Thursday, December 15, 2011

guerilla holidays

i owe anyone an apology if they have looked in here recently. 
posting my usual chitter chatter has been spotty at best. 
too many tasks to try to cover in too short a time. 

firstly, i have been trying my best to do some holiday shows. 
this is seemingly easy for so very many of my other artistic friends. 
really, they just make it look so easy. 
and i look like a freakish mess. 
regardless of my insecurities...
i strapped on my green striped apron made from some upholstery weight fabric and 
a nifty hibiscus napkin that i sewed onto the base stripes to make pockets. 
lime green alternating with olive green... MMM. it is one of my fave combos ever. 
(i wish like anything i had bought yards of the stripes. live and learn).

pens and pads and poorly printed business cards have been stuffed into this apron. 
they have been the working tools of my significantly busy show-time toolbox. 
last february, i was turned on though to a fresh system. 
another vendor at a show, who is half my age if a day,
 showed me a gadget that has changed my life. 
and of course my son set my world up to accept such a fast acting, 
helpful, and technologically wonderful accessory. 
it is the "square".
it is a little square tool that inserts a small probe-like extension into a smart phone, 
iphone or ipad, and connects to a service that will tell you virtually instantly, 
if the credit or debit card being offered is acceptable or not as means of payment. 
this has revolutionize the ability to accept credit cards for shows. 
until about 3 weeks ago,
i was negotiating and promising and wheedling for the chance to use either my son or my husband's smart phones. 
i saved and scrimped and promised myself if i made any money, 
i would invest in an ipad. 
the chance arose and i jumped on it. 
it is fulfillment at a lovely level to have this tool in my ever morphing arsenal. 
with the software for the "square" is an application for an ipad.
it allows one add downloaded photos and specific items to an inventory cache.
all you gotta do is press on the ipad photo or color block to charge for a specific item. 
they will figure out the tax if you turn that little feature to the "on" position
and you can cross state lines easy peasy to sell and alter the percentage that is tax 
if you want to do that. 
the whole set up does plenty more stuff, but for now, i am thrilled to just touch a button on the screen and have it all figured out on my behalf. 
equally romantic is the idea that i am not wrong all the time either. 
loving this whole new life with my quirky little friend the ipad 
and its loverly application for my working. 

there is much more to this than described. 
there is part of the process that allows interactions with the customers. 
they get to use their fingertips to swoopily sign their names to complete their purchases. 
also they finally get to have an invoice sent to their email or a text sent to their phones.
it is the way of the future. 
everyone will be doing this really soon. 
and i get a bit of a thrill every time i process a card to send money ultimately to my bank account. 

secondly on my happy list is that i saw a hand made bead in late october or early november. 
i should be totally embarrassed. 
i was so taken with this hand crafted sugar skull with wild unmatched eyes 
and twirly, swirly roses made of glass, 
that i bought a kit. 
it was put together by my friend kelli burns at the holebeadshop of bartlesville, oklahoma.
it turns out that to get one of these beads, i needed to purchase the entire kit. 
it was filled with crystals in jet black, 
seed beads of many colors, 
mixed frosted lucite flowers, 
small silver colored charms. 
fresh water pearls in mixed colors... i think that they are blister pearls... and they are really nice, 
some black mixed clay hand crafted beads to include a birdie, 
so much,
so many, 
so scary. 
the whole grouping of things were intended to be worked into a competition piece. 
so i figured there were about 6 weeks to make something from these components. 
i dawdled. 
i suspect i am a world class dawdler. 
on the week prior to the biggest show i was to participate in, 
i started a necklace to use my bead allotment and be permitted to participate in the competition. 
seriously, my work was cut out for me. 
there were ten kits sold in total. 
several of the competitors KNOW how to use a needle and all those little seed beads. 
they teach classes and write patterns illustrating how to use some of those skills. 
being outta luck in a big way, 
i got me a spool of thin brass wire. 
i spent 3 days sewing small groups of green seed beads to a Miriam Haskell filigree in my larder. 
in the center of this, was the very precious sugar skull. 
surrounding its face was a field of wired greenery and lots of enamel flowers. 
i riveted the flowers to the filigree to surround the skull and added as many of the little lucite flowers as was possible. 
i centered each flower with some of the cool black beads to make it all pop. 
what i enjoyed through this process was a throwback to my childhood. 

each summer i spent on long island at one of two beaches. 
my stepfather owned a boatyard and in spite of his inability to swim, he was gifted with a membership to the Stony Brook Yacht Club 
and its private beach. 
it was here that i spent hours heckling 
Mrs. Giaccone. 
in perfect 20/20 hindsight, 
i truly appreciate how generous she was with both her knowledge of how to make flowers
from seed beads and her teaching me about grilled sweet sausages with lemon juice squirted onto them. 
as i tried to make some seed bead flowers for this competition, the summers and sand 
shared with mrs. g, flooded right back in as if it were last week. 

i looked up ways to make the flowers that i used to wire together in my early adolescence. 
the structures of differently shaped things came back easily. 
i am these days, vastly less willing to follow directions . 
sad but true. 
it has crossed over in oh so many parts of my life and caused more than just a little 
inconvenience, discomfort and red faced-ness. 
(entrelac knitting,,, you hear your name being called?)
anyways, i employed my ability to ignore directions once again. 
i made one of my statement necklace style pieces to submit to the competition. 
i couldn't honestly help myself. 
once all the cute seedy beads i could stand had been sewn to that filigree... i had need to fall back on my old ways. 
i added a bunch of vividly colored hand enameled flowers, 
riveted a bunch of them individually together to make the most layers and colors to pop as i wanted.
i drilled a bunch of the lucite leaves and added tube rivets to those. 
these were a little fragile and i broke one leaf, lost a leaf in my mess and successfully added rhinestones 
to the other leaves. 
the rhinestones look a lot like pale colored (magical ) droplets on the leaves. 
also i hung a bunch of jet faceted bead swags, 
dripping chains of the same beaded black glitterers 
and some vintage ginko like leaves that were iridized by time on their brassy surfaces. 
i love how the whole necklace came out. 
it was my bad judgement that allowed me to spend 4 days on its construction when i needed to do much much more to prepare for my big show. 
as i have said before and will again, i am a world class procrastinator. 
in fact, i enjoyed taking a bit of a break from my usual crazy littany of ideas. 
it was fun to break out and do something different than i might have usually done. 
surprisingly, it allowed me the luxury of making a different level of necklaces for the show.
i guess i was percolating the entire time on a few levels. 
here is the day of the dead necklace... 
her name is :

there is a voting system in place and if you have not already participated, it sure would be fantastic to have your votes to help me win. 
all you have to do is vote for my creation and this link will take you there to do just that.

if you are in any need of any lucite flowers or other beading supplies, 
my pals are:
The WHole Gang at The Hole Bead Shoppe
317 SE Delaware Avenue
Bartlesville, OK 74003
Hours: Tues-Fri 10-5

they will help you do anything you want to,,, customer service is everything to them.

and since i am going on just so flipping long, here are the necklaces that came about as i readied for that last show... 





and finally some:

i have been cranking out flowery things like nobody's business. 
perhaps tomorrow, i will be bold enough to show you
 my new fantastic additions. 
simple and happy barrettes. 
for now, i think i have held your attention if you are here...
for waaaay too long. 
it is well past bed-time for me too. 

nighty night. 


  1. thanks for sharing...I always love reading your blogs. you make me anxious to put away the yarn and sewing machine and get back to my jewelry designs!