Thursday, December 31, 2009

Antique Mall = Perfect Birthday

Freaky mannequin.

Great beadwork. One of several beaded pouches.

Lovely cabinet.

$65 glass snail.

"Being John Malcovich" nesting dolls.


Happy orange mugs. Should have bought these.

Warthog and butterfly. How cute, and only $280!!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

All but abandoned Etsy

Man oh man! Life has thrown quite a few curve balls my way this year. I can't wait til it's over. 2009 (especially the last half) has been the least productive year for me regarding new beads and buttons. Seems like I've had the same jewelry for years and years...who knows how many. I just don't feel like literally sitting down as much as I used to. My mind is restless, and it's very hard to focus on creating. Sales have shown it, too. I have no idea what 2010 will bring....what distractions will keep me away from the escape that making little treasures provides. Or maybe my definition of "escape" is changing. My Etsy sales this month have been: zero. I'm sure if I were able to invest the time into Etsy or my website that I could, if the following life events haven't kind of taken over, I would have better sales. But honestly, I don't really care. After I post this blog I'm going to go into my studio and work on making some jewelry, I guess. See? If I use "I guess" after stating something that involves creating, you know I must not be feeling the mojo.

My distractions:


Running, lifting weights and doing pushups (or any physical exercise, especially challenging exercise) are a really effective way to dissipate stress. My diet has gone to hell over the holiday season, but I am keeping active. The other day I bought my January 2010 YWCA pass. Since I have no clue if I'll have gainful employment in February, I figure that if I buy the pass this far ahead of time, I'll be more likely to afford February's and maybe even March's monthly pass. It would be cheaper for me to commit to a year, but I'm not feeling that risky right now. Paying $55 for full access (no restricted hours) to a gym that's 2 blocks away, during the crappiest months of the year weather-wise (lugging all the "stuff") is well worth it. Last night, my brother and I went for a run on the most dreary, drizzly, damp, cold day possible. And it was exhilarating! I probably could have gone for another 10 minutes, but his calf was hurting and I didn't want to make him sit in a steamy pickup waiting for me. But I can say that it did whet my apetite for more cold-weather running. He estimated I ran about 2.75 miles.


My mom is the best. She has had to transition to living in a nursing home....though she can still get around, has her mental faculties pretty much intact except for short-term memory issues. This could have been a really bad situation.....but she has accepted the situation and is now thriving more than I remember in past years. Next step is to get her apartment cleaned out. That will occupy much of my "free" time over the next month.


St Theresa Textile Trove is closing in just 6 weeks, which is coinciding with my 10 year anniversary there. I have started submitting my resume to in particular is a job I'd REALLY like to get, but will have to wait to find out if they're interested. On top of everything else going on, I need to keep on the job search. I just don't have the resources to tide me over until I find new work. Part of me is a little scared, I have to admit. I haven't been unemployed for more than 2 weeks since probably the early 1990's. And as much as I'd like to be able to support myself with my craft, I really need to interact with other people. I like being out in public, talking to different folks.

So, I'll get going now and start making something, for someone, somewhere.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

6 months later

Some folks have asked me for a before and after photo. These are 6 months apart. The one with me smiling was taken today.
Bottom line: Eat healthy, keep your body moving. Period.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Very strange week! I mean, creepy.

Ok, so I'm kind of freaking out just a tiny bit. Listen to this:

1) My maternal grandma loved clowns. She didn't go overboard or anything, but she did have some figurines and an old clown painting from the 1960's that my mom painted, using a guidebook. When I was a child, I remember her playing "Send in the Clowns", that depressing song, sung by Carly Simon.

Before I could correctly pronounce "Grandma" as a young child, I started calling her Ranga. That name still sticks. It's like "Mee-maw" or "Na-na". Noone that I've spoken to has ever heard of that as a name for anyone.

Last week, a traveling clown, a cute French older woman collecting donations to further her work in children's hospitals, came into St Theresa Textile Trove, where I work. She really was very nice. Not creepy at all. She had a nametag with the name of a doll attached to her front....the name was Ranga.


2) Tonight I was checking the store's email, just to see if we've had any orders over the weekend. There was one from a customer, responding to an email my boss sent her. She signed it with a picture of my cat, Kitty. It is a small thumbnail image with the lady's website beneath it. I KNOW that photos was not on my computer. She had to have sent it. I wonder if it was ever on my old Myspace page. Really shows me how far one of my own photos can go. Makes me very very happy there aren't any pictures of me doing anything embarrassing floating out there. I sent the customer an email asking her where she found that...the curiosity is killing me! I'll be sure to let you know.

UPDATE: The customer told me that the image she attaches to her emails is a photo of a raven. Makes it even weirder, that her image is different than what is showing up.
By the way, her quilts are amazing. Please visit her website and see how gorgeous her site and work are!

Two times this week something very symbolic occurred...a sign only I could recognize. I wonder what it all means. And what will be the next "coincidence" that will knock me out of my own shoes?


While I'm here, I might as well post the results of my first 5K running race. 35:43. I'm damn proud. That guy is my brother...he was 21 seconds ahead of me at the finish line. Thanks Jay and Mike for the pictures!
I look forward to warmer races in the spring, that's for sure!

I'm tired! Goodnight!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Secret Artworks Postcard!

This image is of the postcard I made for Cincinnati's Secret Artworks fundraiser. Nearly 2000 postcards were submitted. The revealing of the postcards was at the Westin Hotel on November 20, and hundreds of artists and art patrons got together to view and purchase the postcards in person. It was my first time doing this at all, and I must say it was one of the most fun evenings I've had in a LONG time. Lots of my arty friends were there. One of them saw my snail sell within 2 minutes of the doors opening. Makes me feel good that it found a great home fast!

I'm having a sale in my Etsy stores, ovenfriedbeads and ovenfriedbuttons, this weekend, through December 1. Might as well jump on the "great deals" bandwagon. I'm feeling particularly in need of funds to prepare for my days of possible joblessness.

Good news: I finished the Couch-to-5K running training program the other day. For the past 9 weeks, I ran 3 days per week, following a series of timed walks and jogs. First day of the program I was running just 1 minute at a time. Now I can run over 30 minutes straight, and have begun the One Hour Runner program. A couple of days ago I also started the One Hundred Pushups program, too. Yeah, I'm working on becoming a lot stronger and fit than I have been the rest of my life before now. I'm still overweight, but life is better now that my body is getting in shape. My first 5k race, the Jingle Bell Run in Cincinnati, is next Saturday. Weather may be iffy, but I'm going to run it anyway.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Ten Years is a Very Long Time.

This image is of a large quilted banner that the staff of St Theresa Textile Trove made so many years ago. Each of us pulled a letter (or a few) at a staff dinner at Benihana in Cincinnati, and made our letters independent of everyone else. I like the "ransom letter" effect.

The store has been in business since 1994. I've worked there since January 2000. It's going to close for good in January 2010. I have managed the store for about 5 years.

Probably the main thing I would say on a personal level about the Trove is the intense education I have gotten from it. Not only have I learned a boatload of information about international and domestic textiles, beads, buttons and what to do with them, but also creative problem solving, accounting, computer skills, customer relations (because we do forge relationships with our customers), merchandising, and the list goes on. I hope that any future potential employers will look at that and consider hiring me...because I will need a job after January. I will dearly miss so many of the customers who have dropped in during the years. I know I will run into many of them in Cincinnati from time to time as I continue to vend at shows and teach beadmaking classes.

I know that we will receive many sad emails and calls about our closing. But let me assure you, Becky and I are feeling much relief. She has really put her entire livelihood on the line to keep the store open. As I like to say, "Love doesn't pay the bills." If it did, we'd have franchises all over the country. The store has been on virtual life support for a very long time, and that's not a healthy way to continue doing business. We are not going to dwell on sadness for what is lost....rather we will look forward to the adventures that God/the Universe will have in store for us.

Ovenfried Beads will remain alive and well through and past this transition. St Theresa Textile Trove was my career, but Ovenfried Beads will hopefully step up a bit in the queue.

If there is anything that can be learned from all sides of this situation, it's this:

Saturday, October 24, 2009

What does your tree look like?

A few days ago I went to the laundromat to clean my clothes, and while the wash cycle was going, I took a walk at Stanberry Park in Cincinnati. Colorful fall leaves and photographs were my main treasures. The photos above are from a huge tree that has been carved through the decades. I didn't notice any obviously new carvings, but one thing that was so obvious was the age of the carvings. About 10 feet high, old lovers' initials were stretched and spread out. The bark continued to grow, and the lines filled in. Almost the whole circumference of the trunk is covered in scars. If you have a chance to check it out, I recommend it.

The photos of the carvings inspire me to think about what kind of scars or carvings there are in my own personal spiritual tree. What events, relationships, dates, times and places have left a permanant mark on my own history? How deep are they carved, and how legible are they? Equally important...what kind of tree is it? Trees are so symbolic in so many way, and the answers are completely subjective.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Weight Loss Update

Since I started talking about my weight loss a few months ago, I haven't been very good at keeping up with it. In a way that's probably pretty good, because I certainly don't see the point in blogging about losing a pound. I noticed that my last post was August 21, when I was 16-18 pounds lighter. Well as of today, it's 30 pounds. My weight is hovering around the 200 mark, give or take 3 or 4 pounds depending on what time of day it is and if I'm nekkid or not when I weigh myself.

My weekends tend to be more relaxed as far as diet is concerned, but I do work out just about every day. Yesterday I completed Week 4 Day 2 in the Couch-to-5K program for new runners. In the beginning of this program I thought "oh my GAWD I have to run for 90 seconds straight?". Now I'm running a 3 and 5 minute run, twice in a workout. Later this week it will be all 5 minute segments, then 5 and 8 minute segments, then a full 20 minutes nonstop.

I need to get back on the South Beach wagon if I want to speed up this weight loss. I've become too lazy, though I still eat much healthier than I used to. Tomorrow is my visit to Hoxworth Blood Center for my 8 week bloodletting, so I'll get to weigh myself on a proper doctors' scale AND get my cholesterol screening. I'm pretty pumped about that!

No Before/After pics as of yet, so I'll leave you with this photo of a little collection of items I've found on the riverbank.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Shameless Plugs

The 2010 Polymer Clay Calendar by Marjorie Oxman is now available for purchase! I'm Miss September. Rather, my Stacker Beads are Miss September. You can order it here if you want a copy, and they are 25% off through October 11. Use the promocode "FALLFOTO" to get the discount! I ordered mine this morning!

December 5 is the Jingle Bell Run/Walk in Cincinnati. It's a fundraiser for the Arthritis Foundation, but even more importantly, I'll be running a real race for the first time in my life! I've been training for the past month, and hope to be able to do the run comfortably by the day of the race. So far so good! Anyway, if you feel inclined to sponsor me and support Arthritis Foundation, click here to see my personal race page. You can have your name flow down a continuous contribution ticker! I will post my results in this blog. The race is still 2 months away, but that's about how much time I'll need to be ready!

One more thing.........If I haven't already mentioned here in my blog (and I obviously haven't checked), I enhanced my Stacker tutorial page with text to help folks with tips, tricks and hints. I hope the new page will help folks learn how to make them! Initially I wanted to avoid too much text, because automatic translations across the oceans of the web could really do a botched job of it. However, maybe not.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Fall Directions

For the last couple of months I have pretty much neglected my Flickr page and blog. I guess I just don't "feel" the internet thing like I used to. After being on Facebook for a couple years, I kicked myself off after experiencing almost drug-like effects. My friends on there were for the most part pretty darn interesting, and I was always wanting to see what they have to say. Long story short, I want to spend more time doing life than talking about life. Since I ditched FB I am creating more things and being more creative.

John and I have been spending a lot of time in my attic, getting it ready for art-making season. I make art all year round, but the art in my attic is predominantly focused on my found objects/trash that I collect on the streets and the riverbank. One evening I gathered all of my finds and organized them. My attic is a wonderful, dark, inspiring place. Even though I can hear the city streets outside, I cannot see them, so it's almost like a protective coccoon. The photo above features some river finds on a square board. It's my "temporary art" board where I do simple quick meditations of arrangements of the items. This one shows a mountain landscape, with a moon, a second planet, a brown cloud and a rocket.

Yesterday I compulsively started a new bed quilt. My second one, about 3 years after completing my current one. It's turning out exactly how I imagined it would. I'm taking 9"x9" squares of my very favorite organic-y, cellular, biological-looking images. Some of them remind me of patterns one would see through the lens of a microscope, while others may mimic leaf vein patterns. Also, I am using fabrics that I swore I'd never really use, because they were perfect the way they were. Initially I expected to feel uncomfortable cutting these whole fat quarters, yard cuts and multi-yard cuts for a square I can never replace. On the contrary...I felt relief, like by using it, I'm setting it free.

This photo on the right is my cat Sweetie walking on the newly ironed pieces. Like the typical cat of a fairy tale, she tried to pry a pin out of two layers of fabric. Then she nestled in a pile of folds she made from it.

At any rate, I finished this much of it in two nights. Last night I cut about 65 squares, and tonight I cut the black strips and sewed two rows together. It will be roughly queen size. There will be either 96 or 104 squares in all. I think.

I'll try to post blogs more often. Stuff just happens so fast that I can't keep up with it!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Other People's Stacker Beads .. Part 5

Yesterday I received an email from Maika Martinez from Pamplona, Spain. She has been making Stacker beads, and I must say that she's doing just great! One thing I really like about her Stackers is her use of white. All except 4 of them have large doses of white or very light yellow. The "multiple effect" is great. They look good enough to eat!

Maika's Flickr page has lots of great work. She likes to experiment with different techniques, and she does them well. She is also a member of the APE, a.k.a. Association of Polymer clay of Spain.

Thanks Maika for sharing your version of the Stacker bead.

I invite more folks to show me theirs. If you want to give it a try, visit this page.

If you go to my archives from May and April, you'll see others who have done the same!

Friday, August 21, 2009

What a Summer!

Man it has been forever since I posted here. Since the previous post, where I started the South Beach Diet, I've lost between 16 and 18 pounds. I exercise every day, and feel absolutely terrific!

This new routine has transferred mental energy, too. Where I used to want to just retreat into my art studio sanctuary and get lost in the potential of polymer clay, I am now thinking about a new route to take on my bike, or how far I think I can jog. Food also takes up a LOT more of my mental energy, too. Cooking is so much more exciting, so I am always thinking of new ways to prepare my favorite foods. Nowadays I'm eating so much more veggies....probably more in one day that I used to eat in a whole week before I changed my ways. White potatoes have been totally deleted from my diet. My favorite veggies are asparagus, broccoli, cabbage, red bell peppers, orange bell peppers, cucumbers, onions, spinach, garlic, green beans, cauliflower and cabbage.

Here is one of my favorite photos I've taken with my new camera. Yes, this is my third camera in the last 5 years. This is a dried seed pod from a water lily. This has been in my collection of natural items for a few years. Picked it up at Cowan Lake near Wilmington.

My brother took me to Cowan Lake a week ago for my first kayaking trip. It was perfect. And so much easier than I thought it would be. Granted, the surface of the water was like current. But the big "field" of waterlilies and the creek that connected to it were just gorgeous! (Sorry, no pix of that!)

This picture is a recent one of me...taken earlier this week. My friend Alyssa and her mom visited the shop. Alyssa is I think 13 years old (her birthday was July 4 but I forget what number she turned!) and is a real natural at designing earrings. She brought in a container of them to show me and hear my professional opinion of them. I think they're great. I can tell she thinks them through. She was sweet enough to give me two pair as a thank you for encouraging her. You can't see them in this picture, but they look damn good.

Green beans at Susan's! She invited me over for dinner last Sunday. It was one of the best dinner's I've ever had. These green beans were so good!

These are little scraps of aluminum and other metals I found on the banks of the Ohio River. The artisitc possibilities of stuff like this kind of just blows my mind.

Well I better get going. I need to do something to prepare for a show I'm doing Sept 26 in Anderson Township. A Fair of the Arts. Be There.

Monday, July 20, 2009

The Incredible Shrinking Beadmaker

Well, that title seems a little preliminary, but I thought it seemed a little catchy.

Today is my 3rd day on Phase 1 of South Beach Diet. I've never been a yo-yo dieter or try every goshdernit diet invented, but after seeing my friend Susan shrink to a hottie bod, I decided to give it a shot. I read her whole South Beach Diet Supercharged book before I began it. Then she lended me the first one, and I read most of that too.

What amazed me the most is that I already eat most of what one can have anyway. My biggest weaknesses are bread and potatoes, not sweets. But I do have some sugar-free candies on hand for sudden urges. I can feel my cravings for chocolate and other carbs quickly going away....I have to make myself eat the snacks between meals that I'm supposed to have. My skill in the kitchen is getting better....I can't wait til I can have root veggies so I can add them to my big veggie soup recipe.

My perception of my body feels different too. Granted, I've been doing a lot of exercising the last week, so of course I feel physically better. But my mind is so awareness is very sharp. I don't feel or look physically lighter (yet), but I do feel mentally lighter. The thought of buying myself a bikini for my 40th birthday is very enticing. I've been plus-sized since high school....not severely, but I've always heard "you have such a pretty face" and "you have such a great personality". Clothes shopping is sucky. I don't expect to start wearing really slutty or revealing clothes when I lose it, but I do expect to have a much better selection to choose from.

So for the next 11 days, I will eat no bread, no fruit, no sugary items, and low fat everything else. I'm eating lean meat like chicken and sirloin, lots of veggies like red peppers, mushrooms, onions, spinach. Can't wait to sink my teeth into a nice Gala apple!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Polymer Clay Class 2009...the out-of-towners!

These are my new friends! All 4 drove from pretty far away from Cincinnati .... 3 from the east coast, and one from Texas! Here they are, having fun making beads.

Ok guys, here is how you make Stacker beads. Cut a thin slice fom 5 different colors of clay, right off of the brick. Stack them on top of each other, cut that stack in half and then stack the two half-stacks on top of each other. Got that??

Roll the cube of stripes into a ball, then begin to roll it so that you create a striped cone. Remember, don't roll it back-and-forth...just in one direction. You want it to be kind of like a cone-shaped barber shop pole.

Determine a good place to cut the striped cone. This spot looks pretty good!

After you cut the cone down the center from the point to the fat end, start to coil it onto itself, kind of like a snail shell, except the fat end is in the middle instead of the tiny end. This keeps the beads solid and strong.

Before you know it, you'll have a tray chock-full of Stacker beads, ready to be drilled! These gals were Stacker bead experts in just a matter of a couple of hours.

Thank you Marie, Leah, Carroll and Helen for coming so far to spend time with me, sightseeing, eating, swimming, beadmaking, laughing, driving, exploring and creating. I hope you can come back to Cincinnati again next year.......... for Part 2~!!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

When People Use My Work, I Smile

Recently I got a nice stack of orders from this gal, Stephanie Hovsepian of Mine Hill, NJ. I was wondering, what the heck would someone need so many buttons for? Who is knitting sweaters in the middle of a hot summer? Then she sent photos, and it all made sense. Visit her Etsy shop to see more! Thanks, Stephanie, for your support of Ovenfried Beads! *(and ovenfriedbuttons on Etsy.)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Making Progress

Last night, in preparation of the show where I'm vending this weekend, I completely cleared off three of my work tables in my studio, folded them, and set them aside. Considering each one was piled full of crap before they were cleared, I call that Making Progress.

I found my list a couple of days ago that I made so I could get to sleep. They say if you have problems sleeping, make a list of your next-day chores, so your mind can let them go and actually get some productive rest.

Here I will bore you with the list I made. Some items have been packed...some haven't...and none of the little square boxes I drew next to each item have been checked. If you can think of anything I should bring, please let me know by Friday. This blog is just to take up space and keep it current. My next one will likely be about the show, after the fact.

Show list!

- change for box $200.-
- calculator
- credit card slips
- ball point pen
- mini-clipboard
- Sharpies
- packing tape
- lint roller
- table cloths
- chair
- extra cigar boxes for display
- pliers
- display tree
- mini display couches
- small bowls
- spinning rack
- lazy susans
- drill (charged)
- cooked canes
- business cards and holders
- fabric bowls
- ear plugs!


- framed piece
- earring rack
- other display items
- necklace and bracelet holders
- magnet board
- type tray

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

YART Sale on Etsy, June 10-14 only!

Hey Etsy buyers! Starting today, ending Sunday, is the annual YART sale on Etsy, where sellers can have great deals and specials, sales and bargains, all at the same time.

My merch in my ovenfriedbeads store is all 20% off, and regularly-priced buttons in my ovenfriedbuttons store is also 20% off.

Remember, it's only through June 14~~!!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Artist Spotlight at Glendale Handcraft Gallery

Visit the website of Glendale Handcraft Gallery to see the interview featuring Yours Truly!

I sent a ton of Stacker jewelry to the gallery and it is on the sales floor, ready for eager Stacker-seekers! Tomorrow I will be sending them a box of buttons, pendant necklaces and more earrings to replenish what has been sold, plus some.

Thanks, Jennifer, for putting so much energy into promoting my work!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

If I Were Ever Incarcerated.....

...I would immediately request to lead a crafters group. Give me my polymer clay, tools, seed beads and fabric and I would have a whole gang of women (no pun intended) creating a line of Prison Gear.

Creating small treasures is about as close to Nirvana as I can get on earth. Art is a therapist.
Above is a new pair of earrings......polymer clay cabashon made using the Stacker method, with Czech faceted glass and seed beads. Earwires are Saki silver. You can buy them on Etsy or come buy them at the Pendleton Art Center this Friday. I'm having a great sale....
Buy One Get One Free on ALL BUTTONS.

Buy Two Get One Free on ALL EARRINGS.

Visit my website for more info about Final Friday and my work.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Sermons that Knock You Off Your Feet

This morning I attended church where I used to attend and serve for several years. It's one of those insanely huge, modern "megachurches" called Crossroads in Cincinnati. I took time off from it for several reasons, but the main one was transportation issues. After visiting last week, I knew I had to come back, and boy am I glad I did. If I grab a 7:45am bus, I can get there in plenty of time to not miss a minute. The other services are just not in synch with the bus at all, which was why I stopped going. It was too "inconvenient" to get up to go that early.

Today's sermon was about relationships with each other and with God. A minister I hadn't heard preach in a LONG time was Chuck Mingo, and I am really glad I got up at the crack of dawn to get there to see him. Just an hour there this morning packed a punch that I just couldn't take my mind off until I could talk about it here. Communion usually isn't celebrated during the weekend services, but it was today as part of the reconciliation message.

I had been craving communion since last night, when I watched Passion of the Christ. Holy Moly. People had talked about how much of a "bloodbath" it was, and they were right. As a follower of Jesus, I was totally emotionally WRAPPED UP in it. I was a mess. Part of me had been craving something that severe to wake me up again. I bought the DVD at the library book store for five bucks. Worthy price.

The tattoo above was applied about a year before I was baptized at Crossroads in 2006. There were periods where I thought I may have made a mistake. But now I'm so glad it's there. It is more like a reminder for me where I come from than a cool cross tattoo.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Other People's Stacker Beads ... Part 4

Margit Böhmer, from Gera (Thuringia), made these Stacker beads months ago. She contacted me about them, and when I saw this picture I remembered that it was probably the first Stackers I saw after publishing my simple tutorial. After a little tour of her Flickr page, I feel so inept in my variety of techniques. Margit is one of those clayers who can do so many things so well, probably partly because she's a member of the same German guild as the others I've featured here so far. I'm particularly attracted to her African-inspired beads (or should I say as-close-to-African-beads-as-one-can-get). The store where I work, St Theresa Textile Trove in Cincinnati, has many of these beads (but are not featured online...sorry!), so I can attest to their accuracy not only in design, but how they're strung.

Thank you Margit for contacting me! If there wasn't an ocean between us, we'd be claying together for sure! There must be something in that European water.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Other People's Stacker Beads...Part 3

Greti Botka made this lovely bracelet out of her Stacker beads. I just love this photo. What a clever background. Greti is from Austria and is also a member of the German Guild, like the other featured Stacker bead makers. To see more of Greti's work, visit her Flickr page.

I decided to stop using tags or labels for my blogs. The program wants to plug in words I don't want to use. Example, suppose I want to use "Art" as a tag. When I write in "Art", the word "Art Beads automatically fills in and can't be edited. If you know a way around this, please let me know.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Other People's Stacker Beads...Part 2

Today I got a great email blog post from Polymer Clay Daily which seems to fit perfectly with my coverage of Stacker beads made by other people.

Listen to this:

"Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows. Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic.

Authenticity is invaluable; originality is non-existent. And don’t bother concealing your thievery - celebrate it if you feel like it. In any case, always remember what Jean-Luc Godard said: “It’s not where you take things from - it’s where you take them to."
- Jim Jarmusch

The Stacker beads above are from PetraTornack-Zimmermann from Germany. She is a member of the German Clayguild. Her Flicker site has lots of great photos of her polymer clay, clothing and ATC's. Her Stacker beads look eerily like mine....but I'm so glad because there's no way I could provide Germany with all the Stacker beads they need! Clearly she didn't "steal" my idea...nor did I come up with it myself. It was a combination of timing, circumstance and past information all rolled (literally) into one technique.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Other People's Stacker Beads...Pt 1

Shortly after I posted a free tutorial on how to make Stacker beads on my website, photographs started popping up here and there on Flickr. Once I saw a couple different people do it, I decided to feature their own Stacker beads, just to illustrate how we all can take something that's a fairly precise method and make it our own.

The above Stacker beads are from Gaby Birrer of Switzerland. I think her photo here was the first bunch of Stackers I'd seen that weren't mine. Don't they look just good enough to eat? I think they look like chewy fruit flavored candies. Perhaps it's time for me to go make breakfast!

She also does some great extruded beads that get me pretty excited.

If you too decide to make Stacker beads, or have already done so, let me know! Just send me your name, where you're from, your websites (up to Flickr, Etsy, your own, etc) and a JPEG image of your Stacker beads. I will let you know when I feature you.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Second Sunday on Main - Mother's Day

This little girl really really wanted my snail hairclip. She was SOOO adorable. I forget her name, probably because I was hypnotized by her total cuteness. When I took this photo, she was saying "Happy Mother's Daaaaaay. Happy Mother's Daaaaaaaaaaaay" the way people say "Cheeeeese". I had a great time at Second Sunday, but she was the icing on the cake.

This is part of my display. I've started doing some new packaging and display tactics to help protect my work, make it easy for people to handle and keep the cards clean. I carved stamps to create labels....kind of primitive looking, but when you see 60 of the same exact "Ovenfried Beads" labels, it looks pretty good.

These items are by members of my church. One of them, Sue Cline, is a potter. The prints are by another girl whose name I can't remember but starts with "A". They were provided by a couple of members who are collecting donations for Cat Rescue. (The one on the right is called "Angry Chick" and the one on the left is called "Squirrels with Guns".) Near the bottom of the screen are some of my fabric postcards.

More pottery by Sue, as well as a fantastic book called One Hundred Miles from Home by Carol Rainey of Cincinnati. It's about the nuclear contamination of the Ohio Valley from 6 nuclear plants that operated during the Cold War. Pretty may think the park you hike in is clean, but in most cases it's likely not. Carol does not have a website promoting her book, but since I've read it I've been the "big mouth" trying to get the word out about her book. If you're interested in purchasing one, please contact me. They are $19 each and worth twice the amount considering how much information there is.

I was exceptionally stoked because The Hiders were the first band to play on the stage. I. Love. That. Band. I hope to totally do SSOM again next month.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Dental Work is Great When Your Dentists are Smokin' Hot

Today I had my bunk tooth all wrapped up in pearly goodness. A root canal and the placement of my new crown on tooth #14. Some folks will question why I would blog about something like this. Here is why:

I take great care of my cavities in over 15 years. When #14, a molar, started getting really sensitive, I found out it had cracks in it. Then it started hurting worse. In order to avoid a potentially awkward and painful moment (ie, spitting it out after biting into one of my favorite foods....probably in public because I rarely cook for myself), the Universe decided it should be dealt with by professionals.

Well not only were the dentist who carved away my crumbling tooth (Dr. Jerry Paul) and the endodontist who did the root canal (Dr Timothy Kreimer) FANTASTIC at keeping away the aches and pains, they are both totally model-worthy. When I was a kid, my dentist was not model-worthy, and he had halitosis to boot. These guys are calm, collected, VERY professional and I'm totally satisfied with their service.

Anyway, the thing that shocked me the most about the root canal was the lack of noise during the procedure. I didn't have an iPod, but there was some boring European football game going on. The sound of jackhammers filled my brain beforehand in my anticipation of the procedure, but it was so....quiet. I knew Dr. Kreimer was threading all sorts of micro-screws up in there, digging out the source of my pain, but it didn't bother me. Even the burning smell didn't bother me, when they were doing whatever root canal-givers do. No, I didn't suck on a tank of nitrous or be given a shot or pill to calm me down. In fact, I almost fell asleep. Go figure.

So I walked a mile or so to my dentist after the root canal, hoping to squeeze in my new crown cementing-in, and it worked. Years of sensitivity are over, after my week or so of tenderness. My boyfriend and I are making soft foods tonight for dinner. Yummy!

If you need a root canal and have never had one, don't be freaked out. It's nothing. Think of it as an 'enhanced filling'.

And if either Dr Paul or Dr Kreimer read this post, don't be embarrassed about me outing you as totally gorgeous. I have a boyfriend and I love him very much.