Friday, November 6, 2009

The BIG Crafty

I will be exhibiting at the Big Crafty Show at Asheville Art Museum. It's a super fabulous show. Stop by my booth if your in the area!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Pictures Are Worth A 1000 Words

I'm busy in my studio getting ready for the Lexington Avenue Arts & Fun Festival, but I've also been busy putting together applications for fall and early winter shows. One of the hardest parts of selling online and applying for shows is providing good visual representation of my work. I wanted to set aside some time to play with a few photos and improve the quality of my images. My photos are often boring, blurry, and never represent the quality of craftsmanship I'm shooting for (pun totally intended). So, I started playing around with a couple different programs this week, and I've been having some success.

The first is an image of a ring I made this spring. This was one of my first projects, which was inspired by Linda Darty's book The Art of Enameling. I have been exploring enamels for about four months and I wanted to take some pictures that highlighted the enamel work.

Before After

The before shot catches shadows which makes the ring look tarnished or covered in firescale, when in fact, the silver ring has a brushed satin finish. Call it the profectionist in me, but my eye is drawn right to what looks like an imperfection and not the enamel setting.

Using Corel Draw X4 and the mask and lens tools, I was able to select the enamel setting and invert the selection with the mask tool, and then select a black and white lens to remove color from the background. Whalla! A nifty new little way of presenting my work.

Another fantastic little program I found on another blog is Picnik, an online software program for enhancing images. I love this site so much!! It's free, quick, super easy to use, and there's nothing to download except for your pics when you're ready to save the changes.

Before After

Even this blurry photo looks a little better with a little help from Picnik! Now I'm having almost as much fun sprucing up photos as I am at the bench!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Lilly Padalicious Earrings

I love these lilly pad earrings! The lilly pad is a copper disk 5/8" in diameter with a copper flower over top that have been enameled. The connections and earwire are made of sterling silver wire. I've gotton loads of compiliments on these earring including suggestions for a new necklace design to match. The technique is quite simple and the results are stunning!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Southern Charm

The Southern Charm necklace is the first design to come out of the new studio. It is by far the most successful piece from the first fire, and an inspiration for future design concepts. It's name comes from its soft sophisticated appearance. I just love the delicate white and deep red petals with sterling silver balls. The flower is made of copper with enamel overlay. It is about an inch and half in diameter in size and hangs on a 1.4mm sterling silver snake chain. I'm just so smitten with the results!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Studio Construction Phase II

The rain hindered our efforts on the shed but this past weekend we finally put the finishing touches on the exterior and laid the flooring. Electric and interior improvements will be made in a few weeks, but first I have to get to work for my 1st show of the year!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Studio Construction Phase One

Two years ago I converted the master bedroom into my studio, and ever since I have been dreaming of the day that I could move into a more permanent and suitable location. Unfortunately, to build something on our property is a challenge because level ground is limited without significantly altering the land and cuting down trees - both of which are out of the question. After some debate with my husband and making a concession on size, we finally agreed on a location. This weekend we broke ground and laid the foundation for a little 8' x 8' Regent II shed from Home Depot. I cannot believe the amount of concrete it takes to build a four-inch thick 64 sq. ft. foundation. We used forty 80 lb. bags of concrete - 3,200 POUNDS of concrete! The shed will be delivered next weekend and takes a few days to construct. I plan on taking pictures and posting phase two of our little construction project. Weather permitting, I should be all setup and fully operational in a month!

Monday, February 9, 2009

For The Love of Metal Trunk Show

The Etsy MetalClay Team hosted a Valentine's Day Trunk Show on January 29th in the Etsy Virtual Labs. The show exhibited amazing work from eleven members of the Etsy MetalClay Team . During the show, they awarded nine door prizes based on Valentine's Day Trivia. The first person to type in the correct answer to the trivia question won a prize. I was lucky enough to be one of the winners. The Question "Who ordered the St. Valentine's Day Massacre?" Answer: Al Capone. I won a beautiful set of earrings (seen here) from Amor De Plata . These Wood Disc earrings are hand crafted of sterling silver and measure 9/16 inches. They arrived today in the mail. They are absolutely beautiful and perfect for everyday wear.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

The Honey Bee Arts & Crafts Festival

The McDowell Arts Council is hosting it's first arts & crafts festival on Saturday, May 16th, 2009 in historic downtown Marion. The fun begins at 10:00a.m and ends at 5:00p.m. The festival will include arts, crafts, street performances, live music and much more. The event is being held to support the McDowell Arts Council, it's programs, and promote a new public art project involving honey bees called "It's All the Buzz". To download a vendor/entertainer packet or for more information go to:

Monday, January 19, 2009

Handmadeology – The Science of Handmade

Handmadeology is the creation of Timothy Adam, a self taught artist who is creating a website to teach others how to sell their handmade products online. The launch of this highly anticipated website is scheduled for January 26, 2009. Whether you sell your handmade products on websites like Etsy or Art Fire, or you’re just thinking about getting into the handmade movement, there is something for everyone.

Now here is where I start to get giddy as my two professions in planning and art collide! Timothy Adam and a growing number of other entrepreneurs are fueling the fire of a global economic transition. Handemadeology is at the heart of what Rick Symre, Communities of the Future, refers to when he says that “the world is in a global transformation as a network of people and organizations work in collaboration to develop new concepts of governance, economic development, leadership, and education/learning as a response to a fast-paced, interconnected, and increasingly complex world.”

OK, so that’s deep –well this is where it hits home for me! In the last ten years, the town I work in (pop. 7,000) has lost 3,000 jobs in textile and furniture manufacturing. Many of the workers were 3rd to 6th generation in their family that worked at the same industry. Their knowledge and talent in textiles and furniture manufacturing isn’t something that should be lost because the plant closed its doors. Instead they can learn to merge their talents with new entrepeurnerial skills to give them the opportunity to become more self-sufficient and economically successful in the changing economy. That is where Handemadeology and other similar resources offer a network for folks to rebuild themselves and achieve success while the rest of the world ponders how to dig themselves out of their economic woes.

I have already learned a lot from Timothy Adam, and I look forward to learning a lot more on Handmadeology. I am promoting the science of handmade in my community. I hope you will do the same. It may just be the beacon of hope that someone needs to turn their life around. Thank you to Timothy Adam for his hard work and sharing what he knows on the Science of Handmade.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Featured Artist...A First For Me!

It's always nice to come home from a long day of work to find something nice. Tonight I opened my email to find a new blog posted by the Asheville Etsy Street Team, and there in all its glory was a feature about me. What a terrific felling! Wow...You guys are super fantastic!