Tuesday, November 08, 2011

HUGE Bazaar

Truth time:

We are freaking out. Beth & I are signed up to do the really big Carlson Holiday bazaar this weekend. It lasts 3 days- Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. And we are in way over our heads.

This bazaar costs more than the other three combined for us to get in, and we are really hoping we not only "make table" (our language for recouping the amount we spent to have a table), but increase our fan base, and sell lots of pretty things.

I sold all but one of my pearl necklaces (go me!) at Monroe, so I've been working like crazy to make more. Which means no blogging, and very little sleeping.

Hoping it all works out, and thankful that God blesses the work of his children's hands.

OH, yes. And by the way, if you're in Fairbanks this weekend, November 11, 12, or 13 we'd love to see you over at the Holiday Marketplace at the Carlson Center!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Just 2 Days Away!

If you're in Fairbanks this Saturday, stop by and see us!

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Becca's Fun Day- Collage Necklaces

I love building these collage necklaces. I love selecting each bead and piece and carefully balancing them just so with the other elements.  Here's the gold one on my bead board all ready to be wired together.

I enjoy wearing them, and imagining the person who might prefer the all copper one, or the all silver one.

I love choosing surprising elements- a bit of shell, a hand-made wire bead, 3 wood beads together...

In fact, they are as fun to make as they are to wear. A bit of elegance mixed with a big of whimsy and tied together with carefully twisted and worked wire.

Still loving my beads- Becca

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

summer magic

i made this necklace with andrew thornton's august reader's challenge kit. you buy a kit which has all these fantastic elements and create a piece using as much or as little as you want from the kit, and add whatever elements you want from your own stash. i added the great c-koop toggle clasp, the leaf chain, and the green girl studios' pewter bird.

this was my first challenge ever, and i absolutely loved it! i bought the kit for the september challenge as well, which will be revealed on september 30th on my blog. i also entered the bead soup blog party challenge, which was revealed on september 17th. totally loved it! as you can see, i'm now addicted to challenges. will have to try out art bead scenes monthly challenge.

ta ta for now!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

So LONG!!!

I can't believe we haven't posted since March!  Wow.  That is definitely too long.
We've been busy with Farmer's Market and work and school...

However, Beth and I are going to try and do something different with this blog.  Our hope is to post once a week and trade off who bears responsibility for posting.  For example:  I am posting now, which means Beth will be next, in about a week.  Then I'll follow with a post in about a week.  Clear as mud?

The sum up: We will be posting more regularly. =)

Today was our final Farmer's Market day for 2011, which is an ambivilent sort of day...  Our feelings are rather mixed up.
-Yes, we are ready for the constant pressure to 'produce, produce, produce' to let up. 
-However, we both like going to FM, and we will miss our friends and our regular customers.  We like what we do. 
-At the same time, it's going to start getting COLD very soon, and neither one of us likes to sit outside at 30 or 40 degrees with a cold breeze blowing through our tent.  Two years ago we got snowed on during the final week, and I will never forget how miserable we were. 
-But we like selling pretty things to people who like to buy pretty things.  We like earning money from our creative endeavors.

So, we go back and forth.  Yes, we want to keep going, but there is no way we're doing Farmer's Market into the winter.

THANK YOU for making our 2011 Farmer's Market a success!  Thank you for coming and looking.  Thank you for talking and sharing stories.  Thank you for buying our jewelry and talking to us about what you like and don't like.  Fairbanks, we love you!

Have a wonderful fall, winter, and spring.  See you next summer at the Market!

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Workbench Wednesday

It's Wednesday, so it's time to look at my two workbenches!

Here's my school workbench- The picture shows three projects:

1) In the center is a little bird's nest I wire-wrapped to go with the cast branch from last week. I placed a white pearl egg in the center.

Oh! The trauma of trying to attach the thing on the branch!!!
First I cut out & shaped a small copper cup with holes around the sides to be the base. And then I drilled a hole in the branch for a wire to thread through the nest and into the branch. After that, I epoxied the nest on by placing a head pin through the nest and into the hole in the branch. It worked great!
Until I was half-way through wire wrapping the nest and had just attached the egg... Then the nest fell off because of the pressure I was putting it under as I pulled and tugged on the wire.
Arrgh. And then I couldn't hold onto the head-pin UNDERNEATH the pearl as I tried to reattach the nest... I got very frustrated. But I finally achieved success! It's on there. And I'm happy with it.

2) Below and to the right of the nest is a clasp I'm in the middle of creating to go with the branch & nest necklace.

3) Above and to the left are four ovals I'm working with.... I really don't know what they are going to be, but it is always wise to have at least 2 projects, if not more, going in the shop. Then if Jack can't help you immediately when you run into a problem on one project you can jump over to the other while you're waiting. Or you can pop something into the pickle while you work on something else.

This is my home table.

I've got three projects on there right now (Hmmmm.  I must like threes.):

1) In the upper left corner is the completed purple and crystal wire necklace I was half-way through last week. I thought I was done, but the middle flower is missing a crystal petal. I don't know when it happened, but I'm gonna have to fix it before I sell it this summer. I might as well get it done now rather than later. (Farmer's Market opens in 60 days!!!)

2) In the center wells I have spread out the crystals I'm going to use to create the fabulous dangle for the necklace on the right. I'm looking forward to this project! It has taken me a long time to pull together the different elements I wanted to use.

3) And on the far left I have finished the bracelets a customer asked me to make for her. They are to match two necklaces she bought over Christmas- one for herself and one for a friend. She also asked for some earring to match and I need to complete those before I can deliver her necklace and bracelets.
Still in love with beads- Becca

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Workbench Wednesday

I have found a large community of beading/jewelry/metal-smithing blogs who participate in this really cool project called "Workbench Wednesday". They post pics of their workbench, even if it's a mess, and explain what projects they are working on at the time.

I was delighted with the idea, and wanted to participate too!

Of course, a problem immediately presented itself. I have two workbenches. My traveling table at home, and the one in my metal-smithing class. But I have solved the problem by presenting both workbenches!
Here is my work station at home. I am lucky enough to live with 6 people, so I don't have a stationary work-bench all to myself. Instead I have two shelves in the living room and half a closet.

I bead on my little work station at night while watching TV. We rent through whatever series we're currently watching and have a couple of series on TV we (me, mom, Beth, and my husband) all like: CSI works really well, 'cuz I can look down at my beads during any of the really gory scenes that are too much for me.

Currently I have 4 projects on my work-bench:
1) At the center-top of the pic is a pearl and crystal bronze necklace with large crystal beads in a plastic bag- I need to complete an extravagant crystal dangle for this necklace.
2) Continuing clockwise, in the center three longest wells I have purple and crystal seed beads and round beads transforming themselves into a wire-work necklace with flowers.
3) At the top left corner, I have 4 large metal focal pieces I made in metal-smithing waiting to become bracelets.
4) And in the center of all those busy beads, there is a large orange flower I am turning into a wire ring.

And in the metal-smithing shop up at UAF, I am in the process of creating components out of molds. We are making molds by carving cuttlefish bones. (For a really cool article about cuttlefish, go here: http://www.doublepluscool.com/blog/travelling )

On the far left is an example of one side of a carved cuttlefish bone, with my pattern. In the center is a wrapped cuttlefish bone waiting for me to pour liquid metal into the carved shape. Next to that are three carving tools I used on the bones (And I MADE the two tools on the right- one is a scribe and the other is a very sharp little knife). And at the top right is my first completed cast! A cute little tree branch next to the pattern I used. I don't know what I'll do with it, but I'm looking forward to using it.

Here is a jeweler's saw, my little branch again, and the carved and wrapped cuttle fish. I'll show a picture of my next completed casting soon...

From the work bench of Becca