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.

Monday, May 4, 2009


I'm probably the only person who has trouble capturing a screen shot on Etsy, even after reading the directions! So I took a picture instead. With my camera. My earrings are featured in the center of the top row. What a great surprise!

Had a long day today.....spent time mentoring a great kid. We had a blast, walked all over downtown Cincinnati and Newport, KY. Now I must shower and head to bed so I can have some energy to work tomorrow.

Oh yeah, dentist visit tomorrow too. Yay.