is eat and make tiny things (that's almost true) but we also love movies. Our dvd collection is good sized and I'm always on the lookout for 'background' films that we can have on while we work. While I painted the girl on the card, Forbidden Kingdom (a kung fu movie with Jackie Chan and Jet Li) was on , which was visually delightful, with the best girl villain sporting magical hair. Its a new favorite, along with Practical Magic, Sense and Sensibility and Star Dust.

The other day I spotted Hot Fuzz and immediately put in the cart, pleased I found it for 8 bucks. When I got to check out, the cashier asked to see my i.d. and said I had to be 17 to buy the movie (its graphic) and you can imagine how pleased I was! Andrew was like 'What, did you get a new eye cream?' to which I replied 'nope-dr.Bronners water drops!'. That stuff is good, made from fruit juice and green tea, it totally cleared up my skin and its easy to drink, a dropper full in juice has the same amount of antioxidants as 15 cups of green tea. I know, awesome. Well, its time to get back to it, I have a lot to do to get ready for the Hawaii show! I can't wait!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Hi there! Here is my new doll, Ellowyne Wilde displaying two shrink film drawings. Yes, we are obsessed! And why not? It is a fun and portable craft that is extremely satisfying to shrink. Andrew has made tons of charms and we've gotten our friends involved in the 'madness' so everyone around us is making them.

I've been cooking a lot, making slow cooked beef over parmesan polenta and my tasty chocolate gravy over biscuits for breakfast. The GGS team pretty much loves to eat and craft. If you come for a visit, plan on feasting then making stuff till the wee hours of the morning. Bob brought a fancy 1000 dollar espresso machine so we've been jacked up and slap happy while making art. Always a good combination.

I can't stop staring at my new dolls. They look nice with my Blythes. I am a smitten kitten, I just got another on ebay, like some sort of addict. Everyone is so tired of listening to me go on and on about the quality of the resin, how beautiful her clothes are and how gorgeous her face is. I also ordered books so I can make clothes for her, I might just turn into a doll artist!

Of course, that would be dreamy, but unlikely, as we have bead shows to do! The Central California Bead Society hosts a show in Fresno this Sunday and Greg will be there along with our friends from Bead Trust. I wish I could go, because I love that part of the country and wouldn't mind visiting my buddies! I will be attending The Soft Flex Honolulu Show with most of the gang (Andrew, Greg and Azalea), so if your lucky and live on Oahu, stop by and say hello! Also, if you mention this blog (at either show), you get a free pewter bead! Ok, back to work!

Monday, September 08, 2008

Flower fairy pins, unpainted and needing some hair.

Ball jointed dolls wearing silk dresses my mom made. I'm totally obsessed!

Baby Belle enjoying a cream soda at Izzy's during the Lexington Festival.

Mom pleased as can be with our blueberry yield at Graveyard Fields.
I've had a great week - my folks came up for a visit, then Andrew and I went down to Atlanta to see our good friends Anne Choi and Lynn. I really enjoy that city, so much to do and see, although our favorite thing to do by far, was going through Anne's amazing studio and witnessing where all the magic happens. She has neat stuff everywhere and my favorite things (besides the beads) were her vast array of ball jointed dolls. They are like tiny mannequins, posable in a very naturalistic and somewhat creepy way. I love them and have spent hours researching them, their clothes, shoes and also on how to make all that stuff (because I ordered more dolls and they need sassy outfits). It brought back my deep desire to make dolls and produce my own line. Maybe someday I'll get lucky and find a manufacturer.
Saturday we hosted a party for our artist buddies, then went out for drinks afterward a the Flying Frog and new wine bar Vault ( I don't recommend it, terrible service). The next day we went to a picnic and I learned why it is never a good idea to poke a stick into what I thought was a groundhog hole, but turned out to be a bee hive. After getting stung on the hand and taking a fair amount antihistamines, we went to the festival downtown. Folks in Asheville tend to get funky and weird when they get together, sporting unusal ensembles, many including wings, tails and the occasional space helmet. The people watching during an Asheville festival is unrivaled, I think it beats Venice Beach.
We've been crafting like crazy, making art cards, beaded jewelry, flower pins and t-shirts decorated from instructions in Alabama Stitch. We have been having fun and it doesn't look like that trend will be slowing down soon, there's still a lot left on our things to do list.