We all know that when we make a purchase from an artist, artisan, craftsperson, and or maker that we are supporting a real person and their family. There are lots of opportunities to shop local and support real people and real families.
Art of the Land is the major annual fundraiser of The Land Conservancy, a beloved, hardworking local conservation organization that buys and protects land throughout McHenry County. One third of all sales will go to TLC to help the organization continue doing what they do so well.
My daughter Willow and I dropped off five pieces of my 2-D art at the beautiful Starline Gallery in Harvard, Il the other day. The drop-off was surprisingly social - everyone was masked. We got a sneak peek of some of the art that will grace the walls of the gallery this weekend. It was exciting, the art we saw AND the energy in the air.
We are all ready for a night out!
Pick out your favorite goin'-to-the art-gallery-opening clothes, make a date with your partner, friends, and or family and join us, this Friday and or Saturday evening. We can't wait to see you!
It’s been ten years since I began making and selling hand-beaded leather wrap bracelets. I never intended to sell bracelets when I began making these ten years ago, I just needed a little therapy.
A dear friend suggested I look at leather wrap bracelets many years ago. I looked them up, they were hand-beaded, beautiful, soft, and making quite a stir. I was hooked.
I played with beads as a young girl while spending summers at my grandmother’s house in a microscopic town in central farmland, Illinois. At some point in my teens, I was given a small beading loom. I taught myself how to use it and loved it.
Fast forward 30+ years and I really need something completely different to do with my brain. I’d been single parenting for 25 years at that point and had been performing fairly well as Wonder Woman running my own freelance Illustration business - and supporting myself and my two children for years. I studied the beautiful wrap bracelets I had fallen hopelessly in love with and figured out how to make them. Some of my childhood bead collection came back out into the light of day. Making these bracelets really was a soothing relaxing escape. A few friends saw my initial efforts at bracelet making and really liked them. Several even suggested I consider selling them.
That had not been my intention at all when I began. It was all about therapy and a break from what I spent so much of my time doing, running my business, and single parenting.
Ten years later I would not be making and selling my hand-beaded leather wrap bracelets without all of your support. I am so grateful. Thank you.
Lucite is an acrylic resin created by DuPont in 1937. Its hey day was during the 40s and 50s. Initially it was created as a replacement for glass windows, but was also marketed to jewelers who took full advantage of it affordability and its shimmery beauty.
I've always taken great pride in only working with "real" materials, no plastic or fakes stones. I've had a small hand full of these beads, I knew they were lab made, but didn't know anything beyond the fact that they were some sort of plastic material. I've hesitated to use them in my work...but now that I understand what they are, it changes everything. I've been wearing earrings I made from some white round vintage moonglow lucite beads for about a month. People often comment on them. I have grown to really like them, but was sheepish about falling for some "plastic" beads, but that was before I knew their provenance. Get a pair of earrings for yourself at my next art show. These are guaranteed to go fast. As the very sweet older gentleman told me where I purchased my first pair of high heels, "May they bring you much happiness."
OMG, I felt giddy like a drunken sailor this morning as I booked room after room after room for upcoming art shows. Wait, I think I am a drunken sailor! Come see me in Sturgeon Bay, May 29th & 30th and you can reach your own conclusion - I'll introduce you to my new friends, we'll show you our matching tattoos.
Just popped open an email accepting me into the Mt. Horeb Art Fair over the weekend of July 17 - 18. I've made no attempt to hide how excited I am each and every time I'm accepted into an art fair. Being accepting into Mt. Horeb is no exception. I've never done the show there before, yet I know the town is beloved by it's residents and all the folks who make annual pilgrimages there to see the gnomes that are ubiquitous. ET, gnome home!
OMG, I can't hardly wait to pack up all my bracelets I've been weaving for...13 months(?), load up my little Honda, turn up t my favorite driving music, and point us to the ever magical Door County, WI. My first show of 2021 of beaded wrap bracelets will be in Sturgeon Bay, WI at the beautiful, downtown venue of Martin Park over Memorial Day weekend. Event hours are 10am-5pm on Saturday, May 29 and 10am-4pm on Sunday, May 30. Make your plans NOW. I miss you.
Twelve plus months of hanging out at home, alone. Wait I'm not alone, three very large cats are roaming around, a large flock of peepers and three crazy singing canaries are here with me. So, as the saying goes, you're not really talking to yourself OR drinking alone if your cats are home, right? I've put the wealth of ALL this time to good use. One of the surprisingly fun things I've accomplished was to through and organize my bead collection. I have SO many lovely beads I've collected over the years. Been making some great new wrap bracelets with beads I had forgotten I had. You, my friends, will be the beneficiaries of my cleaning and organizing. Can't wait to see you this summer. Be sure to check out my show schedule here.
Vintage crystal contains lead - it's what makes it shine in a way that is different from crystal produced today. Red vintage crystal contains GOLD. Gold was used in red glass produced for stained glass windows, and for red crystal production. I don't often come across vintage red crystal, but when I do, it's time to rejoice. When the sun shines it's time to take photos.
It's been a while since I picked out beads and a beautiful button to weave a new bracelet. Here it is. Number 1 of 2021.
The button was rescued from a truly horrible sweater - I have seven more! The larger smokey crystals remind me of the twilight of deep winter. The smaller black glass beads are slightly irregular and have an iridescent sheen. There are small gun metals round beads along with beautiful denim blue opaque crystals that punctuate the length of this generous double wrap.
It could be yours! All you need to do is ask. : )
I LOVE pulling out my oversized shopping bag filled with all the bracelets I've made. I do it before and after every art fair. After the holiday season I relax and don't think about bracelets for a few weeks - until application season kicks in, which it has. : )
First count of each year is so interesting. First count informs me of what sold well in previous seasons, what style or size may not be working well and what sizes, colors and styles I need to begin making. I've been selling my beaded bracelets for nine seasons! One of the most interesting pieces of information is the total number of bracelets I sold each season.
Later this week I'll begin doing "set-ups." I'll share that part of my behind the scenes operation later.
Until then, enjoy the bead hoard!
I've completely given into my lifelong love of beads, stones, making stuff and stories, not particularly in that order.