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Sunday, October 25, 2009

Appalachian Dreaming

I've been chatting with my sister, Sandy today on the phone. She lives on top of a mountain, right outside of the sweet little town of Parsons, WV. She is starting to get her house ready for me to stay for a while next year. That's right! I'll be packing up Sadie and the studio and moving to the Appaliachian Mountains. I am so excited. The big date is undetermined at this time, but my goal is sometime next summer and no later than this time next year. I'll be putting most of my belongings into storage temporarily, until I find my new home and studio. Sandy has graciously offered me a place to camp until I can get settled. All this needs to happen before this time next year, because it snows early in the mountains and it snows a lot.

So my head is in the clouds and soon it will actually be in the clouds. It is absolutely gorgeous there. Mountains and mountain tops everywhere you look. I'll be taking my wire art and putting it into action. I am hopeful that I will be able to teach and sell my wire art at http://www.mountainmade.com/ It's an artisan program that is funded by West Virginia. It's located in Thomas, WV which is only 20 minutes north of Parsons. I'll also introduce myself and wire jewelry to Randolph Arts http://www.randolpharts.org/ in Elkins and to Artist At Work http://www.nakiska.com/artistsatwork/Default.htm in Elkins.

This picture was taken out front of Sandy's home on top of St. George Mountain. Everywhere you look there are more mountain tops. Here's the reason John Denver wrote the song 'Almost Heaven, West Virginia'.

So as you can see there are lots of places for me to keep my wire art jewelry active along with meeting lots of like minded people. I can't wait to get started, but in the meantime I'll keep day dreaming about the Appalachian's.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

My First Attempt At Making Rings

This morning I found myself watching videos on Youtube. Several ladies were demonstrating how 'easy' it it to make a wire ring. I decided it was about time for me to know how to make a ring so I gathered my wire, some beads, mandrel and tools and sat down to make a ring. It took me several trys to get a ring that was half way presentable and it certainly isn't anything to write home about. This just goes to show that even with years of experience anyone can get stumped with a new project.

Originally, I thought that a wire ring project was going to be a class that I would teach, because I thought it would be easy. Perhaps it will get easier after I make a few, but I'm not sure I want to teach a ring class. First there is the sizing issue. When a ring starts out a size on the mandrel, the finished size is smaller. So I thought, well all I had to do is start 1/2 size larger than my final product, but nooooooooooo that is not always true. The final size will depend on how may times there are wraps on each side of the stone/bead; if there is more than one bead and if I decided to wire wrap the complete ring circle. So, once I have mastered making rings I think I will make them for selling only. It won't be a big deal if the ring changes size because I'll sell it as the final size whatever that turns out to be.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Classes at Star's Beads

Wow! Yesterday, I taught my first 2 classes at Star's Beads in Vienna. I'm exhausted! Both classes were filled with wonderfully talented ladies and it was a true joy to share the time with them all.

The first class was the herringbone wire weave pendant and earrings. The ladies all completed their practice pendants, using their choice of stone beads. Then they used 12mm round clear AB Swarovski crystals for their final pendant and 8mm round clear AB crystals for their matching earrings. They all did a fantastic job and they are excited about making more sets as Christmas gifts.

The second class was the charming spiral bracelet. They all used demin blue 6mm x 10mm rondells and learned to not only make wrapped loops, but then they kept wrapping to add a pretty cap on each side of the stone. The final touch was spiral charms connected to hang between each bead. Oh, how happy the ladies were with their work. They all took a pair of matching stones home so they could make a pair of earrings.

The classes filled my day and it was exhilerating, but I crashed as soon as I got home and slept and slept through the night. As much as I loved the entire day I'm going to avoid that much teaching in one day. I'm not the chickie I used to be! ha!