Artist In Residence, Old Church Gallery

Artist In Residence, Old Church Gallery

I don’t know why being called an artist always surprises me, or makes me feel all funny inside.  Does it sound pretentious?  Is it wishful thinking?  I don’t know exactly, but it still gives me a thrill and yet makes me feel like a phony at the same time! 

This past weekend my good friend Karen and I were the Artists in Residence for The Old Church Gallery in Cedar River, Michigan.  We brought our respective work and spent the day there, meeting the customers and having a ball together.  Karen Brabender and I have been friends since grade school, and we are each other’s inspiration for artwork in a lot of ways.  Karen does gorgeous mosaic glass paintings under the business name Re-Creations Mosaics.  She takes a lot of old windows and does mosaic work on the glass.  Anyway, the day was a great success and they have already asked us to do it again next year, and they are going to be having a lot more artists come in also.  People seemed really excited to see us working on our things right in front of them. 

I love the contact with people – I have always been very outgoing and I love to socialize, so these kinds of events are something I really enjoy.  I hadn’t had enough beading time lately, so it was nice to get back to designing and creating jewelry.  I have been so busy with other things that I have been neglecting my creative side – my internal artist – and that has to change.  That artist inside is important and I need to let her out to play more.

 

Cedar River Gallery with sign

Cedar River Gallery with sign

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The Mother Bead

June 11, 2008

The Mother Bead

One of my favorite bead stores of all time is The Mother Bead in Green Bay, Wisconsin.  When I first began beading and I had no idea what I was doing, I would spend hours prowling around the small yet overwhelming shop, looking for beads to strike my fancy.  I would buy a couple here, a couple there, and then I never seemed to have enough to finish a project I started.  Thus ushered in the times of excess – buying tons of everything “just in case.”  Now I am a much more disciplined shopper. 

If you believe that I have some swampland to sell you!

I can never go into The Mother Bead without seeing it all – no quick stops in this store for me!  They have also recently expanded the shop to hold even more beads and supplies (yea!) and they also have more room to offer classes.  The staff are all passionate about beads and jewelry, and the atmosphere is contagious.  And don’t you just love the photo?  To me it captures all the excitement and passion of beading.

The Mother Bead has a sister store in Ephraim, Wisconsin called The Bead Bucket.  This shop is set in gorgeous Door County, and I have visited that store as well when I am over in Door County for classes or events at The Peninsula Art School (www.peninsulaartschool.com).  Even though it’s small, it really has a terrific selection of beads…I fell in love with some antiqued czech beads there last summer, and they are still one of my favorite beads to work with.  I have had to stop in the Green Bay store several times to pick up more.

Check out their website sometime at  www.themotherbead.com.  I think you will be as impressed as I am.  Maybe I’ll even bump into you in one of the stores!

Crystal Kaleidescope

I absolutely love bead shopping.  I love to click around, filling my cart.  I discover a great price on the amethyst shape I love to work with…yea!  There’s a special on the wire I use…double yea!  I see the items multiplying, the discounts piling up. I only need 5 more items to reach the next discount plateau…then I’m at that point…does it get any better than this for a jewelry designer?!

Then comes check out.  Oh-oh, I can’t really afford this large of a bead order.  But just think of all the money I’m saving on quantity discounts!  And I know the sales will be high, so that justifies the cost, right?  Right.  And anyway, I’m doing all this marketing and my website is going up, so my demand will increase, so I’ll need more inventory.  And anyway, all these beads are so INSPIRING! 

With the click of a mouse the order is on it’s way.  A BEAD ORDER IS ON ITS WAY!  I love the anticipation, knowing it’s on its way to me.  I wait impaitiently until the day it arrives at my door.   Now comes the real fun…looking through all the fun stuff I ordered.  Oh, these are even better than I thought they’d be!  I can’t wait to make something with these.  Hmmm, these are smaller than I thought they’d be.  Oh, well, I’ll find something to make with them. 

Gee, I don’t have enough room in my trays…I’ll have to buy a couple more containers.  No problem.  With the shows coming up, and my website going up, and the marketing I’ve been doing the orders will be coming in and it’ll all be worth it…

This week I:

  •  found out my X lost his job…
  •  doesn’t have another one…
  •  moved back in with his parents (he’s 42)…
  •  doesn’t get unemployment, which means I don’t get child support
  •  started a new part-time job
  •  nursed my daughter through the flu.  She missed 5 days of school.
  •  took her to the doctor today because she broke out in hives all over her body
  •  made homemade chicken soup to hopefully help my daughter
  •  made it through the half-way point in my courses this semester…
  •  etc.
  •  etc.
  •  etc.

And now I’m tired.  I came home ready to put my feet up.  My daughter’s hives have subsided for now, so it was a frozen pizza supper and a second viewing of “Hairspray” at our house tonight.  Who can stay tired or stressed during that show?  We all felt better after an hour-and-a-half of singing along and toe-tapping.

Tomorrow I need to get going photographing some jewelry, and making new designs for Spring to bring to The Old Church Gallery in Cedar River, MI next weekend.  They are re-opening on May 1st, and I’m really excited for their second year in existence.  Last year, it was so fun to head up along the bay to visit the gallery and see all the stuff…mine included…

So tomorrow in-between the laundry loads and the shopping and the nursing and the cooking will come some creative time for jewelry creation and photographing.  My photos up to now have been more for inventory’s sake than for beauty. Hopefully I’ll have something better to show soon.  Now’s the time to learn to use that fancy digital camera I got my daughter for Christmas. 

Because tonight I felt my creative urges return somewhere during “Hairspray.”  I can’t wait to play among the beads tomorrow. 

 

         

 

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