National Parks Week is April 21-29 this year, which means, admission to all the US National Parks is FREE.
Visit the National Parks Service to see which parks this includes then plan your trip!
Photograph: Tunnel View, Yosemite, by Don J. Schulte
Jill doesn’t actually bead but she is a friend and I was looking for beads and we had a date hitting up the local swap meets Saturday. I found a couple old bits and bobs but it was more of an experience than a treasure trove. We did see some good stuff, though.
Like this truck we spotted on the way over. Pretty flippin’ awesome, huh.
And saw lots of horrible little dolls and clowns.
And one lady who lost her clothing. OOPSY.
Blush and gold and grey and navy.
Today’s challenge is to make an inspiration board. I’ve always had a journal, the writing kind, but a couple years ago, my artist friend Karin showed me hers and I was blown away by the page after page of beautiful art instead of a jumble of pointless words. So I’ve been trying to keep more of a visual journal, which is mostly me amassing torn scraps from magazines and occasionally sitting down and gluing them in. I also practice my calligraphy (still working on that) and keep movie ticket stubs and lists of things I want to do this summer and occasionally even draw (still working on that, too). So these are a couple pages from that.
So we’re not going in order any more, I’m just doing things as I get them done and photographed. Days 6 and 8 are queued up already, 11 and 12 need photos, Day 9 I should have saved that flower for.
I got the correct tape and gave soldering another shot, on a piece of beach pottery I found on the San Francisco Bay. It is not the prettiest soldering work ever, and I am very badly burned, and I managed to use up half the spool of solder, and I couldn’t get the jump ring to stay on — maybe I should practice on something a little more regularly-shaped til I get this down.
Day 7: Use a different metal in your jewelry
Day 10: Use a found object
Day 4 was Organize your bead area. I cleaned up my tote bag. I would take a picture but would just think, lord, her bag is a *mess*. But all the stray little beads got put away and my findings and pendants and grouped nicely and believe me, it is about eighty times better and that’s what counts. If you’re feeling disappointed by the lack of evidence, here is a picture of someone who is seriously organized:
There are many other fly ladies on the Fusion Beads Facebook page, if you like that sort of thing.
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Day 5 is incorporate chain into something. I made a rosary-style long necklace with a mix of gunmetal and brass, vintage glittered and Czech glass and gemstone beads.
It seemed like a nice place to hang my favorite old rhinestone button.
I tried to solder a piece of beach pottery to make it into a pendant, but that didn’t work out at all — there were many extremely frustrated attempts at making the solder not go flying off the piece and spent an hour turning the internet upside down trying to figure out WHY until finding out I was using the wrong kind of tape. Even though it is clearly labeled as being for soldering. Anyway. I will get some proper tape and redo that later.
So I made a singed-edged flower and sewed a vintage-style cluster of beads in the center, then took a trio of ribbons, did some heavy wire wrapping at a couple points, then tried doing a wire-wrapped finding-end instead of using a crimp. I think I might take the flower off and stick it on a hairpin instead, I’ll probably get more use out of it that way.
Amy’s jade drops came in fours so she said I should use the extras for day 2.
Amy lost one of her favorite earrings and asked if I’d be able to replicate it since she’d bought it years ago and the designer had closed up her etsy shop.
Here it is, the end of February, and I totally failed at the Necklace a Day challenge. I even got an extra day. If you want to see a real winner, go check out Katherine’s results on per:cent blog — she kept up and made a month’s worth of fantastic pieces.
I’m not going to be too hard on myself because I did get quite a lot done — I actually have a whole nother week’s worth of necklaces that I photographed but never got around to editing/etsying/blogging — and have had a non-necklace productive month. I’ve been working for the first time in a year, and working full-time on-site for the first time since I started blogging (which was waaaaaay back when I still worked at dotcoms, if you kids remember those). It’s been a big adjustment but a great experience, the company is impressive, everyone is nice and super talented, my work is engaging.
I went to an amazing Wonderland-themed birthday party — decor by the birthday boy’s set-designer girlfriend and WOW. I wish I’d taken pictures before the sun set because it was a craftopia of bunting and garlands and flowers and teacups everywhere. I made my first apron for the party, here’s a very flattering photo where I am wearing it while shoving Hotwing Dip (which looks like vomit but is delicious) into my mouth:
Jill wanted to go thrifting to find tea cups for the party — you’ll notice she’s glued hers to the saucer in the photo, how ingenious is she? and I came home with these this lovely vintage Made in England pastoral:
and a Dutch Garden bowl:
Unfortunately, I forgot to bring them to the party.
I built the site for Lucky Ladies, the local small business owners group I’m part of, shopluckyladies.com, and we’re putting together a big launch party on Saturday, April 28, which you should definitely attend if you’re in the Bay Area. We have several etsy members who make fantastic things and the others offer all kinds of useful services, there’s going to be a dress-making-athon to send clothes to girls in Africa, yoga and health classes, free food, and a pop-up shop/craft fair. The Facebook event page has more info.
AND I was mere feet from Tony Bennett after his 50th-anniversary “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” event at San Francisco City Hall on Valentine’s Day. He’s been on my bucket list since I was a kid and we didn’t quite meet but close enough.
I’m going to try another challenge for March: Fusion Beads is having a 30-day because apparently it’s National Craft Month. Theirs is more structured, and maybe it will be easier for me to keep up, though I expect I will pop in and out and do the projects I want. Or start off gung-ho then peter out. But you never know.