Thursday, July 26, 2007

Last weekend, Patrick and I took a boro bead making class. We had a lot of fun. The instructor was Marta Bernbaum and she was excellent. She really gave everyone personal attention and tried to help me with more advanced projects as I have already taken a boro class. She inspired confidence in me that I didn't have in my last class. The instructor in that class was not very good and the whole experience was slightly uncomfortable. The coolest thing I did was actually blow a small vase. Marta said the easiest way to put a stand on the vase was to make three legs. Once I had my three legs made, I noticed they looked like two legs and a tail. I then decided I needed to make a monster vase. I started to add arms and realized that I was adding the arms in the wrong place and that became back spikes. I wanted to try to make a head, but that was a little beyond me, so it just ended up looking like a headless monster wearing a turtle-neck. I named him Leonard. I love Leonard.

Patrick and I also made a ton of beads and pendants. My pendants turned out a little wonky, but the implosions look lovely. I also got over my fear of playing with the colors. Boro colors are amazing. Depending how you heat them, how long you heat them and what other colors you mix them with, you get incredible variation. That is the challenge of working with boro. It is difficult to get the same result twice. Once you have a grasp of the colors, even the craziest wonkiest creations can be beautiful. It's kind of like people really. With the right personality and heart, even the craziest wonkiest people can be beautiful.

Red Heart Pendant:

All my crazy color flat beads:

Random pendants:

Pretty beads:

Friday, July 20, 2007

I am home from Montreal. I spent a lot of time there doing origami. Many of Erica's family do not speak English and my French is very rusty, so I just folded a lot of cranes and lilies to make everyone like me. ;-) I have photos from the trip on my flickr page if you want to have a look. You have to register and request me as a contact. My user name there is "coveykeating"

In other news, Patrick and I will be spending two days at the Sharon Arts Center taking a borosilicate bead making class. I have already taken a boro class, but this will be Patrick's first. It's a lot of fun. 12 hours of torch time this weekend should make for some pretty beads. I will post photos once they are made and annealed and home where they belong.

Au revoir until my next post...

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Quick update:
I am sure all my three blog readers are interested to know that my swap package was received by my partner and she said it was one of the best packages she has received! That makes me happy, especially considering that her mom is going through chemo right now.

Here's the necklace I sent for the swap (one of several of the items...)

It's rose quartz, hematite, and swarovski crystal on grey silk. It was made to match the fat bottom bag of one of the previous posts.
I finished the shawl and as predicted, it turned out much smaller than it should have. It will be going to the 6 year old daughter of my friend Erica. I haven't been doing too much else lately. I am getting ready for a week in Montreal so that is taking up most of my time.

One thing I have been doing is helping Patrick paint his Warhammer guys. He has a health condition that causes his hands to shake, so it is very difficult for him to do small details on the miniatures. Plus, he has sausage fingers. I seem to be fairly good at painting them. I was looking at eBay and ONE fully painted miniature was going for $50! If I get really good, I could make some serious bank. That's Patrick's hope anyway.

I sent my package for the pink swap on Craftster last week Tuesday and according to the delivery confirmation my partner received on Friday. I haven't heard anything from her. I don't know if she received it, if it was intact, or (most importantly) if she liked it. I'm starting to get a little worried. Hopefully I will hear something soon.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Today, I spent most of the day trying to get the word out on my Etsy shop. I added a mini-shop to my MySpace page and made sure my PayPal was set up correctly. I have already forwarded the link to everyone I know and send updates to my address book as well as post MySpace bulletins everytime I add new pieces. I also added my shop address to my signature on every message board I post on. I have had jewelry listed since April and haven't sold one piece. It is getting frustrating considering that I want to make my living making jewelry.

I have sold some pieces to friends, but I definately do NOT want to make my living by selling only to my friends. I don't want tto live off them. Although if someone (besides my husband) offers to support me through jewelry making, I might take them up on it!

In other news, I had to buy another skein of yarn to finish the shawl I am making. I also realized that I did a triple crochet instead of a double triple crochet in each shell, so the shawl is a little smaller than it should be. I don't want to frog it now, so I am going to keep going and give it to someone with small shoulders.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

I learned to crochet when I was a kid in Girl Scouts. Back then I could only do one stitch and I always kept the tension too tight which made it impossible to make anything decent. I gave up on it and went on to do other arts and crafts. Recently I picked it up again. I decided that I wanted to start crocheting so I found myself some tutorials online and bought myself some cotton yarn and jumped right in. I started by just crocheting a big square with all the different stitches. I then found some crochet-a-longs on Craftster and tried a couple of granny squares. Next, I had found Crochet me magazine which is an online magazine with lots of cool patterns and I started crocheting hats and scarves. Finally, I ordered "Stitch and Bitch: The Happy Hooker" off of Amazon with a gift certificate I had and started working patterns from the book. I have made several "In Bloom" bags, three "Fat Bottom Bags" and I am currently working on the "Sweet Pea Shawl." I really like crocheting because it is something I can do while I am watching television. I am one of those people who can't just sit and stare at the TV, I have to be doing something with my hands.

What I really discovered from my venture into crocheting, is that the resources are available online (for free) for anyone who wants to teach themselves anything. You just have to look for them.

Today, I have posted photos of my first "In Bloom" bag, a "Fat Bottom Bag" which I recently finished, and the in process "Sweet Pea Shawl."

Monday, July 02, 2007

I have just finished a ton of crafting for a swap I am participating in on Craftster. The theme is "pink" so I am tickled pink right now. I have photographed everything I made, but I hesitate to post it now as my swap partner hasn't received it yet and I want everything to be a surprise.

This past week I have dabbled in a little of everything: crochet, sewing, paper, jewelry, and painting. Today I thought I would post some more of my older work. These two necklaces were made at the beginning of the year. The blue one for a swap, and the red one for the Nashua Pastoral Care Center annual silent auction (I donate jewelry to the auction every year). Both necklaces are made with origami beads which were painstakingly folded out of six 1x1 inch squares of paper for each bead. The other components are sterling silver and semi-precious stones. I am working on making more of these to put in my Etsy shop. I wanted to get some inventory in the shop before I start working on more of the time consuming (i.e. more expensive) items. Now I just need some people to start buying!

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Welcome to my first craftastic blog entry! The reason I started this blog was to discuss and post photos of my latest crafty projects.

Recently, Patrick and I took a jewelry making class. We worked with metals and semi-precious stones. It was a lot of fun. Here are some examples. The first is sterling silver and malachite and the second is a sterling silver and copper ring (my first ring). I really enjoyed making rings and am looking forward to getting a torch set up at home so I can solder. I love working with open flame.