No-Work Weekend Jewelry Making

I'll be making jewelry on the weekends...

...but it won't be for sale.

I can’t believe I just typed that. Being a working artist, everything is always for sale, isn’t it? Well, I learned the hard way that that’s the fastest way to take something that you love and turn it into a j.o.b., which leads to b.o., I mean, burn out.

On top of that, if you’re like me, when you’re not making stuff to sell, you’re always thinking about new ways to sell it.

You may rationalize with yourself and say, “But really, I *do* like doing it all.” And I wouldn’t argue with you. I love being immersed and as passionate just as much as the next guy, and it’s all good…until it isn’t. It creeps up on you and once you get to that point, it’s H-E-double-hockey-sticks getting out of it.

So, this weekend, I proactively said no more. Or in the wise words of Beverly Hills Chihuahua: NO MAS!

I declared a no-work weekend.

I argued with myself over this, and whined a little, “But I looooove making jewelry…I don’t want to stop on the weekends.” So, I came up with a compromise I could live with.

I recently took a class with Cynthia Toops, the master of the polymer clay micromosaic. Y’all know I love me some micromosaics. Did you know I used to do polymer clay? Yep. Back in the day that was my first bead making and selling gig, before I got into glass. I feel like I’ve come full circle.

Anyway…spending time making something that someone else taught me will guarantee that I won’t turn it into a product line. Why? Because that’s just damn tacky. Cynthia is right when she says that the technique isn’t hard, it just takes a lot of time. Just how I like it.

I had this setting laying around from a failed glass stone setting attempt so I used it for my second polymer clay micro mosaic. The one below is the first one I made, in class, with another bezel that had a snafu with the stone I was going to set.

So, Friday came and I thought, I need to get a bezel made for my no-work jewelry making weekend! I’d spent a lot of the week working on designing an upcoming collection and I didn’t have it in me to toil with more. So, if it’s not dots I’m falling back on, it’s eyes, of course.

I liked the setting I’d already worked on so I set out to create one that was similar.

I realized that the method I use for creating the decoration around the edge is also mosaic-like. At this point I’m thinking I can probably relate anything in life to something to do with mosaics. Art mirrors life. Or the other way around?

I like it. I think it’s going to be a good one.

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BEad Inspired Scottsdale – Beads of Courage Event

Today was the BEad Inspired event for Beads of Courage, here in Scottsdale, AZ.  I’ll tell you all about it with a little photo journey…

It was held in the courtyard of the beautiful Borgata shopping plaza.

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There were displays that explained Beads of Courage and the various programs they offer.

The Creative Courage Journal Project.  You will be hearing more about this in the weeks to come!

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The Sibling Program Guide because Beads of Courage is about supporting the whole family!  (Watch for a great parents resource that is in the works too!)

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The heARTful Reflection Workshop Series.  Having a background in counseling and art therapy I can’t wait to learn more about this!

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Of course there were sample strands of beads.

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And photos of some of the families who are and have been in the program.

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With the purchase of a ticket attendees were treated to great appetizers, wine and water as well as beads for their own bracelet.  Various styles of glass beads were arranged by color on 4-5 different tables.

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Attendees had fun choosing their own mixes for their custom bracelets.

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Once they’d chosen their beads they took them to one of our master designers to be strung into the bracelet with a sterling clasp.

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Thank you ASGB members (and friends/families) for volunteering to help create the bracelets!

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Another area that raised money for Beads of Courage was the Twisted Trios ProjectCheryl Coburn Brown designed this fundraising area for Beads of Courage and I got to sit with the ladies working the table and hear many many great stories about Cheryl.  I will save them though for the Beads of Courage Blog that should be up and running very soon.  So much to tell you!

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But back to the Twisted Trios Project.  Basically, they’re single strands of beads put together from donated beads by a group of beaders that work with Cheryl.  (correct me, anyone, if I got that wrong).

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You choose three strands of beads and, well, twist them and then secure them with a round, hinged clasp.

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The amazing thing is, no matter which three you put together?  They’re always gorgeous.  You can’t make an ugly one.  Someone told me that and I had to try to come up with an ugly one.  They were right. Even though some of the combinations were not my style or colors, I could easily see how someone else would love it.

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Here are two of “Cheryl’s Girls” Jeanne and Jeni.  They could twist a mean necklace! The strands were $20 each or three for $50 and 100% of the proceeds went to Beads of Courage.   I loved this idea so much, and the strands were so beautiful that I will be working this table next weekend at the Tucson BEad Inspired Event.

And there’s Jean Baruch…explaining Beads of Courage and thanking everyone that makes it possible.  Thank you to YOU Jean!!

To learn more about Beads of Courage visit their web site.  Would you like to donate?  You can do that there too.  Follow what is going on at Beads of Courage at their cause page on Facebook!  And be watching for a new web site and blogs, coming soon!

Silversmithing work station. For now.

Remember all that silver work I’ve been learning and practicing?  I thought I’d show you where it’s all happening…this little spot in my studio is cram packed with the tools I’ve been using.

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I’m still in the process of rethinking the studio.  Since I’m not planning on doing much bead stringing I’m wondering if I could move some of my metal working over there.  I don’t quite see it yet but I will.  I’m already removing shelves that I don’t need so that gives me more space.

Tool racks you see in this picture are also headed either to storage or for sale and the tools are going to be packed away too.  I just don’t use them and I have plenty others that are waiting for me to write up into articles and such.  Some people say you can never have too many tools.  These days I’m saying I’m overwhelmed with tools.