Thursday, July 07, 2016

Pretty Beads...

These vacuum-coated hematite beads are tempting me, big-time right now...I keep vacillating between a bead-weavy thing using them in peyote stitch (or net stitch, the only two weavy stitches that I can do without concentrating) OR just doing a super-long strand of them, all mixed up in stripes and color blocks. I'm thinking REALLY long here, maybe 60 inches or so...I'd just wrap it around and around my neck when I wear it.

They'll be up on the site, soon...

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Playing With Something New


Today I'm sitting here at the table on my porch, listening to my dogs keep dangerous songbirds out of our yard (mostly they just chase, ocassionally they bark) and stringing up some beads. The dogs are pretty sure all songbirds are dangerous, and that means that this time of year they spend a lot of time running from one side of the yard to the other. I'm apparently too feeble to recognize the danger inherent in a robin, or a cardinal, and must be protected vigilantly.

It's been almost a month since we closed the Raleigh store and my life is settling into a peaceful routine. There are still a few boxes left to unpack from the studio painting. We're waiting for the shelf paint to 'cure' before we put the books and tools back. There are some 'where will this go?' items I saved from the store that I probably should have just sold (like about 65 too-many wire baskets!) but that will all get sorted out. I have had a lot more time, inside my head and in my garden. I have found myself thinking of things I wanted to make, not things I felt I HAD to make.

Which is nice.

Within this routine, I've been spending some time with a pair of friends who are embarking on something new. These ladies miss the creative space that we had at Ornamentea, and I'm honored to say that they have enlisted me to work as their sounding board and advisor. Their new spot, Craft Habit Raleigh, will open late this summer. I'm looking forward to sitting in one of their work table chairs and being a customer.

Projects like the one up above, playing with a new material, are the kind I am enjoying right now. This cotton Temple Cording is made of a zillion tiny threads, all hand-twisted and worsted back upon themselves. It's so compelling to me; I want to knot it and stitch it and loop it. If I were a knitter, I'd probably want to knit it. Thank goodness I am not a knitter, as I only have a few yards (teeny sweaters!)

This new cording is part of the swath of new items that are appearing on Ornamentea.com. The talented folks who are running the site for me are also geniuses at bringing new materials to the crafting world. I'm going to be responsible for figuring out if these materials are worth importing. Basically, it's my job to play.

I like that.

So, if you are in Raleigh, check out the Craft Habit Raleigh page. If you are a beader, check out the Temple Knotting Cord (it's mixed in with the silk cord for now on this page.)

If you are a dangerous songbird, stay out of my yard.

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

The Bead&Button Show

Are you headed to the Bead&Button Show? This annual bead extravaganza win Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is like a journey to the magic kingdom for so many beaders and crafters. There are days and days of classes with a dizzying array of techniques, and all the dream instructors you wish you could learn from. The big treat for many, however, is the vendor hall. It's a bazaar of beads, findings and parts; like the best flea market ever (if you are a beader!)

I've never been to this show. While I have a from-way-back friend who lives just an hour away, the timing of the show is always awkward for me. Here in the South, our schools get out a bit later than they do in the MidWest, so early June is the time of year when I'm writing thank you cards for teachers, and creating those end-of-year gifts. Don't get me wrong, I DO love a big bead extravaganza, and I'd love to someday teach a class there or just wander the halls, but for now, here, my first choice of a thing to do in early June is writing those thank-you's to the teachers that have made my daughter's lives better this year. 








Are you going? I'd love to have you visit our friends at Da Beads. They'll have a table with some pretty things you'll love, and you can even use this coupon to get in free:  



Just print it out using your 'print screen' button and fill it in...voila, free admission!

Have fun!

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Waterfalls and Ten Year Olds

Today, my nine-year-old becomes a ten-year-old.

Last night, while she slept, we set up a fish tank in the living room. It is has a waterfall filter, so as I type this I am hearing the flow of water over the edge of a plastic shelf. The sound might be peaceful, or calming, or make you worry that a toilet is overflowing. Right now, I'm working hard on the peaceful. The tiny bits of sponge and charcoal take the place of a full ecosystem, making this home for fish in my living room. So far, this glass-walled pond holds only a large catfish.

That fish is lonely. The ten-year-old (did I really type that?!) wants to give it some company. She wants to fill it with a whole community of flashing fish. I can't wait to help her.

It's just this waterfall thing...

My new life, post-store, involves a lot of working at home with my dogs and chickens. This is my new aquarium; a messy studio and a breezy back porch and a very weedy garden.

And a waterfall.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

What does 'retirement' look like?

Okay, let me get ONE thing straight.

I'm not retired.

First, I'm 48. Unless I forgot that I started Google, I am too young to retire.

Second, just because I closed the Raleigh store doesn't mean I am leaving the beady world forever.
Or even for more than a long vacation.

I just can't. It's part of who I am, part of what I do. I ADORN things (remember the sign on the fence?) I just can't stop.

I did, however, close the store. It was a hard decision, and one I took in a mad rush. I just couldn't do it any longer. Ornamentea was not actually a business (on so many levels!) but more of an art project. A big, participatory art project. A 16+ year, multi-faceted, performance and visual art project. A hard and fabulous and challenging and exciting art project. A project with a zillion guest stars and a wonderful core cast and a LOT of different influences. Like any art project, any painting or dance or musical number, it had to end. It wore me out. I had to end that part of my creative self to make some space for new creative activities.

Which was good and will be fun and I will love it.

BUT OH IT'S SOOO MUCH WORK.

The closing down part. Really, I did not know how long it would take, or how much this part of the 'play' (I guess it's called striking the set?) would/could drag on. I feel like I've looked in a million boxes and sorted a zillion things. I've priced desks and shelves and chairs and lamps. I've been burning up the Craiglist postings for weeks. I'm making piles for the Scrap Exchange, and the Green Chair, and Habitat for Humanity.

It was actually easier to have a bead store.

(just kidding...)

But seriously, anyone want to buy a table?

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Excerpted from our Tuesday Newsletter...which went out a bit late...

Happy rainy Tuesday. Actually, if you are reading this and are NOT in North Carolina, you may not be enjoying a rainy day. If so, I am sorry for you. I love a warm rainy day, especially when I have a lot to do. 

Usually I write to you earlier in the day, but this week, with the Raleigh store closed and rain looming over the trees, I decided to switch things up a bit. I took the dogs for a long morning walk and marvelled at the spring we've had. I say 'had' because I noticed that the mulberry trees were dropping berries already. In my Ohio-girl mind, that's a summer thing. Even after 20+ years in the South, I still marvel over the 'early' strawberries every year and the mulberries that fall before school lets out. My child-inside had to pick a few mulberries off a low branch and taste them. So few trees have flavorful berries, and I can't seem to remember, year-to-year, which ones will be delicious. The ones I tried were not. They stained my fingers anyway!

The rain is enjoyable today because I am working on some new jewelry designs for our revamped website, ornamentea.com. Don't tell anyone, but we are doing a soft opening NOW. Well, today. Soon. Right now I just clicked on the link above and it was the same-old site, but any second now it will switch...yes, I might be obsessively clicking it!

This weekend is both the fabulous ArtSplosure festival AND Pop-Up Raleigh. If it's rainy, don't forget that Pop-Up now includes LOTS of indoor vendor spaces. This weekend we'll be starting our Pop-Up Decal Game. This is a fun way to help us spread the word about Pop-Up AND for you to win some cool stuff. Decals will be available for sale at Pop-Up, but if you are super-speedy you can score a free one at Deco Raleigh on Hargett Street. I'll be dropping a few off on Wednesday around lunch time. Just pop in and say 'I love Pop-Up!' and ask for your decal. We have both big, car-sized decals and petit bike helmet-sized decals! You WILL want one because you need a decal to play along! 


Did you sign up for my 'new list' this last week? if so, you'll be getting an email from me with 6 free copies of some of my most-popular paid tutorials. I had set the deadline to the 15th (Sunday) but I've been distracted with mulberry tastings. If you sign up by tomorrow, you can still get the free projects! 


Yes, you can forward this to a friend who would like their own copies of the tutorials!
Bash & Lola Jewelry
Quirrky Girl Vintage
Raleigh Soapery