Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Where I'm At With the Light Tent

So, I'm getting to know my camera better these days. Trying to figure out all of the manual options and what-not. I have a Panasonic DMC-Fz5 that is about 6 years old. We originally bought it when the kids were taking Tae Kwon Do classes and wanted a good zoom so that we could catch all of the action. The camera has been great, the only limitations have been our lack of knowledge. The zoom has been sticking a little bit, none responsive during some moments. I don't know if we've come to the end of its life or if it can be repaired. Jay has mentioned taking it in, we shall see if he does that for me. Otherwise, I will be looking for a new camera and it will be the same brand and product line, just a newer model. If I start looking now, I'll be able take my time and get a good price. Anyway, these are a couple of photos that I've taken over the last few days. I've been messing around with light bulbs and sheets. Looking for the perfect backdrop or props. Using the tri-pods more than I have ever used them before. And best of all, I sort of trashed my studio and have some cleaning up to do. Ahh... I see my battery is finished charging. Can't wait to give it another go tomorrow.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Light Tent and Watermarks, Oh My!

I've been pretty busy lately, and not just with beading - school has started and that means I have less time to play. So, while I begin another year of homeschooling the kids, I have also started experimenting with photography and making watermarks. I want to take better photographs of my jewelry and bead work as well as have a professional looking watermark to put on the images.

My husband helped make the light tent out of PVC pipe - the directions for which I found online. I changed the measurements and tweaked the design to work for me and I think I'm happy with it. I haven't actually taken a picture of the light tent yet, but here is the link as well as a picture of what I used as inspiration and guidance. For the watermark, I used Photoshop and Mark It Now! plus a free graphic from OpenClipArt. Here is a picture of what I have created with all of this so far;

Its a work in progress... hope to have better photographs tomorrow... I think I like the watermark as is, but I guess I just need to sleep on it!

3PD Sugar Skulls Peyote Cuff + Earrings * Pattern * Personal Use Only

Just in time for Halloween and Day of the Dead.... 3 Peeps Designs Sugar Skull Cuff and Earrings the Pattern. After creating this cuff a whole year ago, I've finally listed the pattern for my sugar skulls peyote cuff and matching earrings. Its a popular design and I guess I'm finally ready to share the pattern that I worked so hard on. I love this design and hope others will as well. You can find the pattern for sale in my Artfire shop and hopefully this weekend I will also list a few other items.

This pattern set includes the pattern for the cuff as well as 4 sugar skulls in each design depicted in the cuff in case you'd like to make matching or mismatched earrings. If you have a teenager, this would be a big hit! And don't forget that Halloween and the Day of the Dead are coming. If you must have the set but don't want to make the cuff yourself, just email me and I'd be happy to work something out.

The Game

Here is a great idea from a fellow beader, Vicki of FDEkszer and Fairysdreams Jewellery. She is giving away a pattern of your choice from her Etsy shop. This blog entry is from July and I don't know if she is still promoting this or not. We shall see. Anyway, all you have to do is choose one, blog about her give away, and leave a comment with your name, email address, and pattern of choice. Here is the link for the Game. If you are curious, I chose "Cold Fusion" from her shop and look forward to receiving it.

Later entries in her blog show pictures of completed patterns from those who have received the free pattern.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

ArtFire Collection of Peyote Cuffs

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

3PD Greyhound Cuff on Leather

As many of you know, I am a huge animal lover. One of my dogs, Apple is a greyhound mix and is a very silly girl. We've had her over 5 years now - adopting her when she was 4 months old from the animal shelter in Greensboro, NC. She was listed as a Labrador mix as most black dogs are, but she outgrew that label within months. You see, she loves the chase as much as she loves running. She has a huge chest and long-ass legs that carry her over the field and through the woods as fast as a bullet. Eventually we found a wonderful veterinarian that was in the next town over. It was a bit of a drive to High Point, but Dr. Bowen and his staff were worth the time. From the moment they met Apple, it was love at first sight. We've known a few vets over the years and many seem jaded, others only have eyes for the pure breeds. His eyes actually lit up the first time he met her. I miss him. We've not found a vet that we like as much... well, here in Fayetteville, its too soon to tell. We think we found two good practices... one of which is a cats only facility with a veterinarian from Michigan State University. As an alum of MSU, I know what a great program they have. In fact, they had a program for rescued greyhounds and students could trade their i.d. for a chance to walk a greyhound. I did this with a friend a few times... it was good therapy both for the dogs and for the students whom left their pets at home with mom and dad. Anyway, it was this veterinarian, Dr. Bowen, who saw the greyhound in Apple. Now that she is an adult and has grown into her body, I can see the greyhound too. Especially when her ears go back and she is panting to cool off. So, we know she is a greyhound mix... what the mix is, we don't know. The obvious answer is border collie because of her coloring, but she won't catch a ball or Frisbee to save her life. And she hates water.
Anyway, while reading status updates on FaceBook I came across a post about a hoarding case in Texas and the greyhounds that were rescued. It was a horrible situation and many dogs have since died. Well, the organization, GALT, needs money, as all rescue groups do. As the mother of a greyhound mix, I feel like its part of my duty to help raise money for these poor dogs. So I took one of my greyhound dogs from my dog pack and adapted the pattern into a cuff. I then beaded up the cuff and sewed it onto a strip of leather (as it is a wider cuff than I am used to making, I felt it needed a different loop and toggle and felt that attaching it to leather was a good way to go) after cutting out the leather and applying snaps to it. I did some leather work in high school art class and I forgot how much I enjoyed it. Of course just cutting leather and applying snaps is rather basic, but it reminded me of leather crafting... wonder if I can make more time in my schedule for working with leather? Sewing the peyote cuff onto the leather was a bit of a challenge as I was afraid of screwing it up - then I would be out of a time consuming peyote cuff. After many starts and start-overs, I used some small document clips to hold the peyote cuff onto the leather for sewing. It came out nice and I am currently stitching up another one. I am doing this next on in pink with different facial markings. Hopefully this first cuff will do well in the auctions and they will need another one. If not, I will add it to my online shop.

The group that will be hosting the auction for which I donated my cuff, is called Carpe Canem. They sell jewelry, clothing, collars, home decor, etc. in their online shop. Anyway, I have sent the cuff in today and hopefully it will be there in time to be photographed for their next auction. Hopefully you get a chance to check out their auction, you just might find something you can't live without.

Now I need to get back to beading after I take the dogs out. We are having another day of cooler weather... 90s instead of close to 100. I am sure both Apple and Charlie appreciate the lower temps. I think I will stitch up another pit bull cuff and sew it onto leather, after, of course, I finish the pink greyhound cuff and I finish a cuff for my cousin.... then there's a couple of more dogs for my dog pack that I need to test stitch..... the beading never ends and that is just how I like it!

** Last night I learned that the group took in another 7 dogs and 4 puppies - all of them in the same condition as the other 29 greyhounds that were taken in.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Dogs! Collection

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Sugary Skulls and Voodoo Bones

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Not So Wordless Wednesday

I'm trying to delay the inevitable... giving my son a haircut. He doesn't really want a haircut, but his hair is long and bushy and makes his head look too big for his body. We'll start the haircut with him complaining and groaning and generally being difficult and then we end it with him being happy and content. LOL Its frustrating. I wish he was like my husband so that I can just use the electric shaver. But nope, Eddie was blessed with my full head of hair except not as curly. And the electric shaver just makes his hair seem coarse and dry so I have to use the scissors. Anyway, so while delaying the haircut I am checking out status updates, surfing the web, and now blogging. I have the kids finishing up going through every last stitch of clothing (most of it was done yesterday, but I forgot pj's for him and swimsuits for both) and shoes. Big foot has officially moved in and Eddie only gets to keep two pair of shoes. Luckily we home school and I won't have to join the millions of parents out there school shopping, most importantly, shoe shopping. I hate shoe shopping with the kids. Without all of the stores we are used to from living in a big city, I feel like not only do we have fewer to choose from, but in the end we pay more. So, small town living is more expensive in my eyes. You don't have choice and if you want choices, you either have to travel to larger towns or order online. Ugh
Anyway, here are some of the things I've worked on over the last month. I've posted them on Facebook but have not posted them online. In fact, I've been not so good about updating the blog or continuing showing my stuff and describing the process of how I designed and created them.

This cuff I named "3PD Zip Dash" and I created this last fall and only recently got around to stitching it up. I really like it and will eventually stitch it up in other colors. It took a little while to stitch because I kept changing my mind about colors and would have to take apart what I'd done and start over. I also had 3 versions going with differing widths and this is the one I settled on. Eventually I will list the pattern in my Artfire shop.

This is called "3PD Static In Blush". Its a cuff in which I picked four Delica colors and just stitched them up randomly like I did with another cuff last year called "3PD Black Static". I've seen some other cuffs like this since I did my first "Static" cuff and people call it bead soup. I guess its because they make a soup of beads and whatever ends up on the needle is what gets stitched. I liken it to the static on tv. Come to think of it, nowadays we don't see much static on tv with cable boxes. Just think of the movie Poltergeist from the 80's and the little girl talking to the static on the tv. Anyway, I embellished this one unlike the black one with some edging and I really like it. I created this one because I needed something other than black that was nice and understated for occasions that call for dressing up.

This one I called "3PD Cleo" and it really came about as a wanting something pink but wanting it to be sort of random too. I don't think I will be creating a pattern for it. I also put an edging on it since I liked the way the "Static In Blush" Cuff turned out. I will be making another one a little bit narrower for myself. This one is going to my almost sister-in-law.

This is a new addition to my dog pack and its supposed to be a Golden Retriever. That is a tough breed to try and fit into the dimensions of my dog pack.... especially the hair. This one reminds me more of the Golden Retriever puppy. This breed was a request and I also need to come up with a Border Collie, Dachshund, German Shepherd and want to create a Boston Terrier and Pug. Anyway, I'd really like your feedback on this.

So other than these, not much has been happening in my world with beads lately. I have been consumed with unpacking and settling in. The kids rooms are nearly complete and the kitchen is pretty much done. I have starting hanging things, but it is tough in the rooms I've already painted because I don't want to have to patch any holes and repaint. I have to make sure I am absolutely sure about placement. In the unpainted rooms, I don't mind if I have to move the stuff and put more holes in.

First Freebie Pattern Friday!!

As I posted two days ago , I am going to start posting on my blog again... on a regular basis. *Gasp* I know, I know, but my schedule is ope...