Saturday, July 3, 2010

"ART UNPLUGGED" 2nd Annual

It's that time again to get crazy with a weekend marathon of creativity.   The crew at Mrs. O'Leary's is holding "ART UNPLUGGED" the 2nd annual, July 16-18.  Spaces really filled this last  week, but there are still some opening available as we can always spread into the Brickyard if needed.  Here's the line-up.  

Friday  16th - 9AM-noon    ---   ON THE BOARDWALK MEMO
Friday  16th - 12:30-3:30PM    ---   BIRTHSTONE BRACELET
Friday  16th - 4-10PM    ---   JOYUAX DU JOUR NECKLACE

Saturday  17th - 9AM-12:30    ---   NATURE BOX part 1
Saturday  17th - 1-5PM    ---   NATURE TAGS part 2
Saturday  17th - 6-10PM    ---   WORKING WITH RESINS

Sunday  18th - 10AM-2PM    ---   TORCH ENAMELING

If you have any question or need to register, 
please call Mrs. O'Leary's 316-262-0600 or email

Back at the Ranch.

Welwe've been back home for a couple of weeks, but we haven't wasted a moment.  We had to get going on classes as our home base or we'd have some really unhappy customers.  Today we did the "On the Boardwalk" memo board.  We will be repeating that class for "Art Unplugged" in 2 weeks (check out the next posting).  I thought you might enjoy seeing some of our Mrs. O'Leary's pictures.  

How do you like my new stamping buddy Gus.  I was puppy sitting one day and he just had to get into the action.  Yes, can you believe a puppy!  He is only 3 months old.  Check out the size of those paws.  And what a sweetheart he is.  Gus belongs to one of our Club managers Dan, so I get to play with him and then send him home to be fed.  

We have so many new stamps (250 new images have just been added), shirts, kits and more.  Tomorrow while you will be celebrating, I will be working away on the new web site.  Hopefully the new site or at least the new edition of the catalog will be up next week?  I will also be using my new Bloggie camera to produce instruction CD'd for the various new kits and projects.  Here is a sampling of the new images. 

Classes at Stamp Asylum

I can't believe it has already been over 2 months since we were at Stamp Asylum, Plano Texas.  What a wonderful store.  Monica and here staff are not only knowledgeable about their products, but make going feel just like being surrounded by good friends.  I nabbed Debbie and made her take the trip with me.  We had a great time, but worked hard fitting 7 classes into the 3 days.  If in the Dallas area, check with Monica about our fall classes there.  We will be back in Plano the 2nd weekend in October 2010 with a whole new set of classes.  

Meet me in St. Louie!

A couple of weeks ago Faron and I took out for St. Louis to do a show in Collinsville, Ill.  Son Travis and his fiance Brooke that live there did on sight printing of our newest shirt designs.  It was a hit and we had so much fun.  We hadn't attended the show in a couple of years, so it was a chance to meet up with old friends and we made some wonderful new ones as well.  If you are in that area of the country, we are making plans with the gals of  "For Keeps Sake"  ( to go teach classes there later this year.  

Sorry to be out of touch.

Greetings all.  Sorry about skipping through the last few months, but for those of you that don't know, we also run an outdoor restaurant/bar and we have been up to eyeballs with 18-20 hour work days.  

Most of our staff are soccer players or at least fans, so we have been having World Cup parties and parties and parties.....  Even when the USA lost we had a party.  

Somewhat of a bummer is the fact that our car was broken into and we lost a lot of things including my camera that I keep with me at all times to catch those unexpected moments.  I had lots of stills and video to load on the blog that are now gone.  So we start anew with another camera.  Now I have a Sony Bloggie so I can record myself and show the steps in making the kits - projects. 

Friday, April 2, 2010

Home, but running like a mad woman!

Sorry to be out of touch, but as soon as my feet hit the Kansas soil, I started running like crazy!  Not only am I far behind in jewelry orders etc. but there is so much info and so many classes that I want to get on the books for everyone to enjoy.  As promised in my emails, I'm going to put up on the blog upcoming classes so you can check them out.   Take a look at the great tags that Elaine did leading the past 2 distressed tag weekends.

A reminder that I will be teaching bookmaking, collage, and cold connection jewelry at Stamp Asylum in Plano TX April 23-25.  it is such a great store.  You in the Dallas area as so lucky to have someone like Monica bringing you the latest gizmos, papers, stamps etc.  Monica and I put our heads together yesterday and decided to have an open house on Friday evening the 24th.  At the open house I will be demonstration metal smithing and cold connection jewelry techniques - cutting metal, sawing, filing, riveting, torching head pins etc.  I will also be bringing a piece of my handmade jewelry (Zodiac-Birthstone Bracelet $40 value) to offer as a door prize.  In addition I will give a jewelry parts pack to anyone spending $50 or more in tools.  Along with teaching the classes, I'll be bringing a trunk show for rubber stamps, metal working tools and metals.   Check out pictures of the Fashionista and her little black book and the hang-ups classes on the February 22nd post.  The dominos are on the February 16th post.  This posting shows the copper etching / transfer bracelet.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The long and winding road.

It snowed again overnight and a major storm is quickly approaching so we loaded up early and are headed home. 15 days of the last 3 weeks I've spent living out of a suitcase. I'm ready to be home. I miss you all. We did spend our last day in Santa Fe visiting the Canyon Road galleries and a trip around the mountain roads.

Kansas, there's no place like home.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Shopping in Santa Fe

We finally made it through all of Beadfest and now we are onto a day of sightseeing and shopping. We started off at the Loretto Chapel constructed in 1850. We weaved in and out of the myriad of shops & Galleries, stopping for refreshments along the way including a yummy break at Hagen Daus. We made a stop at the "Leslie Flynt Gallery". They have the best socks every. I picked up 2 more pair for me and then a set of baby socks for my Fretz (jewelry) hammers. I'll have the best dressed hammers in town. We ended our outing in the Cannon Road Gallery District taking a stroll through the various sculpture gardens.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Final show day!

OK, last show day. I think I'm actually beaded out. I drug myself out of bed this morning and went off to my last class. In the past 15 days, I have attended 89 hours of classes. Today I had a class with Kim St. Jean. I got most of the project done in the morning and I wanted to grab a couple of things at the show still so I said my good byes and off I went to empty my pocketbook of the last coins I had. Intending to only pick up a few things, it transformed into a few more and oh maybe just 2 of those and 3 of those. You get the idea. They had to push us out the door. But they did announce that there would be a Beadfest Texas the first weekend in October of this year.

After the show, we headed off to the Burrito Co. for nourishment, yum, yum and since the t-shirt shop was next door I had to add to my Santa Fe shirt collection.

Tomorrow is shopping, eating and sight seeing. It will be good to let my brain unwind.

Spring snowstorm in the mountains

Isn't it the first day of Spring? Skiers delight, but not so much for us. I understand that this weather went right across the country and hit home too. The difference here was that they close the mountain roads and Faron and Elaine got stuck on the other side. They weren't able to get to the bead show yesterday, but they had fun visiting with all the other guests stranded at their hotel. They will have to hit the bead show early this morning as this is the last day.

Mark and I had to really scurry about yesterday morning as there was ice under all that snow that had to be scraped. But we managed to get settled into our morning classes without being too late. I thought Mark did a wonderful job constructing this bracelet from pieces of various sizes silver wire. We will toss it in the tumbler when we get home and it will be beautiful. Even the teacher was amazed at how well it came out for him as he has only dabbled with the metalsmithing. Remember the Valentine earrings he made me? I think he's a natural. I spent he day with Beth Kraft and her cousin Mandy, from Rochester, Minnesota. Beth has a family run bead store there and does the most innovative fun designs. Can you tell how much I enjoyed them by how many kits I purchased to bring home. The class was so fun - what a great way to spend a snowy day. The only drawback was that the room was only about 50 degrees and we had a hard time picking up the beads as our fingers were so cold... brr... I continued darting around the show during stolen break, lunch times, finding yet more treasure to return home with. Mark and I met up to attend the evening class together. Our evening class involved learning all the tips and techniques of silver soldering. Lexi Erickson who has been a jewelry and teacher for 25 years was our instructor. Not only did she give us a wealth of knowledge sharing how she has honed her skills and achieved the perfect soldering techniques, but she was willing to answer all our question about those pesky little projects that you wondered, "how did they do that?"

We grabbed a quick sandwich on the way back to our hotel. Remember I'm spending all my lunch, dinner breaks shopping. Granola bars and nut clusters are carrying me through the days. Faron and Elaine finally made it in and we had a time of show and tell of all our projects and purchases. I did find a great new product today - wire lace. Not only will it be a fun addition to the jewelry projects, but I can see all kinds of uses for it in collage and mixed media. I snatched onto a collection of antique coins, fossils and African crystals to bring back and I'm going to be adding a line of "Ashes to Beauty" embellishments to the store. You know when I get home, I'm going to have to really clear out the classroom/studio space of all the extras to make room for all the fun new toys that we will be adding. Don't forget that we will be having "Show & Tell" at the store next Saturday after the class.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Back to Class...

We are staying in yet another wonderful hotel. But as you can see, we've traded in the palm trees for Pinon Pines. There are fireplaces in all the lobbies and restaurants burning the pinon wood. It has a wonderful earthy aroma that penetrates even our hotel room. We haven't had anytime to catch the sights of the town, but on our way to lunch I snapped a shot of the mountain ahead of us and in the courtyard of the restaurant was this casting, "Great Raven With Apple" sculpted by Peter Woytuk, 1958. During afternoon classes yesterday there was a thunder snow taking place outside and we momentarily lost power. Life in the mountains.

I've had a couple of full days of classes so far, taking Janice Berkebile's fusing, Susan Lewis' PMC and Denise Peck (editor of "Wire to Wire"), viking knit. I haven't had time to finish any of the completely, as I've been making mad dashes to the showroom floor searching out the best baubles to add to the stash. That haul was from only a combined hour of shopping time. The other showroom for Beadfest is in another hotel location. It was open Thursday night for 3 hours. It was my only chance to scour those vendors items and check out all the teachers tables as I'm in class all the other open times. But I made good use of my time. I always feel like a pack animal with a multitude of bags slung over my shoulders resting (or should I say weighing down) on my back. But I made tool purchases for O'Leary's studio, found some new wire and charm sources and a great gilding patina. The other showroom is located in the same building as I'm taking classes, so every time I go to wash my hands or grab a soda etc. I make the "Family Circus" beeline around a couple of isles taking notes on the "must return to" booths. Mark went on to Albuquerque yesterday to take an all day private lesson with Rashan Omari Jones at his glass studio. They had a great time together and Rashan will bring his kiln finished pieces to him on Sunday.

Today I have beading classes and Mark is going to be making a heavy silver hinged bracelet. We actually have a silver soldering class together tonight. Faron and Elaine will be arriving around noon time, so we'll send them on to the bead show to scout out and shop while we are tied up in the classes.

Well since the clock is striking 3AM, I must catch a couple of hours of sleep so I can continue on my quest of searching out the best stuff and skills to bring home to you all.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Gone again, the blog returns...

Since returning home from Houston I've had so much catching up to do that the blog time was sacrificed. To recap my Houston travels, 9 days, about 50 hours of shut eye time, 17 hours of dining, 19 hours of packing and repacking, 21 hours of driving and 55 hours of class time. It tires me out just to hear it again.

Well we're not in Kansas anymore, but we are still where the deer and the antelope play. For those of you that aren't from Kansas, that is a reference to "Home on the Range" our state song. Mark and I are on our way to Santa Fe, New Mexico to attend Beadfest. Since I'm not the driver this time, I'm having fun taking pictures and enjoying the scenery. Isn't the moon and the North star over the mountain sunset beautiful.

An hour to go till we arrive at our hotel and my classes start at 9 in the morning with a bracelet fusing class being taught by Janice Berkebile. It will be good to see a familiar face to start the week as she was also in Houston. Once again my days will be back to back classes through Sunday. There is also a large bead show going on at the same time so I will be bringing beads home to share with you all. I have barely touched the ones I purchased last year (probably because I bought a suitcase full), so these will be for the store shelves. Well I may have to save 1 or 2 for my stash.

I promise to send the daily blogs telling of my jewelry adventures. For those of you that have tried to commit, sorry - apparently I had the lock on and you couldn't connect without first being a follower. But now you can send me your feedback via comment to the blog.

Here we go again...

Monday, March 8, 2010

Realism ends.. Reality will begin...

Our last arty day is at hand. Breakfast was all a-buzz. Everyone was having their last visits. Some were trying to get their supplies together for class and yet others were waiting with stacked bags for the airport shuttles. Bonnie had her class with the woven silver pendant and I had a day with Richard Salley working with enameling. Of course during our break times I scurried back to Keith's room as I had been there everyday and it just wasn't natural not to be there. Actually I had to say good bye to Laurie. I met Laurie one evening in class and discovered what an amazing sweet soul this young lady was. I had double booked a class as I wanted the info from both and Liza was too tired to stay for one of her's so we gave our classes to Laurie. She was new to this style of art medium, so I loaned her the tools she needed and gave her a couple of quick wire lessons. Boy was she a fast learner! She surprised me the next day with this necklace. She is a lampworker and this is the first bead she had ever made. I can't believe she gave it to me. I will treasure it always as well as her friendship. She and her husband bought a fixer upper house on ebay in St. John's Kansas. She has promised to visit as they drive through Wichita. Can't wait. As Keith stated in his closing comment last evening, a huge thank you to Linda and Chuck Young for putting together this event. It was a 3 year process and in all our opinion well worth it. It was an amazing community all week. We all collectively got it! The jewelry, the art and the feeling behind it all. I would highly recommend to any of you that are interested in this medium to save your pennies and make it a priority to attend next year. I know I'm going home and blocking out the week on my calendar for "2011".

Well we have our bags packed and heading to the trunk to make our return voyage. But of course we will make a detour via "Texas Art Store". Already in my head are plans taking form to have a show and tell with pictures and purchases for all of my friends back home, so check the email later this week to find out when.

As the down elevator passed by the 2nd floor (classrooms) and the doors opened momentarily, I caught a glimpse of how the view had changed. No longer were artists chatting, hugging and rushing off to classes with their jewels singing songs of joy. No longer was Rice' sitting cross legged on the lounge with her computer in her lap. No longer was Earl with his hot pink and lime green attire taking pictures of all our treasures. And no longer was their a creative fog lingering around us nurturing our souls. They had all be replaced with men in crisply ironed oxford shirts with cell phones attached to their heads.
Thank you "Adorn Me", you will be missed... joni