Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Is it really close to 100 degrees in Tucson?

I'm heading out of town today to work The Fall Best Bead Show in Tucson. I always look at the weather report for the city I'm about to travel to and it's going to be 98, 99, and 100 degrees every day I'm in Tucson. That's insanity! Colorado has been blessed with an amazingly mellow summer - we've only had a few days of temperatures in the 90s. I hope I don't melt in the hot Tucson sun...

If you're in the area, come by the Best Bead Show. It's at the Kino Center this year - the same location as the February show - and the Soft Flex booth is in the back, along the wall, as always. I'll be doing demos in the booth and free make-it-take-its in an adjacent booth.

I look forward to seeing my bead friends and am keeping my fingers crossed that we'll make it to Cafe Poca Cosa for an amazing meal. Yum!

Friday, September 4, 2009

A package from Andrew! Also, Friday Communique.

Earlier this year, I was one of the first to sign up for Andrew's charm club. I received my charms the other day and was blown away by the wonderful variety of the charms and beads, and by just how much I adore the pieces. Thank you Andrew!

As if the charms and beads weren't cool enough, the package also included this incredible painting, which I absolutely LOVE. I can't decide where to hang it, so I keep taking it from room to room in my place. The colors in the painting are perfect for any room in my house, so now I just need to find the perfect place. Andrew is an amazing artist and friend, and if he decides to do his Charm Club again you better believe I'll sign up.

Lorelei (a very inspiring jewelry designer) signed up for the Charm Club as well. See her painting and charms here. And check out what some of my crew were up to this week too:

Sara Hardin (aka SoftFlexGirl) shared some designs from the Flex Your Creativity Beading Contest.

Kristen Fagan created new
free art and computer wallpaper designs for September.

Enjoy the long holiday weekend. I'll be hanging out by the grill and the pool! xoxo

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Guest blogging and a lecture...

Beginning today and continuing every Tuesday, I'm guest blogging for SoftFlexGirl. Check it out here: Victorian Lei in Beadwork Magazine. Actually, several of my co-workers are going to take turns guest blogging for Sara on occasion. Brian Clark, the Soft Flex Company Photographer talked about the BeadFest show in Philadephia yesterday, so be sure to check him out too.

Last night I had the privilege of joining my friend Katie for a lecture at Colorado State University (my alma mater and Katie's current employer). The featured speaker was Greg Mortenson, author of Three Cups of Tea and co-founder of Central Asia Institute. I haven't read his book yet, but after last night, you better believe I'm going to. Greg's story is amazing. He's definitely inspired me.

Monday, August 31, 2009

I am a fly fishing master...

Well, not really, but it was fun. My dad took me fly fishing for the very first time yesterday. We drove a couple hours up into the mountains and enjoyed a calm, quiet, beautiful day. We didn't catch any fish, or even get a nibble for that matter (Dad said it was just too cold for them), but we enjoyed some road sodas and had a great time. It turns out I can cause my fishing line to knot up just as easily as I can beading thread. Sigh. All the same, I'm a definite fan of fly fishing and I hope Dad and I can go again soon.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Playing with Wire

It wasn't my intention for so many weeks to go by since the last time I blogged. Really, it wasn't. I went to CHA in Orlando and things have just been crazy since then. Starting this week though, I'm going to do my best to get back on track.

One of the projects that kept me busy over the last few weeks is pictured above. I received an assignment to make twenty necklaces based on the design for the Tranquility Necklace in the Free Projects section on the Soft Flex website. This necklace is always super popular at bead shows and it's a fun design to make, so this assignment was exactly the kind of thing that I like. I used a random assortment of Czech pressed-glass beads and Trios sets in four color combinations: Mystical, Renewal, Serenity, and Tranquility. So pretty.

I encourage you to check out the free project instructions for this design and make your very own. Or, make one for a new teacher when your little one(s) head back to school. At CHA, an elementary school teacher stopped by the booth and picked this necklace up, saying her students would love it if she wore something like this. It doesn't have a clasp and can be made in any length as the wire is flexible enough to stretch over your head. It's a great design for just about anyone and can have entirely different looks based on the colors of wire and the types of beads used. Check it out and have fun beading!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Flex Your Creativity Beading Contest

Only a few more days to enter the Soft Flex Company Flex Your Creativity Beading Contest. Use any of our Trios sets to make a design and send us a picture and you're entered to win. Well, there are a few more rules than that, but it is quite simple (and fun!) to enter. Learn more here. We can't wait to see what you make!

Monday, July 20, 2009

One more month!

I don't know about you, but I'm getting pretty excited about the return of Project Runway! It'll be interesting to see how the show has changed and improved since it's move to Lifetime. I can't wait!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Friday Communique

Jane Austen wrote:
To sit in the shade on a fine day and look upon verdure is the
most perfect refreshment.

Oh, boy, was she right. We've had so much rain this summer in Colorado that everything is gorgeous and green and lush - it's wonderful. So, I plan to spend a good portion of this weekend, as I have the past few weekends, on a deck in a gorgeous tree-filled yard with these two, Sophie and Cognac. They're as sweet as can be and don't mind at all if we supplement nature's refreshment with one that is brewed here in Fort Fun.

Check out what some of my crew were up to this week:

Sara Hardin (AKA SoftFlexGirl) is busy tweeting!
Tweet-a-lot of Trios to win!

Kristen Fagan designed free gift tags for you to print and pretty up your handmade gifts with. Enjoy!

Have a lovely weekend! xoxo

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Playing with Wire

Remember these beads? Well, they've been sitting on my "new bead shelf" since they arrived, patiently waiting for inspiration to strike so that I can make something grand. Well, it just so happens that I had all of my spools of colored Soft Flex wire sitting near them and I was struck. Look at how amazingly well these colors match up with the beads? Citrine, red jasper, purple amethyst, peridot, and garnet, I heart you. Now, off to create!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Playing with Wire

When I'm at a bead show demoing in the booth, I often have a few minutes here and there of free time. It's time when I can take some wire and beads and just create - I love that time. At Bead and Button I had some gorgeous bronze pearls and a spool of Soft Flex Wire in peridot, so decided to play around with them. All but a few of the pearls fit well onto the .019 diameter wire and I tried my luck with the Knitting Spool. It would have taken one more strand of pearls to knit a length of wire long enough for a complete bracelet, but I didn't know that when I started knitting, so I ended up with a knitted cord just short of bracelet length.

After playing around with it for a few weeks, I finally made a finished piece using the knitted section as a focal point. It's hard to tell from the picture, but the Lucite beads that comprise the chain are a marbled blend of the bronze of the pearls and the green of the beading wire, and I love how it turned out. I'd like to oxidize the metal a little bit and then I think I'll like this new piece even more.