Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Beauty. Style. Design. Art of the Auto

The Art Center of Battle Creek, where I volunteer, is all moved back into our "home". This is after relocating the gift shop during the summer while major road construction was going on (you may remember me mentioning this). To mark the start of our normal exhibit schedule, October starts off with:

Beauty. Style. Design. Art of the Auto

I am so looking forward to the opening reception this Sunday. This show features the works of nine nationally known artists, many of whom have worked for and designed for the large automakers. Many people think about vehicles as merely a way to get from point A to point B. But there are many reasons why I now have a great appreciation for them. Having been with my husband now for over about 10 years, he is a major motor head. He not only works in the automotive industry, but has had a passion for working on cars since his teens. We have owned and restored many muscle cars, and enjoy going to car shows all summer long. I admire the craftsmanship, quality and thought that went into designing and producing cars before my time. Like the age old saying - "they just don't make 'em like they used to."

Another reason that is now near and dear to me comes from living in Michigan. The heritage of Detroit - aka Motor City - is very powerful. Parts of the city are so sad to see now, knowing how amazing it once was.

I really love the fact that our Art Center brings a diverse representation of art to our community. Since being involved there, the exhibits that come to mind are Art of the Tattoo (featuring local tattoo artists), last years Aviation Exhibit, and now this Auto Exhibit. Many people might turn their nose up, saying "what do tattoos have to do with art?" but tattooing really is an art form. By doing these types of shows, we bring in so many people who might not consider visiting an art center.

I have been gathering up many jewelry elements in preparation to make some auto themed jewelry to sell in the gift shop during this show:

necklace featuring a Jade Scott pendant with classic car images

industrial chic lockets filled with muscle car images

the one on the left also features industrial chic nuts

the glaze on the orange ceramic rounds on the other one look as though they have "oil" splotches on them

industrial chic car charm make a nice double stranded bracelet

If you've been following me for a while, you might remember my posts last year about Fordite (cabochons cut from layers of old car paint). I still have a few pieces hoarded away, but used a clasp here on this bangle bracelet. The Vintaj form is wrapped with wire and peyote stitched delica beads.

the industrial chic line pops up again with these earrings

they look like replacement bulbs for lighting in cars

If you are in the Battle Creek are this month, I hope you are able to see this awesome exhibit!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


Sorry I've been absent from my blog lately. As much as I try not to let it bother me, it does. The time just seems to fly by! So, I thought I would post about some of my most recent Etsy listings.

This necklace comes with matching earrings! I really like how the branch connectors (from Industrial Chic) match the thorned pattern on the porcelain heart from Round Rabbit! This emerald green color is not a color I work with very often, but it is really pretty standing alone on it's own as the only color in this piece.
I've hung onto this dotted owl by Jade Scott long enough. I am happy when I can find the perfect pairing for something, and that came with the dotted beads from Elaine Ray. I mixed in a few of her solid ceramic beads too. With the mixture of wood, this little guy is perfect for Fall!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

old listings do rust

I've realized that I have quite a bit of older listings on Etsy, so I am having a SALE! You may have noticed that I've been using a new background (some tattered linen) for my photos. So, my theory behind this SALE was to mark down every item that was not photographed with that background. That way, my shop will eventually have a more defined look. Not to mention that there are some real pretties that need new homes - like the one pictured above. I did not have a rhyme or reason to how I marked down the items (like a certain percentage or dollar amount) - I just did them individually. But please know that they are reduced by $4, $5, even up to $10 off their original prices. Oh, and I'm offering FREE SHIPPING on the SALE items! The FREE SHIPPING has already been taken off those listings. Thanks!!!!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Up, Up and Away!

Battle Creek is a hot spot - literally - for hot air balloons. They usually come around twice a summer: over the 4th of July, there is the Field of Flight festival where there are daily launches. And just recently, at the end of August, the US National Hot Air Balloon Championships were held. I remember that week being absolutely beautiful, weather wise. Calm, clear blue skies every day! They usually launch every morning, and every evening. It certainly is a sight to be seen! I saw them every morning on my way to work - there can be dozens at a time along the horizon. If you have your windows open, you might be startled at the sound of a big "poooooffffff", only to look out and see one floating over your house. All over town, you will see the team trucks driving around frantically, trying to predict where the landing will be. It's pretty darn cool.
So when Jade Scott had one of her shop updates a few weeks ago, you can imagine how delighted I was to see that she had made some hot air balloons. And lucky for me, I was able to snag a few. It really makes me happy to make jewelry that has a sentimental meaning to me - something that reminds me of an event or time in my life - something that I can relate to. Here are some necklaces I created with the pendants.

Cloud Nine
balloon pendant by jade scott
9 connector from industrial chic
blue porcelain disk beads (the glaze reminds me of the sky)
silver bird
yellow turquoise chunks
brass flowers

Flying High
balloon pendant by jade scott
faceted liverstone rounds
black enamel filigree beads
red rondelle beads
large and small blue round beads

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Week in Review

This past week had it's good and bad points. It started off good with a holiday on Monday, when I made the following necklace. Yes, I know, I am obsessed with these locket pendants - but, I will run out one day I assure you. I just listed this beauty on Etsy, the colors perfect for Fall.
Jon had to travel to Germany during the week for work, and Mocha, Biscuit and I sure missed him. Something got in my eye on Tuesday, causing a trip to the doctor with the diagnosis of a scratch. Good thing I got some styling new DKNY glasses a few weeks ago so I could take a break from my contacts. But as a loyal contact wearer, I have no idea how people wear glasses all day every day. They give me a headache!

Thursday, I had a dentist checkup where I found out I have 2 cavities that need to be filled next month. Yuck!

So that was the "bad" of the week. The good started on Thursday evening when I went out to dinner with 2 girlfriends and then we had a beading session. On Friday, I took the day off and went to the garage sale at the Art Center. This sale is held twice a year to help raise money for our expenses, and it is all donated items from people involved there. I have donated things in the past so it's a good way to participate without the hassle of having your own garage sale. My good friends there put away a few peacock items that came through, and then I found a few owl items too. Fun stuff!
Speaking of peacocks, at my work we have an electronic bulletin board where people can post items for sale or events..... someone was giving away a free peacock! As in a real, live one! I so wished I could have had it, but I have no idea what kind of rules and regulations there are to owning something like that. While we do live just outside the city, and we have a nice piece of land, I still don't think it would be right. Plus, our neighbors are too close to hear the noise that they make. But could you imagine Jon coming home to a peacock! That would have been fun... I know he is all for me owning a real one(s) some day, when the time and space is right.

As I looked at other posts on the bulletin board, I saw a friend of mine who sells scrapbooking supplies through a company called Close to My Heart. Their new Fall/Winter catalog is out, and lo and behold, guess what one of their new collections of paper is? Peacocks!!! Oh, I can't wait to get my hands on some. And this leads into what I spent the rest of my Friday doing. I haven't scrapped in such a long time, so my friend Kristen took the day off of work with me and we scrapped. To get myself back into the "grove" after so long, I decided to work with some papers that would excite me - peacocks of course! I did 4 pages with a new collection from Bo Bunny Press called Peacock Lane. The purple & teals colors of this collection went perfectly with pictures from the art fair I did in June. Then, I did 2 pages to document my overnight stay at The Palmer House in Chicago earlier this year, which you might remember is decorated with peacocks!
Later in the evening, Kristen and I headed over to an Art Hop in Kalamazoo. It was the most perfect Fall evening to walk around, and then we had a nice dinner over there too.

Jon came home today. It's cold and rainy so we've just been snuggled up in the house. Unfortunately, our little zebra finch - Paco - passed away today. We got him and his mate Felicia about 8 years ago. Felicia passed away several years ago, and quite honestly we were surprised Paco continued on since we thought they were very social birds. Over the years, they had several babies, which we would give away to friends or to the local pet store. Their tiny eggs were about the size of one of the artisan bead eggs that are so popular now - be it glass or clay - just so you can get an idea. Will we get more birds? Probably not right now. Their cage was a beautiful metal and glass terrarium that looks like a cathedral, so I am thinking of filling it with orchids now.
Anyway, thanks for reading about my life and the ups and downs of my week. And this week was a good example of how my life is touched with peacocks almost every day!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Happy Labor Day!

I am really enjoying this long weekend! How about you? My birthday was yesterday, and I must admit - it's nice having your birthday fall on a holiday weekend. My husband always teases me because it usually amounts to several days worth of celebrating. But why not, right? Even though our plans to go the Meijer Gardens today were cancelled due to rain, we did a lot of other fun things. On Saturday, we went out for dinner and a movie - The Other Guys. Being a huge Will Ferrell fan, this flick did not disappoint! Mark Wahlberg is pretty easy on the eyes too! Yesterday, we had dinner at The Common Grill in Chelsea, MI - one of my fav restaurants. If you are ever on the East side of Michigan, I highly recommend eating there.

Making jewelry makes me happy, and I've had some time to do that this weekend too. Here are some new listings on Etsy. Enjoy the rest of your day!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

I really love.....

..... that these round Industrial Chic pendants are the perfect size for many of the peacock images I have. Especially with their feathers in full fanning mode! This guy is subtle though - he has muted colors, which is different from the usual bright teals, blues and purples. It was fun to pick out some understated beads to string him on - labradorite and olive czech glass.
Available on Etsy

Friday, September 3, 2010


There is a crispness in the air. Fall is coming, and this little bird knows it. He has settled into his nest for a beautiful day.
Available on Etsy