Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Toot My Own Horn Tuesday (For Lori)

Well, look at me -- back already! Don't question, just accept.

Yesterday I said that next time I posted, I'd tell you more about what happened last summer that left me so affected, but I changed my mind. All that will come, or most of it, but not today. I recently signed up for a Drawing Lab hosted by Jeannie of Jewelry by Jeannie, a kind and generous woman who finds something encouraging to say about all submissions (unlike professors in first-year classes for art majors, who can be highly discouraging and even downright mean, especially if they've taken an unexplained dislike to you, says this still-sensitive ex-art major). This ingenious lab occurs via email and Flickr (and, fates willing, I will soon have a full-blown linky photo that advertises it, as Jeannie has requested, but so far no luck with that as I am new to bloggery). She sends out an assignment every Sunday, we all do it to the best of our ability and time, and then we post the results to a private Flickr gallery. This week we're drawing birds, which, it turns out, are really just a couple of modified ovals stacked oh-so particularly and gently joined with curving lines. Who knew? Different birds have differently proportioned ovals. That's about the gist of it, and lemme tell ya, it's a lot of fun to draw birds once you know this. My first one wasn't so great, but number 2 did not entirely stink. Once I finish the lesson, I'll share them here. However, all this is beside the point.

The reason I mentioned the Drawing Lab is that on Jeannie's blog today she was plugging a so-called Bead Soup Blog Party coordinated (at great personal effort, I might add) by Lori Anderson of Lori Anderson Designs. (For any of my friends who might be reading this who know my musical tastes, no, it's not LAURIE Anderson, that hero of mine, but close enough. Plus, I'm discovering that I greatly like nearly every Lori or Laurie I meet, so we're off to a good start.) I popped over to Lori's blog and checked it out, and I'd like to do it. Interested bead artists sign up (gak, I don't consider myself an artist or designer, but it's the common lingo on the internet, so bear with me), she pairs each off with a not-the-same-medium beader, and you exchange beads and then make a piece using supplies that are outside your normal realm. Having moved into silver fabrication only a year ago, I've been trying to expand on my just-gemstones-and-pearls tendencies (beyond beads, truth be told), so I think this could be good for me as well as a lot of fun. (I will resist the urge to beg to be paired with someone who makes lampworked glass beads and be happy with whomever I get, or so I say now.) I know already that I will spend way more time putting together just the right assortment of beads and findings to send to my partner than I do when I'm making pieces myself since I just tend to pull out some stones and a pearl or two and start putting them together with some chain or suede and see what happens, adding more and different beads as seems right. Except for the fabricated pieces, which I have to think out a bit ahead of time, I don't "design" anything, which is one reason I don't like custom orders. They are completely contrary to my methods and therefore quite agita inducing.

Even better, the communal nature of this activity will also force me to make contact with at least a few people who are interested in the same sort of things I am, something I tend to eschew for some reason. My lone wolf approach to making jewelry is something I really want to shake. Practically everyone but me prefers to go to bead shows with a friend or two. I like to go alone or to split off from any companions asap on arrival (no offense, Maura and Marla!). I'm so private about my jewelry hobby that I've dodged requests to teach a class at a new art center in Lansdowne, and though I recently had a dear friend over for the day to "bead together," her presence threw me off so much I only managed a few inches of the simple necklace I was working on in the time I'd have polished off a few pieces if working alone. In short, when it comes to jewelry making, I'm not a joiner. I'm weird this way, and I'd like it to change. Bead Soup Blog Party, help me change!

So, back to the reason for this post. To participate in the Bead Soup Blog Party, you have to have a blog. Good thing I started one yesterday, huh? Lori visits each participant's blog and then uses that info to pair up folks appropriately. So the next thing I'm going to do, if I can figure out how, is to post some photos of jewelry I've made. This is in theory just for Lori, as I had no intention to do this in my second post, but you can look too if you're here and interested. (FYI, posting photos of jewelry I've made constitutes the "Tooting My Own Horn" portion of this post. Perhaps I'll post some pix every Tuesday.) Here goes nothin'.

What you will notice first, Lori, is that my photography is lousy. I realize that to have a serious internet presence, to effectively market items on Etsy and at other online venues -- to really get your work and skills and creativity across -- you need to take good photos. Alas, I have almost no interest in spending any time on this. I'd rather make jewelry, read a book, take a nap, actually do some work, virtually anything than take pictures of my work or try to take better pictures. It's a real lapse, I know. And maybe this blog will help me get that sorted too.

So, anyway, I made all this stuff, though not in the order depicted (couldn't figure out how to change that). You might assume that I work almost exclusively with suede as a way to capture and relate the gemstones and pearls, but that's not really the case. It's just that these are photos I had taken already, and rather than take new ones that might provide a more representative sampling of work, well, you know . . . Nonetheless, I hope this is enough info to get me into your Bead Soup Blog Party, pretty please . . .

If you're not someone interested in this blog for the jewelry aspect, rest assured that I won't be posting seven consecutive images of jewelry all that often. I just don't have that much to say about beads and wire and saws and the like, largely because I don't really think I know much about them. I just like to make stuff.


  1. Oh, I just love your jewelry! The pendant in silver, lovely!
    Found you through Lori's :-D

  2. Yeap also found you through Lori Anderson's blog. Can you believe that there are almost 200 people doing the bead soup exchange.

    You have created very nice jewelry. I have blogged on and off, and doing a photo tuesday or something like that is always helpful, because sometime you just can't think of something to write.

    And don't worry about the photos. We're just looking at the goodies, not the photos. ;-)

  3. ABSOLUTELY STUNNING!!! Soooooo impressed.

  4. First~Welcome to the Soup. Second~ I really like the chippy wood background in some of these photos, I'm always on the lookout for good background ideas. Third, I really like the 3 pearl bracelets in this post, love the first(can't beat a 'cha cha' bracelet)& the pearl & leather combos rock. Anyway, just doing a presoup hop & wanted to say hi