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

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Almost done but hanging in there...

So my day started at 4AM! My brain is so jammed full of thoughts and ideas that it is trying to escape out my ears. I just couldn't stay asleep so I got up and worked on ideas for new classes to bring home. Bonnie and I actually got to go to class together today and it's a good thing. At this point in the game it takes two brains to understand what we are being told. We did the "Chain Gang" with Keith today and it was wonderful. Forging and working with re-bar tie wire is a new love! Check out our bracelets. It was our last class time with Keith so we will sadly bid adieu to our new found friend, but we will never forget all the skills he shared with us and his terrific sense of humor. Bonnie went on to her class with Lisa Palvelka doing faux dichroic glass and I finished up my class of color smash with Sabra Sowell-Lovejoy. I think I actually nodded off during the lecture portion. Sorry Sabra, but I really loved the class and learned so much. I promise it's all in the notes. I have 25 pages of notes so far. I did experimenting in that class and started what will turn out to be the base for a pin. One more day. Think we can make it?

Hey if you are checking the blog and like our stores, give us a comment back. We'd love to hear from you. joni

Friday, March 5, 2010

Expo day is here.

Today was full of hurry scurry! I had a papering class with Keith Lo Bue today and learned all about the properties and ways to use adhesives and resins. I had to dart in and out of class a bit as I was getting things finished up for showing in the Expo tonight. We only had an hour to set up, and 3 hours to sell, so we had to be ready quick. Other then our charge machine not being able to pick up satellite, the evening went well. After the show, we loaded up the truck with all the extra class supplies and show merchandise. Now it's regroup and get ready for tomorrow. Bonnie and I are taking the chain gang class. It will be great, except for listening to 20 plus hammer on steel for 8 hours. I'm really looking forward to these last 3 classes as they all have elements that are new to me. I think my hands are permanently stained from ink, paints and patinas and for some reason I have bruises, cuts and burns on one arm. We have sore backs and tired feet, but we'll come hobbling home soon with tales of new found friends and adventure.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

and the journey continues... day 4

Well here I am again past midnight. I just got my class bags all repacked for tomorrow and I'm ready to grab a couple of hours of shut eye. You can see by the picture of our room that we have lots of stuff. But believe it or not, it is very organized. In fact everyone in my classes calls me the stash because I always have what everyone is needing.

Bonnie did Amy Hanna's Heritage House Canvas class tonight. She doesn't have it finished completely, but I like what I'm seeing. After she completes the houses, the canvas will hold adornments (jewelry) to contrast with the papers, ribbons and paints. I was back in Keith Lo Bue's classroom today for etching. I learned a lot of different ways to work with the chemicals, transfer resists and make our own patinas. Tonight I did a class called "Color Smash" that took me into a whole new world of fold forming and distress enameling. We will have so many techniques to share with everyone when we get home. And don't forget, not only do we have 3 more days of classes here, but I'll also be taking other types of classes in Santa Fe yet this month. I'm showing you the "work in progress" of my Precious Little class. I'm so excited about the journey finishing it will take me. Tune in tomorrow as I'll have a paper application class to tell you about.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The end of day 3

The clock just struck midnight and I just finished packing back up for tomorrow, but let me tell you about our wonderful day.

Bonnie took the "Twisted Sister" necklace class all day. She said it was so much fun and we can't wait to share with all of you back home. Wait till you see it in person, it is amazing.

I returned to my "Precious Little" class with Keith LoBue. The picture shows just part of the tables of all our found objects and tools. We worked right through both of our meal breaks. As you can see the pizza had to just stack up with all the rest of the stuff. We worked, slash that, played for 12 hours straight. I love the piece I'm working on, but it isn't ready to share yet. Actually, it will probably take me an entire day to finish. Saturday I'll be taking the class that will be making the chain for it.

Check out the picture of Keith showing us his famous boyscout lost in the woods acorn whistle. See, we were playing.

Must go get a bit of shut eye as 6AM will be here before I know it.

I can't tell you how many friends we have made. This is so fun!

Too.... tired in Texas

Boy guys, I'm loving the classes, but it's also really tiring. I had classes yesterday from 9-9. The day class was "Tools of the Trade" and how to use them. Keith Lo Bue taught us his caveman approach of leaning to get the best use of his tools and materials. I even have a little sample piece of glass he demonstrated on to add to my junk necklace. I have about 10 pages of notes to share with you all. When I get back, we will have a couple of extensive days on drilling. Last night in his class of "Precious Little" we did a fun group project. It really didn't matter how your piece came out as much as what you learned from going through the exercise. Needless to say, I didn't have any trouble sleeping last night. Today it's back to Keith's classroom to create a found object piece and then tonight Bonnie and I are both taking his riveting class together. I also made new friends Liza, Sandra and Laurie from Texas, Gail from Albequerque, Katie from Scottsdale, Greg from NY and many more. Well it's off to class for the day...

Monday, March 1, 2010

Opening Reception

The reception tonight was a blast. We met people from all over the county all excited to start the journey this week. We have new friends already... Joann from Kalamazoo MI, Kathy from Fayetteville, TN & Andi from West Virginia. We also had a chance to meet all the artist/teachers and see the pieces that they will be teaching us throughout this week.
Jill Allison Bryan is a singer/songwriter and creativity coach. She was our keynote speaker. Her theme for the evening was "infinite possibility" and she shared with us 5 steps to finding space in our lives for our passions. Now it's back to the room, but don't fret, I'm not going to bed. Of course I have to stay up and solder the trades I want to share. I'm just practicing finding space for my art.

"Adorn Me" here we come!

Dorothy, we're not in Kansas anymore! Greetings from sunny Houston. Bonnie & I had a great ride down yesterday and only broke one law, so far that is. In the middle of a 6 lanes of traffic we got in the EZ auto pay lane on the tollway (my auto pay card is only good for Kansas). Somewhere there is a picture being posted of 2 slightly confused ladies saying oops. FYI, the hotel is beautiful and everyone is so friendly. We ventured out this morning with the help of our new friend Agnes, our GPS. For an inanimate object she sure talks a lot, and her favorite word is "recalculate". Our morning outing was to the Texas Art Supply Store. Boy they have everything. We spent 2 hours perusing the isles and on the way out we saw more things that we hadn't noticed. But with our arms weighted down with shopping bags we decided to leave something for the rest of the Texas.

Now it's time to catch up on a bit of paperwork and some R&R before things get started tonight at the kick off party. The convention goers are starting to check into the hotel, so we will be making lots of new friends. Tune in again tomorrow to see where our adventure takes us.