Saturday, March 31, 2007

Pencil Me In

I was browsing Etsy the other night. You know, curiosity. I wanted to know what else was out there. Okay, I was also looking at the competition.

I came across an artist whose work is truly unique. It was awesome, both well conceived and well crafted. Find her work at Jennifer Maestre Pencil Pins Yes, it says pencil pins. She works with pencils. She has some pendants, artist trading cards, urchins (you just have to go look), etc.

I cannot find the words to express how taken I was with her work. I was moved to write this review. I put her on my favorites list.

She gives the address for her website in the Shop Announcements Section of her Etsy Shop. Apparently she is also an accomplished sculptor.

If you have not yet gone to have a look by the time you read this, I'm telling you, it is worth it. Go ahead. Go look.

Now I really gotta get back to beading. I think I will work on some keychains. I have the beads picked out...Oh. Yeah. Bye for now.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Scarlet Says...

...She was not gone, She was only thinking. She claims that she has been thinking about some beads I recently received in trade. They are flat teardrop with side drilled holes. Well, I had the idea to put them into a "Fans" motif. I had stalled out, but maybe Scarlet is right. I went back to it and it really flowed. I ended up with an adjustable choker in shades of green, cream, and silver. I have not yet had a chance to photograph it, so look for it in the coming week.

I have also had success on photographing, and writing the instructions for "Basic Knots", and "Spirals Anklet". I'm only about a third of the way thru actually typing, etc; but I now know how it will be structured. I have decided I want modules like "Basic Knots", and projects like "Spirals" along with chapters about materials, knots, design elements, etc. That way, I can publish some info for free (like previously written article on materials), and sell certain chapters, and projects with and without kits. This vague vision is coming into focus.

I have decided that I want my website "KnotGypsy Designs" to be a showcase site (see link in "My Other Sites" to the left). Home page will have new collections, etc. Subsequent pages will be devoted to a particular design motif, with descriptions, inspiration, photos, etc. I'll decide further once I have this much accomplished.

I will keep "My Etsy Shop" for sales (see link in "My Other Sites" to the left).

So many ideas, so little time. I need to make time for beading, too. My beads get lonely when I cannot play with them. I think I hear them calling...

Friday, March 23, 2007

Has Anyone Seen Scarlet?

My muse is in hiding. Have you seen her? She's a large red dragon. She is supposed to be here to inspire me.

Oh well, dragons do what they want, regardless of our wishes. I have been trying the usual tricks of playing with my beads in an effort to tempt her out. No answer.

I have also been busy with catching up on housework and paperwork. What else can you do when you have no muse to inspire you?

Also this past week, (or was it a little more than a week ago?) Anyway, I took one set of "Star Attraction" Necklace and Earrings and some other new jewelry to my favorite coffee shop here in Seguin, TX - Chiro Java. They allow me to put jewelry on consignment there. So I took this new stuff, and rotated stock. I pulled some jewelry not previously seen here on the internet. I've already listed some of those pieces in My Etsy Shop. (See link in "Related Links"). I will soon be listing some more. Bracelet (first photo - top right) is "Criss Cross Bracelet in Red and White". I also listed one in gray and red with earrings. Sorry, the Choker and Earrings to match red and white bracelet , sold at Chiro Java.

I also listed this "Lattice Bracelet in Blue" (second photo - right), and the matching Earrings. In addition, I listed a "Lattice Bracelet in Red".

And I worked some on the instructions for a "Spirals Anklet". I even got a version finished. Learned some more about digital photography of jewelry, too. Learned some about creating a document in pdf format with images inserted. Tried several different things, you know, experimenting. I think I know how I want to do it now.

What I want to accomplish is a project in wordpad format with accompanying photos for Step by Step Beads Magazine (link in "Related Links"). And I want a chapter with this project in pdf format for my e-book.

My initial efforts resulted in a synthesized version. But I learned a lot. (I mentioned that didn't I?)

So I went out and bought a copy of Step by Step Beads. It has some really nice projects...Wait, I bought it to study how others put projects together. Stay focused KnotGypsy.

Or is Scarlet hiding in the magazine. Maybe I better go check...Ummm...bye for now...gotta find Scarlet...

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Ramble

Today, I don't quite know what I want to write about. So I will ramble.

The cats remain as spoiled as ever. I managed to get photos of Taffemia, Puffy, and Rorshack.

That's Rorshack in the first photo. So named when he and his brother were both black and white; his brother had distinctive round spots, Rorshack looked more like an inkblot. We named his brother Spotticus Rex. (Sadly, Spot is no longer with us. He just disappeared. I hope someone found him and is giving him a good home.) When we thought of inkblots, I thought of the Rorschack inkblot psychological test. So I named him Rorshack because he is a psych test. Very strange cat. He has rules about getting petted. He must be on my lap in a certain position, then I am allowed to pet him.

Then there is Puff the Magicat. Pouffie for short. She is huge. I say she is fat, but my partner insists she is just a little round with muscle. She can move, though! I've seen her pluck a bird out of the air. She eats them, too. I get to sweep up the feathers. I keep telling her to keep her birds out of the house, but she won't listen. A cat's work is never done!

Last, but not least by far is Taffemia. I got the name from a Rudyard Kipling story. It supposedly means "small person with bad manners who should get spanked, but probably won't because she is so cute". It seemed appropriate. We call her Taffy for short. Taffy was a rescue.

She is probably the most intelligent cat I have ever known. When she was only about 3 months old, I decided to teach her "cat fishing". Cat fishing is a game that the cats and I made up. I use a long stick with string attached to the end. I have several cats and they all get in a circle around me. They take turns as I move the string around in each cat's space. When I move on to the next cat, the others wait for their turn to come around again. Well, when I first played with Taffy, we had Cleo (now deceased) to play with us. I gave Cleo a turn and then gave Taffy a turn. When I moved back to Cleo, Taffy (of course) tried to follow the string. I said "No, it is Cleo's turn", and pointed to Taffy's spot, saying "There's your spot". She got back in her spot! I said to Cleo "We need to reward her so she gets another turn". So I gave Taffy another turn. Then one to Cleo. Taffy only tried to jump turns 1 more time, before she had the game down! The next day, I thought perhaps that was a fluke. So I took them outside and we played again. Only once did Taffy start to jump turns, and she corrected herself!

She has become reclusive and shy as she got older, about 11 years old now. She has a lovely trill in her purr, and still loves scritches.

Oh! I have some news. I've been asked to contribute a project to Step by Step Beads. I'm so excited. So if I do a good enough job, I may get published next year. Probably Summer 2008.

I had already begun working on instructions to "Spirals Bracelet", as part of an e-book I am writing. So I have a head start. Although I have been making jewelry for near to 10 years, I have never drawn up any instructions, nor made any kind of pattern; just occasional sketches for my own notes. Part of the challenge has been to get good photos of the steps, and learning how to insert them where I want them into the text. Google "Docs and Spreadsheets" is great. I can save my work as pdf, rich text document, and several other formats. I recommend it to anyone.

I've also been taking a bit of a break to step back and regroup. So much has been going on; so many ideas. My mind has been spinning. Last couple of days, I've been a little under the weather. Nothing serious, just low energy. Then yesterday, we had a bunch of thunderstorms down here in south central Texas. I don't trust my computer to a Texas thunderstorm even with a UPS (with surge protection). So the computer was unplugged all day yesterday. Talk about withdrawals! As bad as it was for me, I fear it was far worse for my "other half". He is severely addicted to the internet.

So until next time, KnotGypsy signing off.

Friday, March 9, 2007

Star Attraction

Last week, squeezed in between all my other activities, I managed to actually get some beading done! I received a copy of Joan Babcock's book "Micro Macrame Jewelry" from a friend. As I browsed it, I found some tips that were inspiring. So I took this inspiration, combined it with some aspects of another of my designs (Nouveau), and worked in some bugle beads. Star Attraction is what I came up with. I hope you like it.

I have begun listing the pieces in My Etsy Shop, starting with the Necklace and Earrings in Purple and Gold. Later, I will list the blue set, the wine and cream set, and when I finish them, the orange set. Later, because I do have other chores to do as well. You know, mundane things like cook dinner, feed the cats, etc.

This is a short blog entry tonight, as I don't have much time to put to it. But I promise to write more in a few days.

Signing off for now,
"KnotGypsy"

Monday, March 5, 2007

Just a few lines to let you know what I'm working on...

I recently obtained my own domain, and signed up for my own website. It is still under construction, but you can view it at KnotGypsy Designs

Comments would be helpful. Positive comments and constructive criticism are all welcome.

No, I have not forgotten that I need to get the "Materials" photos redone and inserted. Hopefully today or tomorrow.

So until then, hoping your days are bright.

"KnotGypsy" signing off.
Copyright 2007 Donna Littlewood