Friday, August 29, 2008

Back to School & Work

School started on the 25th and on the 27th I was back to subbing. Right now I'm doing an 8th grade American History class for a teacher who resigned. I'm hoping the district finds someone by the 8th of September, because on the 8th I have to go out of town and help my parents while Dad recovers from some minor surgery he is having on the 9th.

I imagine it is going to be hard to find someone this time of year, especially since they are limited to a male teacher because the teacher must also coach boys. Right now the other coaches are doing the athletics class so I don't have to do that. That makes it easier because I have extra time to grade their papers, make copies, and all that other stuff. The kids in the classes are pretty good kids and the permanent teacher will be able to enjoy teaching them I think. If I stay there very long I'll miss them after the new teacher comes.

My son started tenth grade this year. He has chemistry for his science class, which I'm a little worried about. Luckily my husband knows chemistry so at least one of us will be able to help him. I'm going to have to work with him on his Spanish II. I'm not great with Spanish, but at least I've had some. If there was a skateboarding class we wouldn't have to worry, but alas...

Monday, August 25, 2008

Tutorial Monday-Multistrand Hook & Eye

I ran across this very interesting tutorial Finishing Triplicate Chain Weaves by Theresa Olin from a concept by Desert Rhino. The tutorial is intended as a finishing technique for chain mail, but I believe this hook an eye could be easily adapted to multi strand necklaces or bracelets, chandelier earrings, and other uses. This style hook is also very sturdy.

The tutorial has good close up pictures and is easy to follow. She also has some other good tutorials at Theresa's Beadwork and Chainmail Tutorials. See her beautiful chainmail at The Maille Market.

Photo by Theresa Olin.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The North East Texas Team

A little while back I met with Martha of Menagerie Studio and we talked about getting an Etsy team going for our corner of Texas. Our goals for a team include promoting our Etsy stores, and promoting ourselves and Etsy to the local community, and raising awareness of handmade items . Greenville, and this region (outside of Dallas) have few good opportunities for artisans to show their creations.

We got busy and started contacting other Etsy vendors and today our Team was officially recognized by Etsy. So say hello to the NEtexasTeam. I just checked the search link and so far Martha is the only one who has added the Team tag to her listings, but I'm sure everyone else will do so soon. We're just getting started and have a blog N E Texas Team. I'll be adding team blog rolls to both this blog and the team blog.

Remember, shop handmade.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

My Etsy Banner

A while back I blogged about tutorials on blog and Etsy banners and headers. Yesterday I finally took a few minutes to work on one. It's not the best in the world, but it didn't take a really long time either. I suspect that it will be like my business cards, which have a photo that changes all the time.

The background is from one of the sunset photos that I took last week. I solarized it so that the colors were more green. You can still see the electrical lines that ran across one side of the page. I guess I could have taken them out but I don't mind them. The rest is the picture from my avatar and basic brushes and text from photoshop elements.

Click to view the banner at Essential Adornment, my Etsy store.
Next up, the blog header.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Tutorial Monday-Beaducation Classes

Beaducation is an on-line commercial shoppe with on-line video classes. I've both shopped with them and done free and purchased classes. I've been very pleased with both my purchases and the classes.

Beaducation currently has 10 free classes, 29 classes available for purchase, and 9 classes marked "coming soon."

The ten free classes include stamping on metal, intro to chain mail, byzantine chain, making your own ear wires, and torch safety. I've done the stamping on metal class and found it very clear and helpful. I also plan on doing the torch safety. I've been using a torch for a while to fire art clay and a review of safety never hurts.

The "for purchase" classes range in price from $12.00 to $38.00 with most being in the $38.00 range. I purchased the Mermaid Braid Bracelet class and have found it very complete and easy to follow.

The classes show a close over-the-shoulder view from the angle you would be working from. Classes never expire, so this means you can go back again and again and watch it as many times as you want to . Each class is divided into fairly short segments, so you can review just the ones you need. The Mermaid Braid Bracelet class is divided into ten segments:
  1. introduction
  2. tools and materials
  3. step one: braiding with copper wire
  4. step two: braiding in lap
  5. step three: adding the cap
  6. step four: braiding with sterling wire
  7. step five: making the loops
  8. step six: shaping the bracelet and adding the clasp
  9. design ideas
  10. get to know your instructor

Purchased classes also include good "print yourself" instructions with pictures. There are no printed instructions on the free classes.

Techniques taught include chain mail, metalwork, mixed media, seed bead work, and wire work. At the time of this posting the mixed media classes are marked "coming soon." These include classes utilizing felt. All of the classes are graded according to skill level required.

Instructors include Lisa Niven Kelly, Barb Switzer, Laura McCabe, Dallas Lovett, Kate Richbourg, Lisa Claxton, Kriss Silva, Emily B. Miller, Mel McCabe, Colin Mahler, Gail Crossman Moore, and Iris SandkĆ¼lher. Quite an impressive list!

The shoppe also carries kits for many of the classes. Other supplies and tools are also available. They have a good selection of metal working tools, including some that I've not seen other places. You can buy stainless steel shot in convenient two pound bags, as well as metal punching pliers in two sizes, bracelet bending pliers, and their "fat daddy" cutting pliers for heavy gauge metal. They have a good selection of pattern stamps for metal, including some exclusive designs. Metal blanks in sterling, copper, and gold filled are available. One thing about their supplies, especially their metal stamps and cutters: they frequently sell out. If you don't want to be caught waiting until their next order arrives, buy quickly.

Friday, August 8, 2008

1000 Jewelry Inspirations

Sandra Salamony delivers tons of inspiration and some sensory overload in 1000 Jewelry Inspirations. I mean that in a good way; there's so much in the book that I have to look at it a few pages at a time.

Pieces range from simplistic to complex, yet each will jump start you on your own projects. The book is divided into several sections. Each photo is numbered. Chapter 1, Beads and Baubles, is by far the largest section with items 1 through 313. Next up is Paper + Mixed Media with 314 through 440. Polymer + Precious Metal Clay follows with items 441 through 602. Chapter 4 covers Vintage and Repurposed items with numbers 603 through 749. Fibers + Fabric is next with items 750 through 864. Items 865 through 1000 are covered in Wire + Metal. The book concludes with a very short appendix of jewelry-making techniques (beginner level), an artist directory and index, and resources.

There is something for every skill level here. The type and style of jewelry is very broad, so if you've been doing only one type you can get inspiration on types and styles that you are unfamiliar with.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Sunset Over Texas

Here's a picture I shot of the sunset just outside Greenville. I like this picture so well that I'm trying to figure out how to use it in some artwork. The pale blue dot over on the left side is the moon seen through the clouds.
You can go to Flickr and see my photos with better resolution.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Tutorial Monday-Whoops!

Tutorial Monday will be postponed until next Monday. It took longer than I expected to get my business done and I had to extend my out of town trip. I don't want to post without my pics. Sorry about that. I'll be back with it next week, I promise.

Meanwhile, if you haven't already checked out the current issues of Jewelry Artist and Art Jewelry magazines you should. I'm going to be perusing them for a good while.

There are good projects on both websites; some are free and some aren't.