Thursday, 25 November 2010

To all non-Americans out there

Hi, are you as lost as I have been over the last week or so? All this talk about "Black Friday" in the international beading community. It seems to be something important, and benefitial for business. Yes, and I managed to figure out one pattern. It is only Americans who write/speak about it. So what is it? Well, I just had to find out, didn't I.

I have taken all the text from Wikipedia.
Black Friday is the day following Thanksgiving Day in the United States, traditionally the beginning of the Christmas shopping season.

On this day many U.S. retailers open very early, often at 5 a.m., and offer promotional sales to kick off the shopping season.

Because Thanksgiving always falls on the fourth Thursday in November in the United States, the day after occurs between the 23rd and the 29th of November.

The day's name originated in Philadelphia, where it originally was used to describe the heavy and disruptive pedestrian and vehicle traffic which would occur on the day after Thanksgiving.

Use of the term began by 1966 and began to see broader use outside Philadelphia around 1975.

Later an alternative explanation began to be offered: that "Black Friday" indicates the period during which retailers are turning a profit, or "in the black."

Thanksgiving or Thanksgiving Day, celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November, has been an annual tradition in the United States since 1863, when during the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national day of thanksgiving.
The event that Americans commonly call the "First Thanksgiving" was celebrated to give thanks to God for helping the Pilgrims of Plymouth Colony survive their first brutal winter in New England.

The first Thanksgiving feast lasted three days, providing enough food for 53 pilgrims and 90 Native Americans.
The feast consisted of:
  • fish (cod, eels, and bass)
  • shellfish (clams, lobster, and mussels)
  • wild fowl (ducks, geese, swans, and turkey)
  • venison
  • berries and fruit
  • vegetables (peas, pumpkin, beetroot and possibly, wild or cultivated onion)
  • harvest grains (barley and wheat)
  • the Three Sisters: beans, dried Indian maize or corn, and squash
The New England colonists were accustomed to regularly celebrating "Thanksgivings"—days of prayer thanking God for blessings such as military victory or the end of a drought.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING to all you americans out there! Me, I am so thankful for all of you, and all my other friends in the beading community. Thanks for excisting and being wonderful.

All my best,

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Wishful Wednesdays #10

Oh this Bragging Rights Enameled Bangle bracelet by Charmed I'm Sur on Etsy.
Three things from StarEyes, one of my favourite shops for semiprecious stones. A large Sagenit pendant. A wishbox urn pendant/charm. And lovely feathers from peacock.
Arabella Art Accessory Rabbit Bag by Dragon House Of Yuen on Etsy. The smaller rabbit is sold seperately. Oh I love everything from this shop. Not at all less because my daughter's name is also Arabella. And she loves rabbits (or just anything cute really).

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Wishing on a Saturday instead #2. AND who took this photo?

Can't help looking at a lot of christmas tree ornaments lately. It is not like we lack any in our house really, but you know ... These Bird Cage Cushions by Olive on Etsy, are just too sweet. I am very fond of all her things.
Nancy Schindler of Round Rabbit and the RabbitMuse blog makes wonderful porcelein pieces to use in jewellery. I love the ones with many wholes in them, but I seem to always miss out on her selling sessions in her BigCartel Shop. Bummer ... I don't have any of her things yet, but soon maybe. You can buy her jewellery in her Etsy shop.
Peppercorns in a real quail egg filled with resin. Pendant by Yolk on Etsy. Pretty!
Oh, and these earrings by Heather Powers of HumbleBeads I just love.
Almost a year ago I saw this photo on a blog somewhere. I think it was someone who had been on a weekend course in this house. I just thought it was a marvellous looking building, very odd and different. So I saved the photo in my inspiration photos folder that I keep on my computer. Now I would just like to know where this is. Anyone who knows?

Friday, 19 November 2010

HumbleBeads Pain - Our Gain

These two squirrels was talking the other day about going to Sweden to check out their red cousins. They had planned to buy their tickets today, coz they got into some money today. And lucky them, they got a HUGE discount on their tickets. 50%! Imagine that. So they ended up bringing a lot of extra luggage too, all of it from Heather Powers bead shop. The lady they will be staying with, Malin, is over the moon about it all and so much looking forward to their arrival. She sends all her best to Heather, and wishes her good luck with the plumbing business.

Hurry now to HumbleBeads to read more about it, and buy her wonderful beads extra cheap.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Revealing - The Lejonklou and de Koning Challenge #3

Part three of mine and Birgittas challenge was to make a chain necklace containing parts from this soup of beads. Ingridients had to be: something pink, something white, something black, some chain and at least one inch of the silk ribbon.
I have to admit that this one was really difficult for me. Something about the colour combination and the surfaces that is not really me. But it has been a very good experience because of that. I figured out that I don't like it when all parts are very shiny, or when the colours are very contrasty. I have tried many different concepts, before I settled on this one. I think it turned out nicely in the end, if I may say so myself. I did not use all of the beads or components that Birgitta sent. But you will see the white coral rondelle together with a black flower beadcap being used as a clasp, and one of the black rondelles as one of the dangles too. Of course the pale lilac silk ribbon and one of the nicely patinated chains from Birgitta. I have also used some pearls, rounds and facetted black glass.
I added from my own stash: a white silk ribbon, copper parts and beads, various bead caps and some facetted pink opal gemstones. And headpins and wire. The bead caps was a consious decision to experiment with. I hardly ever use them myself, but so often I see others using them in a way that really helps lifting the beads and the design.

Something about this necklace made me start to sing "Aquarius" from Hair. I wanted to name it something to do with astrology, but nothing suited I thought, so it ended up being Astrid, a Swedish female name I find very feminine and beautiful.

Visit Birgitta Lejonklou's Blog to see what she did.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Wishful Wednesdays #9

Hi, I missed last Wednesday Wishes so I posted on Saturday instead. Go here to check that.

Today I wish for a new practical bag. Nice looking is a must! By BayanHippo.
I wish someone would knit me this cute lamb. Or really just any of all the cute little knitted animals you can buy the pattern for. With some clothes too. By DawnToussaint.
SeaUrchin again. Well, what can you say? Astoundingly beautiful beads. I think I would just hang them on the wall by my work area, and just admire them every day for a looooong time before I get around to use them in some jewellery.

So ....
... if you wonder where the result of part three of the Lejonklou-de Koning Challenge is, it has been postboned (how do you spell that word?) until next wednesday. Check back then to see what I have made with the pink, black and white beads and the chain.

Monday, 8 November 2010

Swedish Inspiration - Sandra Backlund

The first time I heard of Sandra Backlund was on a Swedish radio programme called Stil (=Style). Sandra was being interviewed and I just fell for how she spoke about her creative process. She said that when she was studying fashion there was a lot of talk about scetching your ideas on paper and then make them come true in reality. She said she could never grasp that method. She wanted to investigate the forms AS she was working, searching for interesting forms, "what happens if I do this?", "or this?". She worked mainly with knitting at that time, and to me it sounded totally liberating that she wanted to create three dimensional forms with knitting. To me you knit a jumper, a scarf or a cardigan. This sounded very different.
After I had heard her in that interview I immediately went to check her stuff out on the interent. I was completely blown away. To say the least. I have never seen anything like it. And I am not alone. This was about a year or so ago. And she has had lots and lots of attention, not the least internationally.
She has continued to work a lot with knitting, but also with other materials. Always experimenting with shapes, and how they sit on the body. Her clothes are like sculptures. Now she has created her first collection which will be produced in a bigger number. Please keep your eyes on this lady, coz she IS something else!
I just get so completely inspired by her free thinking and method of working and the shapes she creates. Don't miss to read her own words here. And look at more pictures of her work at her site Sandra Backlund.

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Wishing on a Saturday instead #

Hello there,
I missed my regular Wishful Wednesdays post this week. And it seems it is a rather popular post so I thought I'd share some current wishes of mine today instead. So here we go, hope you get as inspired as I am from these finds:

1. From LimaBeads I recently bought the NewsPrint Jasper Heishi beads. And gosh are they wonderful. At first the big puffed coins where in my cart aswell, but then I got a bit tight so I took them away. Now I just feel I need to get them anyway. This stone is apparently very rare, and it comes from Australia.

2. Oh, I am so in the mood to use elephants in my jewellery lately. And just the day after I had been roaming around on Etsy searching for beads of elephants I saw a new piece by Lorelei with elephants in it. (Hi Lorelei!) So I don't know if that was just a coincidence, or if elephants will be a next big thing. I, anyway, wanna make a bracelet I'm gonna call "the Elephant Walk". And it shall be a line of them holding on trunk to tail like they do in circuses. But all beads I find are drilled the other direction so I think I might have to make them myself in polymer clay. But I did find these two very very nice Elephant Pendants from TheIDConnection. And I really wish for those.
3. At BeadsAndPieces they have a nice collection of horn beads which I also have been looking a lot for over the last few days. Funny how one get these craves for different materials and colours at different times. Look at these Burnt Horn Flat Squares 25x25mm. YUM!
4. BeadsAndPieces also have this chain made of Linked Makabibi Shell & Yellow Horn Rings. Each ring is 30mm. Oh my!

Now, enjoy the rest of your weekend. I myself have had a very pleasant day today, meeting my friend Yvonne who is exhibiting her art in an art gallery/museum, Edsviks Konsthall. It has been a very beautiful sunny day. And Yvonne had asked me to bring some of my jewellery coz we haven't met for a while, so she wanted to see what I have done. Her friend Fia bought one of my bracelets (one I haven't showed here, but will soon, so you can see it), and Yvonne asked me to make a custom necklace for her. I am very happy 'bout that. Had a glass of white wine also, which was very very nice! Most of the art exhibited was very good and interesting. So I had just the most perfect afternoon with very nice company. Now I believe there is a good film on. 23 with Jim Carrey. I missed the beginning, but after I have published this post and made a cuppa for me and Mark I will turn it on.


Thursday, 4 November 2010

A visitor came after lunch

This guy came to see me just after I had finished my lunch today. I don't know who he is, but he looks kind of upset.
Is he panicking? Is he in agony? Is he worried? Is he in need of help? Or is he just concerned on someone elses behalf? Why did he come to me? Maybe he is angry. No, I don't think so. I have been looking at him a lot. And I don't sense any aggression from him. Rather a will to help, or to point out something to me. He looks a mess, doesn't he. I want to take care of him. He needs me. But I think I also need him. I don't know why yet. It is just the strongest feeling. Really weird. It is not like me at all to have experiences like this, to see signs or things like that. It has happened, yes. But it has never been anything I have been searching for. Today he just came. Out of the blue. And I know it means something. I like him. The Bone-Man. I can look at him for ages, and it feels good. His eyes. I know I want him to stay with me for some time, maybe for very long. I am waiting to see what he is gonna tell me.

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

The Lejonklou and de Koning Challenge - part 2

I made a long necklace with the three squares creating a pendant with the Swarovskis dangling at the bottom of it. I was so happy to finally use the Crysocholla wavy beads, have had them for quite a while and I really really like them. And I think it turned out well to use them like this, as a central focal.
For the attachements on the sparkly green square I used loops with Delicas 11.The necklace is partially symmetrical and partial assymetrical. The two kinds of teardrop shaped beads, the pale green jade and the mother-of-pearl, are mirrored on one side each. Aswell as the circular golden toggle and the two cloisonne beads.
I took my photos after sunset today so I had to use electrical light, and I didn't really manage to get a good enough photo of the overall piece. But I hope you get the idea from the pictures I show here now. It is starting to get dark around 4.30. And on an overcast day, well you understand ...

Next wednesday you will see what I have come up with for the 3rd part of The Lejonklou & de Koning Challenge. I have yet not started to think about that one, unusual colours for me, but it will be great fun anyway. And I just love the chains Birgitta included (already used a bit of one of them).

Until then, all my best

P.S. Don't miss the little remain of my bright green nailvarnish, you can see on my thumb in the middle picture. Perfect colour to match this necklace actually.

To check out Birgitta Lejonklou's piece using the same beads go here.

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Bracelet - Little Critter

Critter button by MissFickleMedia
Purple copper wire by MissFickleMedia
Drilled Stones from Lake Michigan by TideLine
Oxidized chain by Lejonklou
2 strands of recycled sari Silk
Red Agate/Carnelian
Carved honey quartz
Brown clay round
Yellow Opal rondelles
Prehnite irregular tabular bead
Military green glass beads from Indonesia