Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Stacker Bead Tutorial now for sale

Hello there!

It's been a wild fall. Lots of crazy things on the personal, professional and spiritual fronts. Sorry I'm not so good at keeping up with this. I've spent the majority of my time working the day job, and filling in the rest of it getting amazing new work made for a big show I'm doing this Saturday in Cincinnati, in Clifton.

Anywhoo, I received many emails from folks seeking a tutorial on my Stacker beads. I responded by having one created by my good friend Aimee, a great artist and designer. Though the layout is simple, it explains how to make the beads, with photos that go with each written step.

I have opted to have it printed on real paper rather than just email a PDF, because I am including a couple of Stacker beads with the tutorial so you can have one in hand to study and hold in person. Any kind of craft like this is so tactile, and just emailing a file didn't seem like I was offering enough for the money. I want you to get a fun package in the mail and not just another bill!

The tutorial is $15, and it includes the printed steps, the beads, and the cost of shipping for customers in the US and Canada. International customers will pay $1 for shipping....which is less than it will actually cost, but will help defray some of my costs as well.

I am selling it through Etsy, though you are free to contact me if you want to order one directly. I accept Paypal, which you can use with your credit card or a check without joining. The tutorial is an affordable alternative to taking my class on the subject, especially for folks who can't get to Cincinnati!
Thanks for checking it out...

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

New Stacker Jewelry!

It's been forever since I made Stacker necklaces and bracelets. This summer has been so stinkin' hot that even the thought of trying to roll them out is enough to make me go jump in a lake. BUT I enjoyed some fan-nage and cold water and whipped up these pieces yesterday....and posted them on Etsy.

This summer is starting to bum me out, because I have stacks of ideas of things to tools....and more Stacker beads, now that I used a bunch of 'em up!

Thanks to Cynthia for posting my chevron beads on Polymer Clay Daily today. It's always a great surprise to be on there.

Monday, July 19, 2010

First Barefoot Run!

Whelp, today was a pretty big day for me. I literally "stepped" into a new direction with running.

My brother is lending me the book Born to Run, and I'm almost near the end. Right before he gave it to me, he said it changed his life. So I'm almost through it, and I too am a new addition to many runners (millions in the world) who run barefoot.

There is one close park where I'm comfortable "getting my feet wet" as I learn the technique and allow my feet to adjust to the big bad world out there. Friendship Park is located on the east end of the riverfront in Cincinnati. It has a 1/2 mile helix-shaped cement/concrete sidewalk that winds through a beautifully manicured and landscaped park. Lots of gorgeous flowers and plants you just don't see all the time everywhere. The helix is rolling...but the ascents and descents aren't a big deal. The surface is very cracks or crumbling areas that could pollute the rest of it. No broken glass, nothing except the occasional pebble (I stepped on one the whole time). In other words, if you run there in your bare feet, you won't leave with gashes and holes in your soles. I can't guarantee you won't stub your toe though!

SO, I've been pumping myself up for this for a few weeks. It's pretty nice out...cloudy, so the sidewalks weren't hot by 9am. I dressed in my normal running outfit, but with flip flops. Drove down to the park, left the flip-flops in the car and started walking. As soon as I realized how smooth it is, I started to jog. It was so nice...I haven't run outside in a few days. The flowers looked great, the birds sounded great. Almost had the whole place to myself. Earlier I had planned to switch between walking and jogging, just to be nice and safe.

After about a half mile, I started noticing some things that were SO different than when I run in my Asics.

~ Breathing:
WHEN I RUN IN MY SHOES, I tend to run faster than I should. As much as I try to slow down, it's hard to because it's uncomfortable. So, I usually end up huffing and puffing through, trying to keep up a nice healthy pace that I can maintain for a bit. But I find it very hard to synch my breathing with my pace...I have to force myself to do it.
TODAY, I didn't even have to think about my breathing. I just breathed what I needed to. Because I was running at a better speed that was coming naturally, my body just did it's thing. I could actually enjoy the colors and scents, all while keeping a careful and frequent eye on the concrete ahead of me. Today I paid closer attention to my body and what was happening to it, but in the future as it becomes normal, I'll probably spend more time paying attention to the world instead.

~ Posture:
WHEN I RUN IN MY SHOES, my back tends to hunch a little more as I lean forward. The cushions in my shoes make me work harder to propel forward, so I have to kind of push myself off of the bouncy cushioning and try to also be strong on my feet. My head seems to wobble more, too, probably because I'm going faster, bouncing around.
TODAY, there was an immediate change in my body's posture. My back was straight, chest forward (and for me, that means FORWARD), head was up, looking straight ahead. This made the whole running experience so much easier and more pleasurable. It felt so right.

~ Pain:
WHEN I RUN IN MY SHOES, my arches burn. (I had "corrective" surgery 15 yrs ago that gave me totally flat feet.) My ankles and knees get small twinges of pain. My right hip sometimes burns. My lower back also gets really tight and un-comfy. I get regular side stitches, too. The other 3 days ago....I started getting shooting pains up the front of my left leg.
TODAY, the only discomfort I felt while running was some tightness in my lower right calf. Completely normal part of the transitioning to shoelessness. There will be a lot of aches and pains as I slowly re-train my feet and the unused muscles that have been "protected" by shoes for so long...and likely re-shape them into what they were before I had my central tendons cut. But most of the aches and pains today (it's been a few hours) are in my legs. I'll probably pop an OTC painkiller before work, just to take the edge off.

The way you land on your feet is completely different than when you are in shoes. Shoes allow you and encourage you to thrust your feet in front of you and land on your heel, which transfers a lot of shock straight up the leg and through the back, resulting in a plethora of potential injuries and health problems down the road. Barefoot running doesn't allow landing on the heel. The impact on the rest of the body is diminished because the foot is taking in the pressure. All of the pain symptoms I listed above didn't exist today. SO, instead of switching between walking and running for one mile, I ran a whole 1.5 miles straight, and could have gone farther. Having been warned by my brother than the day after is rough, I followed up with some hot tub, swimming some laps and the dry sauna at the YWCA around the corner from my apt.

I will likely buy a pair of Vibrim Five-Fingers (function over form, folks) so when I run in the winter or at Lunken or on trails while I'm re-training my feet, I won't get discouraged by rough surfaces on my soft skin. But I do plan on doing it totally barefoot as much as possible.

If this whole idea disgusts your or intrigues you or makes you want to try it today, I found this awesome site by an old-timer barefoot runner (who was the only one doing it in races in the States for decades). He has lots of great information, and answers to a lot of the questions that people have.

Another fabulous side effect of barefoot running is the money I will save by not replacing shoes and socks. ;)

Friday, July 16, 2010

Wow, so much.

It seems like every time I blog, I have some kind of "news" that I feel like everyone on earth (who cares about what I have to say) has to hear. Well, I don't have any news, but I know that I haven't updated this for a while. SO.....

Classes: You will just have to wait until I re-post about this, because I don't want to give out dates and times until the hosts of my show (the Forest Hills Community Education program) confirms the info on their own website. It'll come soon, don't worry. Hint: The three classes I'm teaching are Millefiori Cane-building, Stacker Beads, and Seed Bead Embroidery.

Fitness: Some of you who are on Facebook know that I like to talk about my fitness stuff. I love to talk about running and working out. Though I'm far from a skinny athlete, I'm almost 50 pounds lighter than I was last year (and the majority of my 30's). Some folks have asked me how I've done it. Simple: Eat healthy, Exercise regularly. Sometimes as I walk by a dark storefront and catch my reflection, I still don't recognize the shape I see. Yet I know I'm not "there" yet, and that keeps me motivated to keep going.

My exercise of choice (and most enjoyment) is running. Running is hard. That's why you have to start easy and slow. I recommend the Couch-to-5K program, which will turn a non-runner into a 5K runner in 9 weeks. Now, I've been wearing some Asics to help me become a runner. Asics are designed for running, and aren't available at Walmart or Target. You have to go to a running store to get them. Or online. Having someone who knows about running shoes and who can look at your form, helps in getting the correct shoes for you. However.....

I'm in the middle of reading Born to Run, a book that my brother is letting me borrow, and that I find hard to put down. In fact, as I write, I'm listening to Diane Rehm's program from last week about Running in America, which features the author of the book, and with an emphasis on barefoot running. I live in the city, and I don't want to cut myself on some broken glass. However, there are some great parks with safe sidewalks that I look forward to experiencing without shoes. I'll need something in cooler weather, too, at least since I'm starting and I probably don't have the thick skin that will keep my nerves from burning in super-hot sun. Lots of experimentation to be had. (And money to be saved!) When it comes to inclement weather, including cold, I will always have this option.

So much of the energy that I used to put into creating jewelry or art or whatever has transferred to physical exertion. I don't work out 7 days a week, but I do keep it consistent, with proper breaks between runs/weights/cycling. I do fit the art into my time, but not so much as a profession. Hobby-status seems to be a bit less pressure, and I like that.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Ovenfried Beads Dot Com is almost gone

I want to keep this brief because I have some housework I need to do in the extreme near future.

Ovenfried Beads Dot Com (my website) is slowly being shut down, and it's slated to disappear altogether on June 30. Today all of the photo galleries and the Stacker bead tutorial were removed. All that's really left is a mini-Etsy for both of my stores and some information on where you can find my work, and me, outside of that site.

I'm simplifying my life in a lot of different areas. The site was a fun little project for a while, but ended up costing me more money than is coming in. I spend way more time on Facebook updating on my Etsy stores, shows, and other things. Plus I send out an e-newsletter letting people REALLY know what's going on. Feel free to sign up for that!

Anyway, gotta run! (links to my other media outlets are listed to the left.)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Anticipation is killing me!

This weekend on Saturday is the 2nd annual OTR/Gateway Quarter Summer awesome festival that I am so happy to be part of again this year. The weather forecast has been scaring me a bit, with thunderstorms possible/likely/maybe/wtf? Having a booth at a craft show in the rain is a drag. Especially if it's windy. I can handle some tweaks here and there to my booth to make it more bearable...centering the tables in the middle, or toward the back so that folks can huddle underneath when it rains. What I don't like is when people don't come because of the rain. I can kind of understand, but man, this show is FUN! I can't wait to steal away 10 minutes to peruse the Gargantuan Gay Garage Sale across the street!

My stock is insane. I have two large shoeboxes of jewelry. One of them is for newer work, and the other is for pre-2010. I have jewelry that is still in great condition, but is a few years old and needs to find a home. The new stuff is really fun and more contemporary, as far as Ovenfried Beads is concerned. The older work is going to be marked down for the last time. What doesn't sell will likely be donated to some charities as the opportunities present themselves.

What I'm so excited about is my new focus on making just beads. When loose beads are the focus, the quality improves. When I have to think to myself "how can I use this in a so-and-so?", I skip steps to make them more unique and appealing. I have posted pictures of these new beads on my website, as well as Facebook, for all the world to see.

OH, and on top of the whole early morning booth setup, I'll be running the 5K race that is starting the same time as the festival. Boy am I glad there will be a beer booth there for post-race-calorie-replacement! Today I ran 43 minutes....about 3.45 miles. That's about a minute more per mile as my first 5K in January. Since most of the route will be flat (as opposed to today's run, which was full of up and down, stairs, etc), I hope to beat my original time of 35:45. THEN I'll get to go be Miss Beadmaker in her booth. I literally cannot afford to bomb this show. If I'm lucky, the gods of weather will part the clouds, bring in lots of bead-hungry people and they'll clean me out. Unrealistic, obviously. But I know that either way I'll have a fantastic time, as I did last year when it was 90 and sunny the whole day. We baked out there. Saturday will be much better I think. Hope to see you won't be disappointed!

Friday, March 26, 2010

New work now online!

Do you know the best way to annoy your Facebook friends?

Post your new Etsy items...each and every one of them....

Often several a day.

And hope that someone will buy something.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

My Great Aunt's Notes Feb 1-7

This evening I was looking through a box of old books when I found an ancient devotional that my mom's aunt Evelyn kept for decades. Each page had a date and the religious devotional that went with it, and Evelyn wrote notes about things in the margins. They were like an "on this day in history" entry. I leafed through and I'm really fascinated at the things that she wrote....some were big history like "war started", and sometimes it was just the weather for that day. It's her own personal history book!

Does anyone do that anymore? We always plan ahead and jot notes down about what we will do, not what has happened. Even worse, so much of it is digital, and it's often deleted forever.

Each week I will post the things that she wrote so that I can understand her more as the person I really didn't get to know, as well as remind us the big things in history that we have forgotten or didn't know at all. Sometimes I added words to clarify what she was saying (such as the word "degree" instead of the little circle next to the number, for which there is no font). If I wrote it exactly as she did, much of it wouldn't make sense.

Feb 1:
~ Fire and Burglary system comp installed today Thurs-1979 CDAlarm - dumb thing to do !
~ 66 degrees Wed 1989 record since 100 years ago (65 degrees)
~ 63 degrees Sat 1986
~ 10" snow - 1966 home at noon
~ Rev Nussbaum's last Sunday - 1953 Wonderful services

Feb 2
~ Bill in Deaconess, Mon 1987 Pneumonia + 105 degree temp (to Feb 8)
~ last car 3-31-1988
~ SOLD '87 Dodge! Oct 1992
~ Owned my first car as of today 1950 Dodge 1959
~ Mrs Miller moved in Sat 1957 (apt vacant 3 months)
~ Tues 1954 - retired - Rev James Sanders
~ Wed 1955 - retired - Rev Harold Walker

Feb 3
~ 1852-1996 Saturday McAlpin's downtown CLOSED
~ To 32 cents Jan 1995 (postage)
~ To 29 cents 1991 from 25 cents
~ Bought my first home! Saturday 1962 $15,500.00 5.5%

Feb 4
~ 71 degrees - 1962 Record breaker
~ 61 degrees - 1986

Feb 5
~ 8 degrees - 1962
~ Mom's landing Fri 1971
~ New partial Sat 1966 $125.00
~ New green rug in mother's room + replaced August 1975
~ New green rug bought for mine.

Feb 6
~ Margaret Berenford passed away Mon 1990

Feb 7
~ Helen Beigel with Lord - Tues 1984

(Update: March 26, 2010....obviously I didn't follow my big dream of posting everything in her book. Frankly, her handwriting is pretty darn hard to read. )

Friday, January 15, 2010

The End of One Era and The Start of Another

It's Friday night and I'm eating asparagus for dinner, the way my great friend Susan taught me. I'm washing it down with a Miller High, drinkable beer that I can buy across the street for under $7.00. My usual choice would be Blue Moon, or Christian Moerlein, or maybe Sam Adams. They don't sell those across the street.

Work today was like night and day in one 7 hour period. For most of the day, we had a steady stream of people but it never got overwhelming. Then, at almost exactly 4:15pm, both doors opened and people gushed in like tidal waves that crashed in a sea of fabric and beads. I can't remember the last time I cut so much fabric, so quickly. All of the fabric is 75% off, starting today. I suppose people still had to work, which is why the slam came so late. Even though we technically close at 5, we still had people in line at 6:20pm. I was cleaning up the aftermath and noticed that yes, we are selling out of stuff, and it will be gone very soon. It was the longest 9 hour day I've worked in a very long time.

There was a moment of zen when I looked up in the crowd and saw about 8 of my favorite 50 customers all shopping. I felt like something part of something bigger, like as souls we were supposed to cross paths for a while. Had I thought about it longer, while I caught my breath and cleared my head, I would have surely started to cry. I have helped all of those people over the years with their quilting and beading projects....and have been able to get to know them more as people and not just customers. And nowhere else would I have met all of them. It was St Theresa Textile Trove that brought them into my life over and over again. Fortunately in the last couple of days I've been able to say goodbye to many good customers who I've always enjoyed having around...lots of sincere hugs and thank-you's. Tomorrow is my last day there, the cap on 10 years of intense work in the best store in Cincinnati. It'll probably be so busy because of the sale that the day will fly by before I can feel the looming sadness of the loss of such a great store.

But really, lots of great stores and come and gone. Remember God Save the Queen and Woodsprite on Vine? Aquarius Bookstore (over 20 years!) on lower Main? Lots of hardworking people have had great shops and have had to close their doors for whatever reason, but we all just keep on keepin' on. And new awesome stores will open up when the void gets to be too big.

So Monday is my New Beginning....a Clean Slate. I'll be starting over at the bottom. Which is really where I need to be now. Being "in charge" for so many years has been rewarding and challenging, but honestly, now I just want to be told what to do. I want to learn the ropes of Half Price Books starting with the floor, then proceeding to the corners, then the walls, then the shelves, the books, the signs, the everything. I look forward to a broader customer base in a different part of town, working with lots more people (including MEN!...I haven't worked with guys for 11 years....luckily I get along pretty darn well with that half of the species). I look forward to an expansion of my peer group, and even a new circle of friends. This change couldn't come at a better time....and I'm so ready for it. Many of my regular Trove customers have vowed to follow me to Half Price Books. I believe them, and I will smile and help them find the book or DVD or CD or vinyl record or whatever they are looking for, just like I helped them at the Trove.

St Theresa's will literally be a memory in a very short period of time. It's unlikely that I will get there between Sunday and the 31st...the official last day of business. All of the staff is going to be there on the 31st....I imagine we will be sipping wine between customers, reminiscing, crying, laughing, enjoying our one last big HURRAH before the paper goes up in the window. I wonder how many customers have no idea we're closing. Once the store is closed, I wonder how many people will drive x number of hours to shop, only to find us empty. (Note to reader: If your favorite store has an email newsletter, JOIN IT. That's how you find out important stuff like this.)

All I can say at this point is that it has been an honor and a privilege to work at the Trove. It has certainly been a character-building experience, and I know that much of how I work at Half Price Books will be a direct result of what I learned at the Trove. I hope that if you Cincinnati locals are able to stop by tomorrow, that you will. I'd love to see you. It may be crazy and I may only be able to squeeze in a desperate "hello", but I will remember that you came by!