September 28, 2012 Leave a comment
Words of Purpose is official! It has a website and the order forms are at the printers. Check it out!
polymer, silver, art, life, and faith
September 27, 2012 2 Comments
I’m very excited about a new line I’ve been working on over the last few months.
In June, I talked with my husband about my need to move in a new direction in my work and in my business. We talked about the fact that I was disappointed in the efforts I had made to lauch Precious Text as a home party line. I know my weakness is in marketing. I’m not shy, per se, but self-promotion has always been very uncomfortable for me. Not good when you need to call people and ask them to host a home party for you.
However, I knew that I really wanted to keep my designs with a Christian focus.
Perfect! I’ve always been most gratified by making work that is not only beautiful, but meaningful to the wearer. And I’ll be able to assist others in witnessing about their Christian faith while reaching toward financial goals.
So in developing a new line, I’ve kept certain considerations in mind; the line needed to include designs that might be worn both by young men and women. I needed designs that were also ageless so a teen might like things, but so would Mom and Aunt Judy. There are also a few non-jewelry items–pens and magnet sets–for those who will support a fundraiser but don’t like or wear jewelry.
The line includes just a few pieces that are silver metal clay, most are polymer. And most designs are on rubber cords rather than metal chain in order to keep prices down. The sales price for all items ranges from $22.00 to $80. And 40% of all sales will benefit the group selling for whatever their mission or ministry goals.
This new venture is called Words Of Purpose jewelry and gifts. Watch here and I will be letting you see some of the products up close and will let you know about the official launch.
April 14, 2011 Leave a comment
Yeah! Though my internet connection has been temperamental this week (joys of near rural living!) I got 5 paintings up on my etsy site. The images are 5×7″ prints on archival quality cotton paper. They are presented in 8×10 mats. I’m very pleased with the quality of the prints. My old workhorse hp printer still does a pretty good job!
Here’s one of the images you haven’t seen yet:
Whew! Card sets to come. But now, I’m gonna go paint something!
January 28, 2011 Leave a comment
Well, don’t let that title fool you. I wish I could report that I’ve spent all of January cleaning up–house, studio, closets–something! In truth, I’ve spent most of January vegging out with books and movies (yes, even during parts of the workday). After Christmas, my retail stores hunker down for a while and I don’t hear from them. I have no shows or sales events on the calendar right now. Of course, I’ve blown all my New Year’s Resolutions by now….
A few years ago, I read a book about creative women and I remember that they all reported that they experienced fallow times and seasons, willingly or not. Some of the women featured in the book could relax into down time, others found it very painful. In my case, I usually embrace down time for a while. Until I become so bored with myself that I go back to creating something because I can’t face not working!
Don’t get me wrong, I have had a few work projects this month. In particular, I have done some design work for Polyform Products. I am so appreciative of all the support they give me as a teacher and designer. Several of the projects I did for them featured their new Premo colors and the Premo accents faux stone and metallic clays. I think they’re awesome!
But another issue I mentioned to a friend recently is that when you produce a catalog (which was a major accomplishment for me last fall), you’re kinda saying: “this is it…” So what do you do with the impulse to push design, to come up with another variation, or something really new? HMMM??? You don’t want to make that catalog (and the investment of producing it) obsolete!
Anyway, this week has been a good one. I started to collect all the unfinished “stuff” around the studio and finish it, pass it on to some of my consignment stores, post on etsy, etc. I really am trying to clean up. Both externally and internally!
As I prepared for the taping of Beads, Baubles and Jewels in December, I needed to do many steps of the same project to show on camera. I finished all the bezel pendants. Here they are together with faux stones of unknown identities!
Another unfinished project I have lots of in the studio are silver “twigs”. I make them as a way to use up some slip because I don’t do a lot of designs that use paste, except to join a seam. Anyway, I have covered actual twigs, but found it’s easier to just make a bundle of fine silver wire twisted together for the base and then add the slip. Here’s one I finished yesterday. I think it’s an idea worth pursuing, what do you think?
Have a great weekend all. I’ll try to come back next week!
December 9, 2010 2 Comments
This week, I had the pleasure of presenting two projects for taping on the show Beads, Baubles & Jewels. I was invited just before Thanksgiving to be on the show by the host, Katie Hacker. The show is produced by an independent film production company in Cleveland and it runs on PBS stations all around the country (unfortunately not here in central Iowa…)
When I told my best bud about the opportunity, she immediately volunteered to go along and be my cheerleader. I got great support from Polyform Products and from my publisher, Kalmbach Books. So I agreed to go.
When I write for books or magazines, I do the photos each step of the process here in the studio as I make the project. However, for tv, each step must be shown individually, so many iterations of the same thing are created and taken to different levels of completion. So for example, one of the projects was a bead. I’ve now got about 6 of that bead in various stages of completion… I think I’ll probably finish them and put them up on my etsy page… stay tuned.
Anyway, my friend took some photos for me. Here’s me getting beautiful with the makeup artist, Karen:
Laying out my project on the set:
And here’s Linda, “my people”…
Cleveland was experiencing a snowstorm this week while we were there, so a couple of Monday’s designers couldn’t make it. But Molly Challer and Claudine Hellmuth also taped segments on Monday. Here we are with Katie Hacker, the host of the show:
After the taping, Linda and I went to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. I loved seeing all the costumes from various bands. And we ate at a celebrity chef’s restaurant downtown. All in all, it was an awesome trip.
November 9, 2010 2 Comments
I’ve just returned from the printer and I’m so excited! I’ve spent about the last 5 days working very hard on the photos and layout of a new catalog. It’ will be an 8 page booklet and each page shows the jewelry for my Precious Text line at or nearly full size. Here’s the cover:
I shot the images with the jewelry arranged on a bed of rock salt. Hence, the collection title “salt and light”.
Several of my friends have talked me into trying this line as a home-party plan. I’ve had several parties and they have been well received. I do a little bible study to start, using verses about silver and the refining process.
I talk about how silver and gold refining were done in biblical times and the illustration for us. God’s goal for us is for our souls to be refined of all our flaws. It’s a process that isn’t usually comfortable and is often painful but God, being the refiner, sits with us, just as the refiner in biblical times had to sit very close to the fire and tend to the process.
Next, in my parties, I demonstrate metal clay firing. As my husband says, nobody can resist fire in a demonstration! People appreciate seeing the process of how the work is made and understanding the differences between metal clay and traditional jewelry.
So, I have another party this weekend. Wish me luck! If you’d like a copy of my catalog, send me your address and I’d be happy to send one along.
August 11, 2010 1 Comment
Please pray for residents in Central Iowa facing flooding. This is the main thoroughfare at the heart of Ames with campus buildings in the background:
More rain fell Tuesday morning, and lots more again overnight and this morning. The creek and river that converge in Ames may both crest at new record levels. And the floods of 93 were the 500 year high… The interstates and highways around Ames and DesMoines are closed or will be later today. Main routes through town are closed. It’s a mess.
Businesses are sandbagging and trying to protect their property. The University crews are rushing to protect buildings on campus that are in the flood plain. We all remember pictures of 1993 when waters rushed into Hilton Coliseum and the water was up to the parquet level of seating.
Last night, just to lighten the mood, I found our cd of the Best of Bill Cosby and played the “Noah, Right!” skit. If you don’t know it, look for it on http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bputeFGXEjA
I’ve got wet carpet in my basement, but that’s nothing new. That happens to me occasionally, but as the song says, “this ain’t nothing.” I’ve got a system for cleaning that up and drying it out. Someday, maybe I can figure a permanent fix to that, but I think it’s just what happens when the sponge that is Iowa soil just won’t hold anymore.
with wet feet,
April 26, 2010 2 Comments
I’ve avoided a new post all day because I just don’t want to think about it . But this weekend, we had a predator get into our barn. We had moved the chicks into the barn only on monday. We’re not sure if it was a racoon, a weasel or something else. It killed all of sissy’s hens and took 19 of the 24 chicks that were out there. Now we’ve got a trap in the barn and the surviving chicks are back in the basement. My daughter was crushed. After we catch it, and plug the spot it got in, we will have to start again.
I’m reminded that the natural world isn’t always pretty. That not only people, but all the earth is stained by sin. It won’t ever be peaceful here until His Kingdom comes. It’s a hard lesson for adults and even more for tenderhearted girls.
Anyway, I’m praying for a better week. I got my garden planted saturday afternoon. My husband has more work ahead as he must get the fence re-installed to protect the plants from the rabbits. And I’m keeping busy in the studio. I’ll try to post something more uplifting later this week.
April 15, 2010 1 Comment
I love it that we are actually enjoying some spring here in Iowa. For the past several years, winter has hung on through the beginning of April and it’s gone from winter to summer or it’s been so rainy that spring wasn’t any fun. For several weeks we have had warm sunny days and mild nights. I am so grateful.
One of the things I love about spring and fall is sleeping with the windows open and waking to the sounds of birds. Another sign of spring at my house is the sounds of birds in my BASEMENT!!
When we first moved to our country home, my daughter was in preschool and one morning she came and gave me a hug and said “Mommy, baby ducks are so CUTE!” (You see, Sesame Street, and Elmo give them dangerous ideas. Beware!) From that point on, she was convinced that we were getting ducks. She was right. We ended up with a pair of “yard ducks” who lived here until they disappeared before winter. (this was also before we got a dog)
Fast forward several years… Now my daughter is 11 and has an egg business. She started with some Rhode Island Reds last year. She’s convinced that brown eggs are superior to white. Her 4 chickens have kept us in fresh eggs, with an occasional dozen extra to sell to friends/customers. This year, she wanted to increase her flock to increase her business.
But being a cautious sort of girl, she originally planned to buy 6 more baby chicks, of a rare breed, from a hatchery in Missouri. Knowing that sometimes they don’t all grow to maturity, my husband convinced her to order 10. Then the hatchery cancelled the order because their minimum is 15. So she ordered 5 each of 3 breeds, varieties of Wyandottes.
Meanwhile, our pastor asked us to bring some chicks in last sunday for the children’s sermon. Her chick order wasn’t scheduled to be here yet, so we went to the farm store and bought 2 Barred Rock chicks last Thursday. The children were enthralled. Also, our pastor who grew up in the Chicago area was very impressed that these girls were named Jake and Elwood (Blues Brothers)!
Monday night as we sat around the dinner table, the kids were high on the Blues. My oldest son put on some blues cds. They all were quoting lines from the Blues Brothers movie, and my daugther made a list of names for the rest of the chicks–some great blues men, women, and her favorite authors.
The chick order from the hatchery was shipped via the Post Office. They called Tuesday to tell us they arrived. My daughter was at soccer practice and so my son and I got to unpack the chicks and put them in the box with Jake and Elwood. Imagine our surprise when we opened the box and found not 15–but 27 chicks. One of the breeds was not sorted by sex, so they sent extras–lots of extras!
We haven’t worked out with her what we will do with the boys… my mom raised chickens for meat when I was a kid and I had to help with cleaning them. But that’s a skill I’m not sure I want to brush off! And we’re not sure if sis will allow that, either!
Anyway, as I pondered the situation, I’m pretty sure I could hear God chuckling. She originally wanted a flock of 10, but now she has 33!
Funny, she’s no longer trying to name the 27 new chicks!
Blessings and laughter,
March 2, 2010 Leave a comment
I’ve been working away making faux stone verse pendants so far this week. I have an order I need to finish, then I need to organize, pack, and get ready for a workshop next week. Oh, for time management! But I’m having fun with my faux stones! I’ve got 14 verses on my favorites list right now (and still adding more).
This reminds me that creative processes and timing of lows and highs are not always convenient to the rest of our schedules. sigh. Oh, well.
Perhaps the increase in my concentration and energy is due to the fact that the sun has been shining and the temperature is rising. We’re beginning to thaw here in Iowa, and I feel like my soul is, too!
Because I was lazy, I still had half my studio windows covered for book photo shooting (so my lighting was consistent). I finally took the rest down, and can look out at my melting backyard! yea! The promise of spring is in the air. My daughter is asking about ordering more baby chicks. And soon, I’ll be scouting for new leaves for molds.