Sunday, February 23, 2014

How do you Organize the Madness

Firstly, I do not profess to be an expert on organization by any means.  Anything I have come up with is by sheer necessity.  

It is overwhelming and daunting to say the least, when you studio looks like this, and every single one of those beads each gets a special paint treatment and sealer in 5-8 layers.  Each layer needing to dry completely before the next is applied.

View of the studio before starting the varnishing of each hand....with a paint brush......

I literally have trays stacked everywhere.  And once I get to the varnish phase, they get divided into three categories depending on the finish I want for them.  Gloss, Satin, or Matte.  

And since each bead gets painted one side at a time, and each side gets three coats, there is just no way I can track it.

I use bead trays while I paint, because I can stack them in such a way, that they still dry. I take out the pads, so nothing sticks if it is tacky or drips.  
I wouldn't have enough surface area to lay these out flat otherwise.  It's actually kinda  a fun thought that if I laid all these beads out flat they would cover my studio.  WHAT FUN!

So I invented this system to keep track of what has gotten what.

(marvel at the genius of

I just write little notes when I am done each one, to know what has been painted while it dries and I move on to the next varnish.

This process is tedious, but I won't cut back on how many coats of varnish I do.  I want your beads to last you a lifetime, so they get at least three coats of varnish every time.

I am almost done varnishing.  Now I need to move onto the metal!  Time for some liver of sulfur baths and polishing and sealing of them.

Do you make beads?  Do you have some sort of system that helps you remember where you where when you have to leave the studio or move onto another project?

For those of you interested: for sealing my polymer I personally prefer painting on my varnish.  (PYM II works very well too, but it is aerosol, and i just don't find it very convenient) I have tried many many many things, and I keep coming back to just a water based acrylic varnish like Liquitex, and Diamond Varathane- water based also.  These will not break down the clay over time and become tacky, and they seal extremely well.  I follow the instructions and do 3-4 thin coats, allowing the maximum drying time in between them for last durability. 

Remember if you are in PA, in the Reading area, to stop by next weekend for the Berks Bead Bazaar.  The best little bead show around- especially if you love Art Beads!!! 

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Painting the Beads

I am finally painting the beads.

I have these done so far, and I separated them into trays depending on what kind of finish they get.

These will get a matte varnish

These will get a satin varnish

These are waiting to have the crackle technique done to them, then they will be a gloss finish

Here is a little before and after pic of the matte beads, before the antique layer and after.............

all pretty and bright

and antiqued!

I never get tired of that before and after !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So I will painting more tonight, I have a lot more to do.  More then what got done today.  then everything needs varnish.  I am trying not to think about how much I need to do, and just keep going!

1.5 weeks till Berks Bead Bazaar!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Rounding the Corner

When you make beads and components, no matter what medium they are, there is a lot of steps from start to finish.

I have been making beads for weeks, but have none ready to sell at my upcoming show.

As for my polymer, first I make, mold, shape, finish edges, and add dots and divets to all my pieces one by one, and then they get cured in the toaster oven.  But they are naked- and unpainted.

These all need to get painted yet.

I feel like a rounded a corner though, because the last of the polymer and metal clay have been made, and now I can start finishing things.

Yesterday I made the last two loads of metal clay and fired them, and then I got to start on the base of my doodle and scrimshaw beads.

Each of my polymer beads get at least 3 layers of paints, plus 2-4 coats of sealer.  that's a lot of drying time in between!!!!  so it feels good to know I may start on painting today with only 2 weeks to showtime.

I am also almost done carving my black beads, and I never get tired of this look.  they are some of my favorites

Then I have all this metal.  These need a copper backing cut out and textured and then get riveted to it.

All the metal is fired, tumbled and then I still need to antique it, and hand polish each piece, and then seal them with 1-2 coats of sealer.

This is the huge pile of bronze earrings I have to do

Another pile of bronze

Bronze waiting to be cleaned and tumbled

copper clay that is done (I still have a batch tumbling now too)

So today I may begin painting, which will ease some anxieties.  
 So I feel I have rounded that corner, and am on the road to completed beads.  

Now lets all pray for NO SNOW the weekend of the Berks Bead Bazaar March 1st & 2nd!  

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Guess Who?

Guess who got a mention on Beading Daily?  Yep, that's right, me !!!

Very exciting!!

It's about hearts and such....

I just had to share!!!!

now I am off to make more beads.  I finally have the house to myself and plan to get a lot done!  All sickies are finally back to school, and we have a snowstorm and long weekend off for the kids ahead of us, so today I need to bust it out!!!!  No more alone time for at least 5 days.

wish me luck.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Snow, Sale, Sickness and Beads

So far this week we have had a snow storm, and ice storm, and now, I have a sick little girl home.  'Tis the season I suppose.

isn't she adorable?

So, my sale is still going on, use code snowday15 in either shop to save 15% off your purchase 

I have been working really hard on beads for the upcoming Berks Bead Bazaar the first weekend of March in Reading PA.

the post card this year featured my beads !!!!  

I have apparently been making lots of donut shapes- so, I hope everyone wants donuts.  nothing is painted yet, and I still need to make metal clay components.  wish me luck.

I did finally get to make some connectors and such.  I hope to finish up polymer today / tonight and move into metal.  Then painting.  Feeling the crunch.

Also going on, Boot Camp for Feb /March over at Love my Art Jewelry is all about Asymmetry in Design.  We already have some great posts going on, so check it out - you can find the info each Monday on the blog- with links to any other boot camp posts from the previous week.

Oh- and did I mention that there was a lovely feature on my blog in Beads and Beyond February.  It made me blush!  

AND Bead Design Studio featured some of my beads in the Bead Art Section this February, 

as well as this great Make Money Now article featuring my Zen Doodle beads.....and my studio floor- which I am still soooo in love with.  I am so happy everyone likes it so much, and it was great to see it in a magzine!  The best part is, you can check that article out right on the website. 

So, wish me luck, I also have 4 magazine submissions to write, and some special things to make because I want to enter Bead Dreams this year, oh yeah, and taxes.  I have to enter all my receipts......from the whole year....... (all before Berks).   

So if my posts are random, full of this and that, or not frequent, this is why.  Bead brain is in full effect.  Now please pass the coffee :)

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Surprise Sale

DUE TO INCLEMENT WEATHER....I am having a sale! 

We have had snow, snow, more snow, and now ice.  I am feeling cooped up, and thought perhaps a sale would cheer things up around here!

 Use code snowday15 to save 15% in my shop! 

 Sale does not apply to the polymer tutorial. Please let me know if you want to purchase that during the sale, I will have to make you a special listing. thanks!

I am also running the sale in my jewelry shop  same code, same discount, AND I added new jewelry too!

Sale will run until this weekend- when we are supposed to get, you guessed it, MORE SNOW.  So, through Sunday night February 9th.

Lots of bright new hearts and such in stock similar to the one below!

How's the weather in your neck of the woods?