Tuesday, April 21, 2015

March and April Shenanigans

Oh, wow!  I forgot to post my end-of-month blog for March.  Geez...  Here it is almost May, too.

What did I do in March?  Hmm... let's see- I did a few pieces for magazines (metal, to be seen later); I organized my studio a bit, umm... I worked on a newsletter article and a large art piece necklace!  Then I took a much-needed vacation.

First things first:  I did this:




I cut around $2.50 worth of PVC pipe (by hand, using a hacksaw) and attached the segments using screws to my new, huge stump.  I thought it would be pretty good storage for my hammers.  The problem?  I have way more hammers than I do stump real estate... so I branched to other stumps and still have to use my old hammer rack.  I think this will work fine for my most-used hammers, but it's not that feasible for me.  My tool collection grows by leaps and bounds every year so eventually I'll build another, larger rack or something.  For now, it works.  It's nice to just be able to drop a hammer into the pipe.  Quick and easy access, but not really good enough for me.  I have ideas on another type of PVC hammer rack when I get a spare bit of time, so stay tuned.  :D

What else?  Well, I was invited to write a newsletter article for Wubbers.  The subject?  Sort of a 2-part stash busting/finding inspiration article.  I had a blast!!!  I started with a bead stash (really, just a small section of my ever-growing hoard) and ended with an art necklace.  The article was published around 2 weeks ago to email subscribers.  You should subscribe!!!  I won't re-write the whole thing, but here's the stash before:




And I made a big pot of bead soup:



And this is what I created!  Copied from my facebook album (because today I'm extremely lazy):

 "This necklace has a treasure trove of copper pieces, shells, glass beads, pearls, wooden beads, shell spikes and even a vintage goldfish earring that I used to make a toggle clasp. The base is macrame with African trade, sand-cast, recycled glass beads and white hemp rope."




On Lucy, my naked mannequin:




That's pretty much my March.  Since I'm here though, I'll give a brief recap of my April happenings up to this point:

My step sister got married and I made her wedding rings.  I also made a keepsake ring for my little niece, Athena.



I also made a riff on my Reina pendant design (from the Feb. edition of Digital Beading magazine) and came up with something that seems to be very popular amongst my friends and facebook peeps:




A tutorial for this pendant is in the works, and also an alternate colorway.  :)

So far for April I'm working on a bunch of new projects, including some metalwork (piercework especially), some beading, and some work with a new type of bead that I hope to show you soon!  I'm also developing a new design for my May class at the gallery.

I'm also reading.  A lot.  A ton.  I mean, heaps of books.  I took a vacation in late March/early April after all the magazine stuff and newsletter stuff, and I just spent a few weeks doing nothing at all except for reading my beloved books.  Well, I did get into the studio to make the wedding set and the above pendant.  Otherwise, I took time off for me and my favorite activity:  sitting down with a good book... or a dozen.  I think I needed it after all my recent activity and stress and deadlines, commitments, etc.

I've joined a bunch of author fan pages and increased my library.  I'm having a blast, and I'm loving my new author friends.  Life is good, and books are a huge part of it for me.  Books are my escape, my drug.  :)

Vacation time is over and I'm headed back into the studio this week.  I hope to have some goodies to show you, so keep an eye on my fan page on Facebook for the latest news.  On that note, I have a bracelet to make!  Muchas Huggas!

~Val

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