Tuesday, September 29, 2009
I had two incredible days, yesterday and today! Yesterday I was invited to teach a class in bead embroidery by the Mohawk Art Club. All women were artists of different media and very talented. Before the class started, the president warned me not to be take it personally if the members talked and did not seem to pay attention to me. I concluded that they may get bored if they did not like what I was teaching and that was fine with me - can't please everybody all the time.
Time passed and there was hardly a sound coming out of these women, they were all concentrating on what they were doing and I was intrigued with the beautiful designs they had sketched and planned to make. The two hours passed like a breeze for me as well as for them, most of them did not want to leave when the time was up and vouched to finish their project and bring it to the next meeting so they can take pictures to send me.
My second exciting day was this evening with my regular peyote intensive class. These women are so dedicated, they want to learn as much as they can and their enthusiasm is contagious. They want to have another intensive class with a different stitch and I would like this very much.
Now is time to work on my friend's bracelet and prepare for the Holidays for my etsy shop......
Monday, September 28, 2009
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Today was a family day, did not even check my e-mail till after 8:00 pm
My step-son Michael and his family came over for dinner and outside fun. Michael and his wife have 4 adorable children - 2 boys and 2 girls. We had not seen them for some time and it was real special to spend time with them. I adore my grandchildren and love being with them. The only problem I have with them is that they grow too fast, I would like to keep them at that fun age. We went for a boat ride and all kids got to "drive" the boat, and were so excited!
The 8 year old boy is very smart, studious, takes care of his siblings when he is told, and always does the right thing. His younger brother who is 6 is the most charming and charismatic child I have ever seen. He will give you a cetrain look and melts your heart instantly. The third child, a little girl of 4 is a little princess. She loves shoes and clothes and I know she is going to be very fashionable when she grows up. Finally the baby is only one and another charmer. She is not shy, she blows kisses to you and comes with her little arms stretched to give you a kiss.
How can I not love them to pieces?
Saturday, September 26, 2009
We had such a gloomy day today, rained all morning and stayed dark all day. I don't like days like this especially since it has been cloudy all week. I need a certain amount of sunshine to keep me balanced.
And speaking of inspirations, I will tell you what inspired some of my jewelry and how they came to be. The Bib Necklace was inspired by the many western tv shows I saw during the 1960s. I was fascinated by the bandannas the cowboys wore on their neck and how beautifully it draped. I knew I was going to make the same design in jewelry not knowing exactly how it would be done, until I learned off loom bead weaving, then it became an easy but lengthy project.
Another obvious inspiration is my Autumn Leaves Necklace. Once I learned the diagonal peyote stitch, fall colors were a natural choice.
Still another necklace was inspired by my birth country of Greece. There is an old legend that says that when God was creating the Earth, He made the mountains, the valleys and the rivers and when he thought He was finished, He still had a bag of rocks. He thew the rocks over his shoulder and created Greece. It is true Greece has a lot of rocks but also great beauty. The Rocky Road Necklace reminds me walking on the country side where roads are still unpaved
Friday, September 25, 2009
Thursday, September 24, 2009
People often ask me where I get my inspiration for my jewelry. Like any other artist, my reply varies. Often nature plays a big part in my designs, architecture, dance and even music.
The famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright inspired me to do at least two of my bracelets. F.L. Wright built homes all over the US including one in Canton, Ohio but one of his most famous homes is Fallingwater in southwestern Pa. The home is about four hours from my home and we have visited often. The home was built for the Kaufmann family as a weekend retreat. One of our visits to Fallingwater took place in the Fall when the leaves were at their best with all their vibrant colors. The home itself is characterized by strong horizontal and vertical lines with the creek running beneath and along side the home. The scene is nothing less than breathtaking.
On my way home I sketched the "color block bracelet with short fringe" and every time I look at it I remember the beauty of nature and the masterpiece of a genius
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Had my first class of "peyote intensive" yesterday and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It reminded me how much I love teaching. I used to teach at bead conferences the Bead & Button and Bead Fest shows traveling around the US and teaching. It was a lot of work, creating new original projects for each show, applying to teach and then making kits to bring with me to the show, but I enjoyed it all. My favorite part was the teaching and meeting my students. However, after a few years of this I got tired, all the work to get there was not worth the few hours with the students. Besides, the economy hit the beading business as well. The number of students started dwindling which meant I did not make as much money as I wanted. Both Kalmbach and Interweave - the publishing companies who print the magazines and do the shows - started selling videos of their classes on the internet making it easier and less costly for a student to learn without paying a fortune.
So, the next thing for me was to figure out a way to sell my jewelry. A friend suggested ETSY a place to buy/sell all things handmade. It was not hard to sign up but etsy is so big you have to create a presence on the internet for people to find you and you have to sign up with Paypal, Facebook, you have to Blog and next, you have to be on Twitter!!! All these things are not difficult for someone who is familiar with the computer but for me it has been a CHALLENGE. It has taken me a week to figure out a simple thing that another would have done it with a click of a button.
And so life goes on with all its pleasures and frustrations.....
Monday, September 21, 2009
September and October are big birthday months for me and so much to do. I am making a bracelet for my good friend in bead embroidery, I am teaching a 5-week class at the local bead store and another class for an art group on the 28th, guess I'll have to work more and sleep less.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Today is my sister's birthday so I called her in Myconos, Greece where she is for the summer. I get a little jealous every time I call Myconos because I am here rather than there. I miss her so much, and to think that we did not get along when we were growing up because we were very different, but as we both grew up we became best friends and appreciated each other's different personalities. Maybe I'll see her next year.
Now that I found out how to include photos in my blog, I am going to show you a bracelet and a necklace that were inspired by NanC Meinhardt's teaching, hope you like them
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
I don't watch such shows very often but this summer was pretty dry on tv so I started watching "America got Talent" and got hooked. Tonight was the finale and I was in pins and needles until the two finalists were announced: Barbara Padilla and Kevin Skinner. I voted for Barbara but I was glad that Kevin won. He needed the money more. As for Barbara, she is a star and will be singing in places better than Vegas. Another of my favorites was Grandma Lee, she was so cute and so funny!!!
Yesterday, I blogged about NanC Meinhardt and David Chatt, two of my mentors. Today I am going to talk about another remarkable young woman who taught me bead embroidery. Her name is Sherry Serafini and I had seen her work and thought it was remarkable but when our local bead store brought her to town to teach, I was one of the first to sign up for her class. Her class was a joy, after she taught the basics, she told us to create our own design in free form, and I like free-form more than anything.
Sherry's work is mostly in necklaces and purses. They are so elaborate and intricate that leave me in awe. I don't think I am going to be attempting a necklace real soon but I did make a bracelet which you can see in my etsy shop, it is the first item and the most expensive. One thing that makes Sherry's embroidery so special is that she uses size #15 seed beads which are VERY small, therefore it takes much longer to complete the piece than if she used larger beads, but it is also what makes it so special.
I will be making more bracelets and pins to sell but I don't know how many people would appreciate it enough to pay big money. Time will tell......
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
While I was teaching myself the basics of beadwork, I was reading about other beaders and their work. One who stood out above all others was NanC Meinhardt. Her work was outstanding, and she was constantly published in all major magazines. She also tought at the Bead and Button show in Milwaukee, WI but her classes filled out within minutes. I did not know if I ever would be lucky enough to take any classes from her until I saw her name advertised by a West Palm Beach store that she was going to be teaching four classes there. I could not pick up the phone fast enough and I got in on all four of her classes. A dream come true!!!
NanC's classes were different, she does not just teach technique, she teaches creativity. Her favorite stitch was Right Angle weave and we had to use it to make a dimentional bracelet. She gave us some samples but after that, we had to use our creativity and imagination. Her own work sold to museums and private collectors. I have learned so much from her and it still carries on to this day.
Another outstanding beader of Right Angle weave has been David Chatt. He uses his own unique technique to make sculpture. His work is exhibited at museums and galleries all over the world and before he became famous, he used to teach which he does not do much anymore. To learn his technique appeared to be somethin unattainable but I was lucky enough to meet a woman who had taken David's classes and was willing to teach at our Bead Guild. What a treat it has been
Monday, September 14, 2009
I know many people have grandchildren, but I also know they don't all feel about them the way I feel about mine. After my children were married, it seemed I did not have anything to work for and got depressed. I thought of a song Peggy Lee sang "is that all there is"? little did I know that God had a plan for me and other people with grown kids, it is called "grandbabies".
When I heard that my son and his wife were pregnant, new energy came over me and could not wait for the birth. Looking at my newborn grand daughter's brown eyes I felt total love, joy, and peace. She has grown to be a precious human being, full of love, kindness, acceptance toward others, talented and intelligent.
After Dari I had two more from my daughter, a girl and a boy and with every birth the love and joy got bigger, I have no idea where I store it for it consumes me. There is no day that goes by that I don't think of them, and when I encounter life's problems and frustrations all I have to do is think of them and feel better instantly. So, please allow me to brag about them a little. They are both voracious readers, Nana read at college level when she was in 6th grade and Jack read at 8th grade level when he was in 3rd grade. Not only that, they are kind, loving, talented, considerate and intelligent. My children and their spouses have done an excellent job raising their children.
Tomorrow, I go back to beading
Sunday, September 13, 2009
This morning I checked out the etsy Beadweavers site to vote for the latest challenge and I learned that I have a blog through that site as well. How I have done all this is beyond me. I am surprised that my computer has not crashed while trying to do all these things I know nothing about -Etsy, Facebook, blog. I keep pushing buttons hoping they are the ones I need to push not knowing half the time what the heck I am doing. So far, so good. Don't have any followers which means nobody reads my blogs, but sooner or later I will figure out how to get my blog on facebook and my blog on etsy beadweavers and that is before I can Tweet.......
I wrote on my Facebook page, just under my photo that " I graduated High School from the Ionian Boys' Academy in Athens, Greece" a fact which is true and so far not one person has made a comment or asked a question when it is very obvious from my picture that I am female.
They say that if you want to be successful selling on the internet, you have to get yourself "out there" , yes but what if no one knows you are "out there"?
Oh well..... maybe tomorrow I will learn something new
Saturday, September 12, 2009
So I did not blog for a couple days, it is hard to think of something to write about every day.
Beading takes some time to perfect. I took classes for several years from the experts trying to learn all I could, being a total sponge, asking questions, doing what was taught in class and going home and practicing more. The excitement of learning something new was always exhilarating!!! I went to shows, Bead and Button, Bead Expo, BeadFest all over the country and, of course, the shopping. There were vendors for every bead, finding or supply you ever imagined. The trouble was spending too much money. It was a stimulating time.
When I thought I new more than others around me, I decided I had to give that knowledge back by teaching others. I was surprised to find out how much I enjoyed teaching. I was very patient with my students for they were all very different. I had young people and old, I had students who had PhDs in molecular biology, I had students with brain cancer and trembling hands, I had wives of politicians, students who were lawyers, bank VPs , physicians and farmers, but they were all wonderful women. They all wanted to learn the magic of beads and beadwork. They wanted to learn what their ancestors did with their hands, how they made their money, how they decorated themselves and how they worshiped. I told them all I knew about the history of beadwork around the world and when I told them all I knew, I looked for more knowledge.
They told me I was a great teacher which motivated me to learn more and teach more. Unfortunately the economy changed all that. Many women can not afford to travel to shows, it is like buying more shoes, so now I sell my work at etsy. My problem with selling on the web is all the electronic knowledge I must acquire - not an easy task for me. So now I am blogging, I am on Facebook and eventually I have to learn to Twitter............
what is next ???
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
September 9, 2009
Today is 9-9-09, if you add all the 9s it makes 27 which again makes a 9, but then again I forgot the 2 of 2009. That adds up to 29 which is reduced to 11 a magical number. Some people would call this a lucky day, then some others would say it is a spiritual day. There is a little Numerology for you which I know so little.
Today I worked on the bracelet I am making for publication. Jane Dickerson, editor of Step by Step Beads who is my friend at Facebook, asked me if I have any pieces they can publish. I sent her a couple of images but neither one was appropriate, so I asked her to check my Etsy shop and she picked the Black, White and Red Flair bracelet, so I am making a new one to send to the magazine for photography and detailed directions. I won't know when it is going to appear on the magazine until they receive it. I will let you know.
For a long time I have been thinking of making a bracelet or necklace for a man but the inspiration has not come. As I was looking through my beads a couple of colors popped up, a man's bracelet? perhaps. I'll see if I can do something with these beads tomorrow.
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Here I am again trying to come up with something interesting to blog about.
After I learned to do bead embroidery, I made a bracelet which I thought was good enough to submit to the Saul Bell Jewelry competition of Rio Grande. When I tried to find out more information about my category of "beads" I realized that previous winners had actually MADE their beads. Since I do not make beads, but just use them, I thought I would not have a chance so I decided to list it on Etsy. Please check it out www.designsbePerie5.etsy.com I am really proud of it.
I recently bought my friend Rachel's (Nelson-Smith) new Seed Bead Fusion book. She had made a bracelet some time ago which was very similar to a bracelet I had made, our technique was the same but hers was in a larger scale than mine, so after reading her directions, I made still another one combining both methods and adding some of my "specialties" and the result, if I may say so myself, is stunning. And this bracelet is MINE not for sale. If I knew how to add pictures to this blog, I would show it to you.
So, if anybody knows how to add photos to this blog, could you please let me know...........please
Monday, September 7, 2009
Hope all of you had a memorable Labor Day as I did which, technically, marks the end of Summer. I don't know where the Summer went, we had rather cool temperatures most of the time with only a few hot days in August, we never know, we may have a warmer Fall.
This was the last day of my 15% sale off on my Etsy shop, next week I have free shipping worldwide.
I just finished a book recently called Suite Francaise by Irene Nemerovsky. It is an incredible story and would highly recommend it. Just make sure you read the Appendix - all of it. It will bring a new light to the story you just read as well as to the author.
Sunday, September 6, 2009
Well, Labor Day is not until tomorrow and I hope everybody is celebrating, we sure are. Having friends later on and going on the lake on our pantoon boat, on a beautiful day.
People often ask me how did I get into the jewelry business, so here it is. I grew up in Athens, Greece and my mother liked jewelry and had a lot of it - the expensive kind gold, platinum, diamonds etc. As a kid I loved to go through her jewelry box and try things on. When I was a teenager, my mother gave me a costume necklace she had with beautiful bright beads. I did not like the way it was put together so I took it apart a strung it again in my own way. I liked the way it turned out, but I was sursprised to see that other people liked it too. That must have been the beginning of my passion with jewelry. From then on, I would go to the stores, find costume jewelry on sale, take them apart and re-string them until I liked them. It was an amazing "high" for me every time someone complimented what I had on.
Fast forward many years later and I am looking at an issue of Bead and Button magazine and I see this incredibly beautiful, complicated necklace that I wanted to have. I started reading the directions and it said "peyote" stitch, something I had never heard of before, so I headed to Borders and found a book called Creative Bead Weaving by Carol Wilcox Wells. This book became my bible, I taught myself the peyote stich and then, all the other stitches in the book and that began my passion for beadweaving.
Saturday, September 5, 2009
Why has it been so hard for me to find my blog???? Once I log out I can not find my spot again the next day. Does anyone else have the same problem?
Today I wrote Google Blogger, then Create a blog and the question was e-mail and password, while other times I am asked for username and password. I don't seem to get the username right. If anybody has an answer for me, I will be glad to hear it.
Anyway, hubby and I drove for an hour tonight to find a restaurant so he could have wiener shnitzel. Such a waste of time, when I drive for an hour I expect a good dinner, this was mediocre at best.
I have a 15% sale on everything in my Etsy shop for the entire Labor Day weekend. Try to take advantage if it. Hope everyone is having a great Labor Day. We have beautiful weather here, so I think it will be for us
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Last weekend, my niece Gina - my brother's daughter - and her family came to visit. They live in the West Coast and I only see them every two years. Gina and her husband have two beautiful children. We met in Pa. where my daughter lives and spend the weekend together. I was surrounded by LOVE and JOY. I have been blessed with much love in my family and when other family members join the group, the love multiplies and surrounds me. What a blessing !!!!!!
In the home front, I am working on so many projects, I get lost sometimes. My latest bead project is a reversable right angle weave bracelet in black, gray and silver beads. If it works out the way it looks right now, it is going to be a show-stopper, one that can be worn in the evenening, can't wait to see it finished.
Now, I want to post photos from my etsy shop and have no idea how to do it
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
As you all know, I am an avid beader. When I learned bead embroidery from Sherry Serafini, I got totally hooked. I created 3 bracelets which I believe are good enough to enter to a contest. My friends think they are amazing, maybe I will enter them..........
I have a shop at Etsy to sell my jewelry. My address at etsy is : www.designsbyPerie5.etsy.com
take a look and see what you like. I make, primarily, bracelets and necklaces but I have a few earrings and one brooch which is embroidered. For Labor Day weekend I am having a 15% sale on all my items. The sale starts Thursday, September 3 and ends on Monday September 7. Take advantage of the sale and start your Christmas shopping early