Wednesday, September 30, 2009

"Walk Like An Egyptian" SALE

I've been taking inspiration from the Egyptians lately, and creating several pieces of jewelry with elements like beetle wings, hieroglyphics, and Ankhs. My husband and I are very interested in Egyptian history - we watch almost any show on TV that has to do with it, go to different museums that have traveling exhibits, and even dressing up one year for Halloween! We would love to someday travel to Egypt.

In honor of my fascination, I am offering 25% off my Egyptian pieces on Etsy! The prices have already been adjusted, and will be in effect until the end of October.

Simple necklace with a Czech glass cartouche bead, beetle wing, and horus eye shell from Lillypilly Designs.
Ankh from Zoa Art paired with Czech glass cartouche beads.
Shimmery emerald green beetle wings look great on gold!
Yep, I'll even consider this *more steampunk* inspired necklace as Egyptian. Beetle focal from Earthenwood Studio, Vintaj brass beetles, and various "gears".
Czech glass cartouche beads attached to Vintaj brass blanks.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

New Publications & Donations

Check out my "Near Nature" necklace in the Best of Stringing issue - on sale now!
Check out "Modern Dream Catcher" in the Fall issue of Stringing - on sale October 6th.

I couldn't be more excited and honored to be in these 2 magazines. I know I have previously mentioned that I often donate jewelry for silent auctions. The company I work for (Kellogg's) just held their silent auction today to benefit United Way. When I was first asked to donate a few weeks ago, I started thinking about what pieces to give. I had a few designs in mind but then it occurred to me how cool it would be to offer up my published pieces with copies of the magazines! But I knew it took quite a while to get my things back last time. I gave it a shot anyway - I wrote to the ever so nice Debbie at Interweave and explained my thoughts to her. She was more than helpful and was able to send my necklaces back on time! So I donated both of them along with this new necklace below!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Peacock Strut

This past Saturday, I completed my second 5K - a race known as The Peacock Strut! It was the 25th annual event. Back in April when my good friend and I crazily signed up to start training for our first 5K in June, I saw this event and convinced her to do it with me too. I mean, how could I - The Peacock Fairy - not do the Peacock Strut? Back then, September seemed a far way off. Well, it was here before we knew it and we did not train for this one like we did for the one in June. But, I am happy to report that I pushed through and surprised myself. I really and truly admire people who run marathons!!! Whew! Here I am adjusting my number. Can you believe I found a peacock feather workout top??? I also pinned a peacock feather in my hair.

Here I am coming up to the finish line. It was a beautiful morning and the route was very scenic through a nice park. To keep myself going, I enjoyed the beauty around me and breathed in the fresh air that had a hint of Fall to it. I'll have to do some research and find out where the name of this event came from.

I developed a cold over the rest of the weekend so I am now suffering through that. I was still able to have a fun weekend though because my husband was home after being gone a week in Europe for work. The dogs and I really missed him. It was his birthday yesterday.

It is hard though, to get things done when you are under the weather. In the back of my mind, I was thinking about how Stringing magazine had put out their deadlines for the 2010 issues. When I double checked them yesterday, I saw the deadline to email photos for an early approval for the Spring issue was today! I do like that they have that feature. So, I rushed around yesterday to complete a necklace I had an idea for. I had to make a trip to Michaels, then photograph it and send it off. I sure hope they like it! I felt rushed and am now doubting myself, but I don't think I would have designed it any differently if I had more time. I'm just being hard on myself - we are our worst critics sometimes aren't we?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

A Mascot and a Library

Remember a few posts back when I explained how I became the Peacock Fairy? How it all started with a vintage image of an actual Peacock Fairy that I used on my business cards? Well, it's not just on paper anymore - I now officially have a real Peacock Fairy! This was a gift from my parents for my birthday, and she hangs proudly in the center of the beaded valance in my bead room. She surely fits the blue and brown colors in the room.......
..... and I must say she actually does resemble me: blue eyes and fair skin. I couldn't be more pleased!
The other fun finds I am going to share with you today is the start of what is becoming a peacock library. It's odd how the universe sends things your way. I have always loved reading, and especially now that the Fall chill is in the air it's a great time to curl up with a good book! I also love filling up my bookshelves and find that books also serve as neat decor for your home and conversation pieces. However, this first book is a trick - it is actually a faux book to hide your secrets in!

The gals at the Art Center put this cookbook aside for me during one of their garage sales. It was put out by The Junior League of Battle Creek in 1965! Now that I have called Battle Creek my home for 7 years, I am glad to have this little piece of history. I have no idea what peacocks had to do with cooking, but maybe it was a fellow peacock lover who had a say in the title. It is quite fun to flip through the pages and see how times have changed. For example, a quote in the Breads section reads: "Girls who knead are the ones who are needed." Don't get me wrong, being a whiz in the kitchen is a great thing, but it's not the only thing for us anymore!
When I was younger, the Nancy Drew series was one of my favorite collections to read. My Mom and Aunts read them when they were younger too and this one is actually my Mom's. I ran across an entire box of them while in my basement a few weeks ago. This one was published in 1956. I read through my Mom's hardcovers and then moved on to the more updated paperback ones while growing up. My curiosity has the best of me so I simple must read this one to find out what part the peacock plays in the story! I don't remember from that long ago and from how many I read!
Our company holds a book sale every year to raise funds for charity. They ask people to donate what they don't want, and then hold the sale with what they've collected. I found The Pride of the Peacock last year. Here is a quick summary of what it's about:

Exciting novel set in turn-of-the-century England where a young woman grows up in the shadow of the great estate-and privileged way of life-that was once her family's birthright. But a unique inheritance compels Jessica Clavering to marry the owner of a fabled opal mine and leads her to far away Australia. There she will discover the mysteries and evil surrounding the greatest opal ever found. There she must confront the danger that lust for the stone has aroused even in her own husband and there she must find love.
How ironic that at the sale this year (held today) I found another book by the same author!!! Seems she was a fellow peacock lover too??? Here is the summary of what The India Fan is about:

Drusilla Delaney, the daughter of an impoverished minister, becomes fascinated with the wealthy Framling family--especially with the son and daughter, the mysterious Fabian, and the beautiful, impetuous Lavinia. Through them, she finds herself the unlikely heir to an extraordinary bejeweled fan made of peacock feathers. But though priceless and dazzling to behold, the fan bears a curse that promises ill fortune--and even death--to whoever possesses it….Beautiful Drusilla Delaney had always been a sensible girl, the daughter of an impoverished vicar in Victorian England. But then she became infatuated with wealthy Fabian and Lavinia Framling--and inherited an extraordinary fan with a beautiful and fateful curse!

I cannot wait to dive into these books! They all sound interesting to me. And there's nothing like the smell of old books! Which reminds me to mention that my two dogs LOVE to smell old books when you start to read them! I wonder what goes through their head, trying to figure out where each one has been and what has lead it to me!

Happy Fall Reading!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Charm Club

Earlier this year, I was lucky enough to nab a spot in Andrew Thornton's charm club. Andrew was going to create some goodies for 10 lucky people! I had admired Andrew's work for quite some time and was actually able to meet him in person at the Bead & Button show this past June. Andrew is as genuine and sincere as you can get. He enjoys getting to know people and is very passionate about what he does. I thought I'd share here, the awesome package I received through this opportunity.

I'd first like to show this lovely painting - you can read about this series and process here. I love the deep, dark colors and I need to find the perfect place in my studio for this treasure! It is truly beautiful!
Next up is the first piece I have made with the jewelry components Andrew sent. The focal is a polymer clay rectangular bead in which Andrew transferred a bird image to.
The necklace ended up being quite a long one. Here is a closer look..... I like how the graphic feldspar coins mimic the spotted texture on the bird's chest.

I "framed" the bead with a silver chain and attached a Green Girl Studios feather charm to the bottom. On the back it reads "to thine own self be true". I then wired that combo to a Vintaj brass tree branch.
Here is the start of something..... Andrew sent along 3 pieces made of Shrinky Dink material - the heart and 2 wings. I decided to use them together. Once I saw the curvature, it reminded me of the last old drawer pull I had put aside. I am not quite sure what I should use to complete this into a necklace. Suggestions?
And here are all of the other pretties I have yet to play with! There are 2 more polymer clay beads, 4 lampwork glass rounds, a resin cab and circle, bronze (I think) clay links, and 2 of my most fav GGS beads ever: the sugar skull and harpy girl.

One thought comes to mind when I think about this experience: mixed media. Andrew gave those involved such a great variety of materials to work with. The possibilities are endless! Thank you so much Andrew!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

3 New Earring Designs

Last night, I went scrapbooking with some friends. But before I left, I was able to list there 3 new earring designs on Etsy.
Dangling from a pacific opal Swarovski round, is a pretty silver peacock feather.
Shimmery fossilized ammonite hangs from a chunk of opal. Subtle colors and organic feel.
Cute little wood acorns swing along with a delicate green metal leaf. Very lightweight and airy.
*These Fall ones are my fave!*

Thursday, September 10, 2009

I want to blog...... I really, really do.

It bothers me when I let a week go by without posting...... Maybe it shouldn't. I'd like to blog more, but life just gets so busy! I'd love to blog everyday, that is, if I had something interesting to say or show. But I think I'd be happy with 2-3 times a week. That is my goal. And it seems realistic right now.

So, if you'd like to know what has been keeping me so busy lately, here it goes:

Last week, my husband had to take a mandatory week off work (4th time this year) so I decided to take a weeks vacation too. We had a lot of things to do around the house as we are going to have a busy Fall. Mostly, I had wanted to do a thorough cleaning of the house. Not just because it needed it, but because we were having company over the holiday weekend. You have to be in the right kind of mood for that cleaning, and I was! Maybe I am more of a Fall cleaner than a Spring cleaner. I had a service come and clean my couches and rugs. I washed most all my windows and the tedious blinds. Floors. Dusting. Organizing. You get the idea. Also, we still had to put up the new woodwork in the dining room (that's right, the one we had redone in the Spring from the water damage and are just now getting to the wood trim)!!! As much as I protested getting involved in a project that was mostly my husbands idea, we had fun together staining and varnishing the wood. An early morning trip to get lumber and Starbucks....... Finding and listening to an old White Lion cassette tape in the basement as we worked........ Good times. And I must admit, what we have up so far looks great!

Many people asked if I had time to work on jewelry or scrapbooking while I was off and the answer is no. It was kind of a bummer, but I feel good about everything else I got done. But, it wasn't all work - we did enjoy things like lunch out with friends and boating one day.

Then, my brother came to visit (from Wisconsin) for the long weekend with his fiancee and their son. We had a great time together! Saturday, we went to Gilmore Car Museum.
The museum has probably a complete collection of every type of hood ornament ever created. How exciting to see there were peacocks and owls! While many of the auto manufacturers had their own signature ones, many companies made them as aftermarket accessories. I know if I ever have a big ole fancy car, I would have to find a peacock!

On Sunday, we went to the Binder Park Zoo. Here are a few of my favorite pics from that outing:
Eric, Kaylan and Cody

Jon and I
I was disappointed that not many of their 20+ peacocks were out and about, but then again it was pretty crowded. The ones that we did end up seeing had lost their tail feathers for the season.

The biggest highlight of our zoo is that you get to feed giraffes. Cody was pretty thrilled!
The weather was beautiful all weekend, and I couldn't have asked for a better way to celebrate turning 32!

Now it's back to the daily grind, and I am trying to get on some sort of routine here. The hubster is back in school on Tuesday and Wednesday nights so that should motivate me to get on a schedule of jewelry making and blogging!