Posts Tagged ‘art beads’

I’ll be honest, financial challenges are for the birds. There is all sorts of stuff I need for the studio, we have a huge show coming up, and the extra money to prepare for it just isn’t there.

But here’s the thing.

It’s ok.


The situation is forcing me to work outside the box because I’ve had to work without the comfortable safety zone of certain supplies. In terms of creative growth, that’s not really such a bad thing at all. And sure, maybe a few weeks before a show isn’t when you want to be all “growth!” and “experiment!” because your brain is focused on “production!” and time can feel a little bit short, but… it is what is.

So I am finding that it’s quite simple, really. Do the best you can with what you’ve got.
If you haven’t got what you wanted, try to find something you can use to replace it. Make it yourself, or work around it.


Use your tools.

Use what you have.


Make do.

Make it work.

Make it up.

My grandfather was all about making stuff up with what he had. It isn’t like he wasn’t able to easily go out and buy the easy fix, but the store wasn’t where he mentally started.  He had a lot of fun figuring stuff out. If something was broken, he’d go down to the shop, putter for a bit, and come back with a little something he’d whipped up to do the job. Sometimes it was pretty – like when he carved Grandma a little wooden fish out of scrap wood, and put a hook on the end so she wouldn’t burn her hands on the toaster oven rack in the mornings. Sure, he could’ve gotten her something at the store. Or handed her a potholder. But the little wooden fish was way better. The wood was there, and he had two hands and the time so that’s what he did. My dad is the same way. He fixes stuff. He engineers clever solutions to life. Captain Sexypants is very much cast from the same mold.

Lucky me!


And then there’s me. If someone carves me a clever wooden fish, I’m thrilled to use it, but my first thought was probably to buy one. My most notable life hacks have been Spanx and refried beans. Imagine my chagrin when I remembered that both of those inventions were already available at Target. I keep trying, though.


I’ve been thinking to myself that this isn’t such a bad attitude to take towards life. Better late than never. Living in the mountains is making this whole transition to a new mindset a lot easier.  It can be a bit more challenging to develop those “make it work” chops when there is Thai takeaway just a phone call away. Living up here, I have to plan ahead and make my own damn curry.

So. In the studio. Making it work with what I’ve got.




So for the next few weeks, I’ll be in my studio. Making it work. Making do. Making it fantastic. If you need me, you can find me rooting through all the forgotten corners of my stash for things to play with while the cats shake their little pom poms and act encouragingly.




It’s a form of encouragement, anyway.

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Hopping on for the Art Jewelry Elements blog earring challenge here in weeks 3 and 4.

First up, these beauties were so much fun and came from components I had kicking around in my bowls on the bench. The fairy bells were from Gardanne Beads, wonderful little enamel copper goodies. And the raku glass bead caps were from Nadin Art Glass on Etsy. I love her brilliant glass! I paired them with bronze earwires, and a little bit of Czech glass for dangly contrast. The enamel headpins also came from Nadin’s shop on Etsy. I’m learning to make those… oh yes I am!



They were a lot of fun!

The next pair I made was inspired by a tutorial which I could have sworn was on the AJE blog but appears to have been somewhere else. I’ll have to find the link and link up to it later. Super fun and easy peasey project using lampworked glass headpins. The headpins I chose were both from Havana Beads, one of my favorite shops on Etsy. Raida always has great stuff.

These are her raku glass leaves. I paired them with some etched glass rounds from Klass Beads (also on Etsy) and fire polished Czech glass accents. They’re light, swingy and really fun to wear.


Another simple pair of headpin earrings, week 4 bonus – these were etched rounds from Havana Beads, which I paired up with turquoise and little Swarovski bicones. Fun! This is a fun project, like I said. It’s a great thing for beginners, there’s literally no way to mess these up. THe wraps are rough and loose and irregular on purpose! And you get a great, organic looking pair of earrings at the end.



All of these are in my Etsy shop, natch, or down at Crafted… though I’m seriously thinking that I might delist and keep the first set. I really love those fairy bells…

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I might have just opened an art bead shop at Crafted at the Port of Los Angeles.


And by “might have” I mean, we opened today even though about half our stock is either still being made or in transit. It’s kind of a work in progress…

We’ve got some great bead artists in the shop, including… Heather Powers/Humblebeads, Patricia Healey, Amy Mealey/Xaz Beads, Shirlee Yantz/Enchanted Chic, Elaine Robitaille/Too Aquarius, and Raida Disbrow/Havana Beads to start.

While the emphasis at Six Bad Cats Art Beads & Yarn is totally on the handmade and artisan quality supplies, we are offering a few things on the non-handmade side. We’re working up a fairly wide selection of affordable ceramic beads in every hue from Mykonos (these look GREAT in art jewelry!) and also a bunch of fun Czech glass accent beads for your creations. I’m a big fan of the more earthy hues in those, and that great picasso finish. We eventually also plan to sell waxed Irish linen in every color we can find, hand dyed sari ribbon, and other fun textiles to include in your beaded creations. This list is just going to keep expanding as I get more orders made and talk to more artists.


Eventually you’ll be able to find some fun and interesting gemstones, plus a nice selection of handmade earwires, headpins, closures and clasps in sterling, copper and bronze by ME. Those will be coming along shortly, not in stock yet.

Oh! Oh and, y’all… I hope you saw the “& Yarn” because… yes we are also going to be selling yarn!! My own handspun, some stuff from other spinners and some hand-dyed luxury yarns from my buddy Reesa at String Theory Fiber Arts. And whimsical yarn bowls in fun colors from a fabu potter. Look for yarn and other yarn related goodies to start popping up towards the end of February. Because I have not forgotten my roots. Oh no. Knitters, you are not forgotten. I have your back. No fear…

This is my studio assistant, ignoring temptation helping me count beads. She was helping, of course, by ignoring temptation.


Because you need good help to run a bead shop these days.

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Seriously, what a shindig!

First off, there was live music!

Seriously, freaking awesome sounds. Loves me some swing.

There were incredible artists and vendors of unbelievable goodies there. Old faces and new. First off, I fell in love with the wonderful art jewelry created by Lisa of Inspired Adornments. I’m not finding an online shop, so I feel extra lucky to have had time to peruse her booth. Her stuff is incredible, artfully crafted and completely whimsical. I also fell in LOVE with her booth design. Ya know when you meet someone and you think, “Oh, hey, Kindred SPirit!” that is sort of how I felt about Lisa and her work. Which I look forward to collecting and wearing.

The awesome sauce duo that makes up Reclamation Dept was on hand with their rockin’ bicycle booth and upcycled goodness.

And some old friends too! Rachel and Hearts of Stone was there, Delia with Phoenix Magyk, my lovely pal who designs Hephzi Creations was there, Kelly of PyxeeStyx was on hand with her collection of magical fairydust and fibery awesomeness, oh just oh so many folks. I really did not have time to get out and see them all and I certainly did not have time to get any pictures, alas!

While we’ve already booked our (endcap!) table for the Uptown holiday show (December 7th and 8th, so mark yer calendars, mah funk soul peeps) and also arranged to have the Fairy Tale collection available for sale at Whimsic Alley’s holiday show, that’s really IT for outside craft shows for the rest of 2012.

For now, it is on to CRAFTED. Booth design and build out, new pieces, new directions for Honey&Ollie. So excited about using the opportunity to have a brick and mortar of my very own and having the time to really delve into my core creative vision

Stay tuned for all the “in progress” CRAFTED info you could possibly want.

26 days until our Grand opening…

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