From bad to great in one day…

I went into my studio today expecting great things.  While I’d taken some projects home last week and had gotten some new supplies in the mail, I hadn’t had time to work on anything.  So I anticipated getting in early today, sorting out my new order, and settling in with a couple of new projects.

What I hadn’t anticipated was that I’d find that thieves had struck during the week. 🙁

I had hung my cool frame earring display in the hallway outside my studio with some inexpensive aluminum earrings on it.  It made a nice display, and filled in some blank wall space.  I trusted that anyone wanting my cute earrings would stop in the studio and pay for them, or drop a little cash under the door.

Unfortunately, when I got to the third floor, I discovered there were 4 sets of earrings missing from the display, and nothing under the door.  My studio-mate confirmed that no one had paid her for any earrings.

Double 🙁 .  I moved the display into the studio, considered putting large posters in it’s place (THIS IS WHY YOU CAN’T HAVE NICE THINGS, or JERKS WHO STOLE MY EARRINGS I HOPE YOU ENJOY THEM) but finally decided I had to move on, and the posters would likely not reach the guilty parties.  Instead I posted on Facebook, lambasting the a-holes who’d violated my space.  I fumed and fumed, but wanted to get away from the negativity.  Nothing I could do about it, after all.

So I moved on to the projects I had wanted to tackle.  First up, a bracelet for someone special.  (No details…this is a surprise. 🙂 ).  That was fairly quick, and since it was made from sterling silver, I popped it in the tumbler to shine it up a little.

Second project…I’d purchased some rings from MetalDesignz.com a couple of weeks ago for a specific project.  I’ve joined a ChainMaille Facebook group, and have seen some INCREDIBLE work posted.  One of the weaves, Vipera Berus, really intrigued me.  I’d seen a “Kinged” version (double the rings) in rainbow niobium rings, and I knew I wanted to give this one a try.

I’ve seen this weave described as Intermediate/Advanced, and figured I could do it.  I had instructions, and had done the first steps (create a 2 in 2 chain, double the length you wanted).  But…I knew a Kinged version would be more difficult, and figuring out the pattern would be even more difficult with the Rainbox Mix rings I’d chosen.  I practiced with three colors of aluminum rings until I felt confident in the pattern.

Then I started back in with the niobium rings.  Ooh, so pretty…it’s hard to be “random” with the colors (I always seem to pick up seven purples in a row!).  I worked through the pattern for about 2″ and discovered I’d messed up consistently, so I had to go back and figure out the in-and-out pattern again. I ended up ripping out about an inch of what I’d done.  It’s like frogging in knitting, but a little more painful.

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So here’s the start of it……

Continue on for a few hours, with some breaks.  I got to points where I literally felt like I was going cross-eyed, or couldn’t see what I was doing.  BUT I WANTED TO FINISH.

And I did.  And I was so happy, because it made me feel better about the whole stinky day.  About losing several pairs of earrings that weren’t all that expensive, but took me time to do.  It made me feel better about myself in learning something new, and feeling like I had not only figured it out, but mastered it.  And the finished bracelet was shiny and colorful and interesting and intricate and beautiful.  It was something that made me feel better about the whole day.

kvb endEven though, in the long run, this weave is based on the scales of a snake (shudder), it’s something I love, and something I’ll wear a lot. Plus, I can’t wait to hear back from the person who gets that first project…I hope it makes their day.

And ultimately, despite the crappy start to the day, all of it makes me happy. Isn’t that what it’s all about?

Home again, home again

Last weekend’s show in Grand Forks, North Dakota – Grand Cities Art Fest – was GREAT.  Got to see some old friends, made some new friends, and best of all, hubby and I got to visit with my mom & dad and my son who were all on hand for the show!

I was really pleased with my booth set up.  Hubby and son helped figure out how to get things hanging from the stabilizer bars…it’s perpetually windy in the Midwest, so it’s critical that things don’t go flying if there’s a gust of wind.

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I can’t say enough good things about the stabilizer bars I got from Flourish.com.  You can see the top ones along the edge of the roof of my tent – they were on three sides.  I only put 2 of the bottom ones up since I was on a corner, and didn’t want people tripping on a bar!  The bars kept the tent legs from shifting with the wind, and I have never felt so secure in my tent before!!

I’ve been working on the look and feel of my booth – I kept the color scheme to black and beige, and I think it really worked well.  I’ve never felt like things were as cohesive as they were at this show.

And my re-purposed displays were great!  I had a number of people comment on my maille-covered business card holder, and the little “frames” for my whimsical animal pendants got a lot of attention too.  I was SUPER happy with the earring display that I created from an old picture frame – it got my earrings off the table, and best of all, never had any issue with wind!

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I can’t wait to hang this up in my studio tomorrow.  I think it really makes a slick earring display that is easy to shop…no one had to wait for someone to turn the display, like they do with the tabletop one I usually use.

Thanks to everyone who came to the show….we’ll be back next year!!!

Getting there…

So, the thrift shop buys I showed you a couple of days ago?

They’re now some super cool displays.

Once I get all set up this weekend, I’ll show you the final versions in my booth, but for now, I’ll show you a couple that I’ve finished up.

Business card holder – the little wooden box cost me a buck.  The rings were some that I wasn’t going to use for jewelry because they weren’t shiny enough.  But I LOVE LOVE LOVE how this turned out!

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I can’t wait to put some C-My Designs business cards in it on my table.

And….that totally ugly Christmas themed wall hanging?  After shooting it with black spray paint, taking off the extra “hangings”, and doing some magic, it’s going to showcase some very special necklaces.

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Who wouldn’t want to bring one of these guys home?  (After I took this picture, I added little cards that show the name and price, and hide the excess chain a little…I’ll post that picture after I set up!)

I’m really excited about the Grand Cities Art Fest…I can’t wait to get there!

Show Prep!

Doing my first major show next week, after taking a couple of years off from art shows.

I’d forgotten how much behind the scenes prep there is!  But it’s all stuff I have fun doing, and designing new displays is creative in and of itself.  I’m doing quite a bit of re-purposing….an old frame is going to be a brand new earring display for example!

A couple of weekends ago, I visited a local thrift store and picked up a few items that were pretty awful in their original state, but I’m hoping with some spray paint and love, they’ll become something awesome.

Thrift shop treasures

They’re pretty ugly right now….but wait!

On the left is a little wooden box, about 3″ square and 2 1/2″ tall.  It’s going to make a perfect business card holder when I’m done with it.  In the middle is a really horrible Halloween themed box – I cut off the wire handle and it’s going to hold extra earrings on cards.  And on the right is a wall hanging that is made from some tin dishes…I cut off the “celebrate” sign on the bottom and may use it like a hanging shadowbox for necklaces.  We’ll see…

A little black spray paint to all of them, and a little more work.  Hopefully I can put the finishing touches on them over the weekend!

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