Friday, June 27, 2008

It's my Birthday - and I'll bike tour if I want to

As Russ and I get more and more into bicycling, bike touring more and more becomes our vacation of choice. And, this weekend, as a celebration of my birthday, and a sort of bribe to myself for entering that dreaded last year before I turn 30, we're headed off on a mini tour. Taking Amtrak up to Goleta (North of Santa Barbara), then riding up to Cachuma Lake for a night of camping, then riding down to Refugio State Beach for another night of camping, then back into Goleta to take the train home.

There are lots of hills to climb, incredible views to look out upon, and hopefully some stars (maybe we'll be far enough away from civilization?).

And all of the work to be done can just wait for me on my bench...

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

A few things up my sleeve...

I'm happy to report that the heat wave has come and gone - and that a line of new pieces and experiments await me on my workbench. I'm excited about some of the projects that I'm working on and look forward to spilling the beans. But, I've got a few things to finish up before I make any announcements, so we'll all just have to be patient. :)

In the meantime, I wanted to say thank you to all the lovely members of etsy metal for voting me onto the team. I'm so thrilled to be a part of the group and look forward to getting to know you all!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Heat wave

Not to whine or anything, but it's really hot here in Long Beach this weekend. And since I'm not yet fortunate enough to have an air-conditioned studio, this is what I'm facing indoors...

Which stinks because the last thing I want to do in this heat is light up my torch... but I also don't want to waste this great chunk of time off from my day job. Anyone else out there just grinning and bearing the heat?

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Experiments with Shellac, part 2

So, what do all the little leaves and flowers and fuzzy whatnot look like after 24 hours? Actually, I'm really impressed. I was afraid the fuzzy seed pod things would wind up with that "wet dog" look (sticky and matted down), but they still look rather interesting, and I think that I could incorporate them into just the right piece. The bark looks much better (shinier, more vibrant colors) after applying the shellac. And the cream-colored wild grass that I brought back from Paso Robles managed to maintain its delicate look and feel. I have my whole weekend set aside to disappear into my studio, so I'm really excited to see what comes out of there.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Sleepy? Let the Shellac wake you up...

Lately, I've been feeling rather sleepy and unable to focus. With all that's coming up, it's a little disconcerting. But, you can't force genius, so I've been letting myself play for the past few days - which, for me, means riding my bike a lot and re-reading my favorite book.

Now, lest you interpret this as me slacking off (don't worry, I'm still going to kick butt at Fall Festival and be an awesome new etsy metal member), I've also been busy collecting all sorts of Mother Nature's odds and ends.

And since most of what I've been gathering are things that I've never worked with before (and since all good periods of sitting on your butt must end), I thought tonight would be as good a time as any to do a bit of experimenting.

Just what will all these little guys look like after they've been soaked with a healthy dose of shellac?

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

A clean studio... and a new pair of earrings

As I’m starting to pull together all the pieces for Fall Festival and think about everything that I’ll need to think about, I’m realizing that I’m going to have to start thinking bigger. I’ve done my share of craft fairs over the past few years. Standing for hours, hawking myself and my work, finding the humor in it all. But, even with all of this experience, I haven’t ever had to fully inhabit a 10’ x 10’ booth space. So, I’m delving into this whole new world and learning as I go.

My first step? Clean my studio. I tend to work on several projects at once and get out all of my tools and leave metal scraps and sketches and other whatnot strewn around as I go. Somehow, it just works for me to do it this way. But, when I need to start thinking about new designs and where to go next, I have to clear out all of the clutter. And, lo and behold, I discovered little piles of dried flowers in various corners of my studio. I put them all together, and now, not only do I know what I have to work with, but I have a really pretty bouquet to look at in the meantime.

And a new pair of earrings! I made these earrings for the Handmade Revolution show last weekend. I really like the simple spiral shape. And they’re really lightweight. As soon as I get a better photo taken, they’re going up in my Etsy shop.

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, June 2, 2008

My Craft Fair Rig

I'm getting pretty good at taking my craft fair booth on the bike. It's a little like being part of a traveling circus. But, I love that I can haul everything I need without ever getting in my car. Of course it helps that I wasn't setting up a huge space, but I'd say it's a pretty good testament for just how much a person can do without a car. :)

The Handmade Revolution show was great. Thanks to everyone who came out. It was a beautiful day and I had some really great conversations with folks that dropped by. It's always interesting to me to see which pieces people are drawn to. Oftentimes, it's not exactly what I would expect. I got some pretty good interest in the head badges, too, which is exciting. And it's always good to have the opportunity to go through my little spiel about myself and my work. So, in all, I'm quite happy with the experience.

Now to start focusing on the Fall Festival...