Sunday, November 16, 2014

Slowly getting back to clay-maybe- time will tell

OH geez
It's actually been years since I've been here and million miles.
I'd like to start blogging again, this time more as a personal artistic journal than a networking tool as this blog has been for me in the past.... but who knows I could learn to appreciate feedback again.  I can't imagine that now, but maybe.

I'm reminded of something that my friend Ginny told me while I was going through my divorce.. She said that it would be like a tornado. It would spin me around and around and when it cleared, that I would look around and be in another place.

I feel very much like I'm in another place. I am literally. So many other things have happened in the years since I've been here too.

On the place topic. I moved away and back again, just landing in the house next door to the house I own with my ex-husband. It's kinda weird, but it's the best thing. I did pick out this neighborhood and establish a network of friends for my kids here. The universe handed me a giant old house with giant old drafty windows and bats in the attic and a big yard full of mature fruit trees. That was a year ago next week. It's the farm that I was looking for, just placed in a small sidewalked town instead of the big sprawling farm that had run through my mind all the time scaring the crap out of single-working my ass off momma me. To me, this house is huge....but it's mine to care for and I hope that I do a good job.

Once I left my old life, crazy things happened. I moved the kids in with my mom and stepfather.  My stepfather died a traumatic death. The ways of dying in this state, country, society are traumatic to me and they were to my stepfather. I totally understand his reasoning and I'll go out the same way one day... That is unless the medical system changes by then.

Then a little over 2 months later, work burned down.  My brother's business that I help run... burned up-- like completely burned up.  I spent hurricane Sandy in a burnt out soggy wet, charred, building waiting on insurance inspectors. Those first weeks were so hard, I was so exhausted and had been breathing so many nasty fumes and sat so cold and wet in that nasty building that I passed out more than once.... it was probably just 2 or 3 occasions, but man... I would just find myself slammed down on the ground and crawling around, tunnel vision, just pushing to get up, saying I'm fine to fall over again.  I cried, telling myself and Greg that I didn't know how to build a factory, I didn't know how to deal with insurance claims and demo and loss of income reports and buy equipment and employees-- what the hell were we going to do? They said that the refrigerator was faulty.. someone's hand me down, shop fridge that we had. It worked at lunchtime. That was 2 years ago last month.

Upon their father's death, my step sister's decided to come into the family. They had really decided to not take part in our lives for years prior.  My one sister moved into the house with Mom, the girls and I. It was really hard for all of us. I'm trying to heal from it.

I've spent the last 3 years getting to know a wonderful man named Greg. I don't know how I was so lucky to cross paths with him, but I now hear that OK Cupid was playing with the data and messing with people's minds. Anyway- somehow it's working out for us.

So the last years have been really educational for me.  Things aren't as important anymore. I worry about my kids and my momma and my brother.

I don't know that life is easy enough to mush around in the clay yet, but I think that I would like to try to relearn it.  It should be pretty clumsy.  I can't even remember my kiln firing schedules that I thought so important to making things look just the way that I liked.  I'm sure my glazes are trash and I'm going to have to dig out my kiln from a garage full of mine and my sister's households worth of moving boxes.  But whatever... Greg was recently trying to remind me that I like making things....not just making factories and functional things..... saying things like" you can't see the look on your face while you are working on the wheel"
I've been saying that I don't miss it. I don't like the selling and I think of the Lorax as I bring more "stuff" into the world.  I actually had refused to sell things for quite a while... I would only give things away to those who seemed to really enjoy them.

So-This is a letter to you, Kristie, to look back on- journal entry 1 after a 2.5 year or so break. I wonder how you will feel about this blog, or sharing art a year from now.  Time will tell.
 

Saturday, June 23, 2012

The Bohemian-Inspired Jewelry Blog Celebration

Welcome to the Bohemian-Inspired Jewelry Blog Celebration!
I was so excited when Jaime Guthals from Interweave contacted me and asked me to participate in the book launch party! 
I first met Erin Siegel online through the Beads of Clay group and was really excited when she put out a call to the group for art beads for the new book.
My book arrived and I paged through it right away. It is a beautiful book to look at.
My favorite parts are:
 The Guide to Ribbons and Cord
Cord and Ribbon Specialty Findings
 and 
Tools for Ribbon Leather and Cord 
For me, using lots of fabric and fibers in jewelry leads me to want better ways to finish ends, keep things from becoming unraveled, stretched out etc... These are the sections I will go to for tips on making strong connections with the fibers in my jewelry and keep those fibers looking good.
Last weekend when I was headed to participate in my local potter's exchange's group booth at the Stahl's Pottery Festival, I threw my copy of the book in my day bag.
I went to show the book to my friend Vanessa.... just to find out that Erin used Vanessa's bead in one of the projects!  How cool is that?  Very cool, I tell ya! Small world, Ya know!

The project is called, "Suede Spirals" and in the project Erin encircles agate rounds with strips of suede lace. 
So.... Did I try anything from the book?
Why yes I did...
This necklace was inspired by the "Pearly Yours" necklace by Lorelei Eurto. In Lorelei's necklace, she weaves silk ribbon through a cable chain. My chain had links of different sizes, and I wove two strands of silk cording through it.  The pendant is one that I made from ceramic clay and recycled stained glass.  The colors suit me....

It turns out that there are a ton of bloggers participating in the the blog celebration this weekend-- Check them out!---
Here is the link to the list of participating bloggers- http://www.beadingdaily.com/blogs/daily/archive/2012/06/22/polyvore-challenge-and-bohemian-inspired-jewelry-blog-celebration-weekend.aspx

Also, here are a few links to the book at InterweaveStore.com for the book. And it’s on sale right now – both the print and eBook!
print edition on sale for $13.77
ebook on sale for $10.77 and available for immediate download.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Bead Soup!


Welcome to the Artisan Clay Blog!  This is the online photo journal of the creative happenings of Kristie Roeder aka Artisan Clay. Thanks for stopping by for Bead Soup Blog Party!  I cannot believe how much this blog hop has grown from the first round that I participated in!
Rock on, Lori with your mad organizational skills! AND your Book!  Whoot!  Go Girl!

My partner for the Bead Soup is Lea Avroch.  She has a very successful etsy shop www.LAJewelryDesigns.etsy.com and websites and her blog is http://www.lajewelrydesign.blogspot.com/ and AND.... Get this.... Her work is on the cover of the current issue of Bead Trends Magazine... Ooooh!  That's so FANCY!  She's so rockstar!  I love it!

Lea sent me a beautiful lampwork glass focal and matching lampwork beads -- That she made---
also copper spacer beads and a copper clasp, and bright pink pearls....

I really love Lea's Beads that she sent me, and what a challenge!  I am not usually a pink kind of girl. I have adopted purple into my life over the past couple of years.... but I let the pink stump me for a while. Also I don't usually use copper findings. I know everybody is doing it, but I tend to be stubborn and if I get the idea that everybody does something, well.... I just don't.... So... I don't have a lot of copper to choose from..  Challenge is the name of the game, and I felt it.  This is good.

I really wanted to make something that I will personally wear.  I am a pretty simple person when it comes to my jewelry.  I like a bold focal and the rest of the piece to make it all function.
I really loved the matching lampwork beads and I tried to work them into the design, but it just didn't work for me so I took them out.  I think I will end up making a pair of earrings with them in the future.
The charm at the bottom is one that I made. Ceramic and purple recycled glass...
So!  Here it is!  My special creation.  A little of this.... A little of that.... and I think I will wear this with a nice tan this summer...

Please stop by as many blogs on the blog hop as you can.... and thank you for stopping by!
I will be giving away a $25 gift certificate for my etsy shop to one lucky commenter. I will give you one week to comment, because I know this is a really big party and really hard find the time to stop by all the blogs.

So--- here goes nothing!  I hope the linky tool does it's thing the same way that the link tool that I usually use does.  It should show up below as the party officially begins after midnight!



Thursday, February 23, 2012

February Artisan Clay Design Team Reveal!

Can you feel the spring coming?  I can feel it on my skin and in the light and in the mud. The kids and I visited my Dad and family in Kansas City last weekend.  The travel is on.  I catch it every spring.

My birthday was last week. I usually make a point to have a February picnic and announce the ending of winter and pronounce it officially spring.  Some years I have found myself at a frozen lake, clearing snow from picnic tables and allowing the strengthening sun to warm the bits of my face that peek out between my hood and scarf.  This year, winter never seemed to come.  I usually enjoy a few "snow ins" with my work.... I was looking for it.  I suppose we did get a few "flood ins" in the late summer and early fall though... I enjoy the times that mother nature holds me in from my wondering.  I need it sometimes. Left on my own, I think I could blow anywhere the wind will take me.... following the breeze and the season...

The past year has been a crazy ride.  Many of you have told me how happy you find me. I have been happy.  I seem to be on some kind of high, and I hope to not fall too hard when I come down.  I have found myself wondering how I could possibly be so lucky.  Job, family, friends, support, challenge, comfort... I feel like I have it all. Sometimes I don't want to believe it and I arm myself for the fall... but it hasn't come yet.  I choose my reality. ?Right?  I choose happy.  I want to remember to keep choosing happy.....I seems "unhappy" got more beads made :-)  But the priority had to be mine and my children's mental health, so bead business slacker, happy Kristie, happy babies, it has been.

Having recently separated from my husband, (I don't think I have said those words here before-I know my husband reads the blog as well as members of his family) my family was been amazing at showing me love on my birthday this year. My brother made sure that I had company to go out dancing on the weekend and then took me and the kids, my parents and his girlfriend and her son out to Hibachi Show. The kids love that place.... their laughs warmed me so much...the egg tricks and the onion mountain get them rolling every time.... I felt so warm throughout the whole weekend.

Enough with my annual, birthday, life flashing before me, post.(which historically has had it's very own entry--did I mention the slacking?)..
it's design team day..... 
The picture above shows my necklace project. As soon as I went to photograph it, I realized that it matched one of the new dresses I picked up for myself for my birthday... I am pushing summer along and a $20 bill got me a few new sundresses at the Salvation Amy... I will wear them with cardigans and tights until the temperature in my super heated office allows me to wear dresses everyday.

Here is the necklace long.  I intended to make a long necklace, one to play with....dangle in my hands when I talk and swing from side to side....don't you play with your jewelry?  Isn't that the point of wearing it?.... anyway, most of the jewelry I make these days is for myself and I tend to wear really short @15"necklaces... so I made this one so that I can pinch it short close to my neck or wear it long.  I am always doing that... making things with dual purpose....
The frosted glass ring is from Glass Garden Beads and I picked it up at Bead Fest Philly last August.  I really love them!  I have a few more and I can't get enough.  I love how they are glass colored, bright candy colors yet frosted and slightly mis-shapen which to me takes the manufactured edge off and gives me a more natural feeling.  I love how the colors and the circle shapes work with the glass fused beads that I make.

I used a jumbo chain link, a flower cap and a upwards flying bird to make a simple and playful piece.  Every part moves and I can turn the glass ring around the chain link and admire the bird and the flower as I wear it....
I forgot to take a picture of the charm sets before I sent them out to the design team, but here are some examples of charm sets made into simple earrings.  I really love the versatility of the two sizes of charms that I make. 

I am only 4 sales away from my 800th etsy sale... wow!  I am always shocked at the awesomeness of ----->  YOU!  my wonderful customers and friends... How do we do this?  I love it.  I make the things, you like the things, I mail them to you, I make more.  It's a great deal.  I certainly can't stop making them, and I am so glad that you like them and take them and love them.... So  THANK YOU!  yet again for another 100 sales and as always, whomever purchases the item that makes my little counter hit the even 100, will get a super special surprise of my choice in the mail... and those of you who have received super special surprises from me in the past, know that it could be nearly anything... but typically something I have made myself.

I am participating in the Bead Soup Blog Hop..next week?  so stop back for that!

And now----- Drum roll please!!!!
Follow the links below to check out what the design team has made with their challenge beads!






Friday, February 3, 2012

SALE First Friday Art Walk

Hey Guys!  This month I am participating in the First Friday Art Walk in my etsy shop.  Coupon Code BOCFFAW gets you 10% off your purchase at www.artisanclay.etsy.com I added this new pendant to the shop this week.
As well as this one....

Friday, January 27, 2012

January Artisan Clay Design Team Reveal!

Today is the day where the Artisan Clay Design team reveals what they have made with the mystery beads which I have sent them!

I can't wait to see what everyone has made.  I sent each designer a different kind of bead, so we should be treated to some very different styles of jewelry.

I took the day off from work today to have an Artisan Clay/Mental Health day and I am really excited about that.... The kids are headed to school in an hour and then I get to be alone.... well not entirely alone, because I live with other people, but more alone than I've been in a long time.

The big plan is
1) kids to school
2) find the sun on this rainy day and get my design team projects photographed and posted.
3) pick up my jewelry and pottery from a store that will no longer be selling it
4) go to a wholesale button appointment
5) find a better shop to sell my jewelry while still visiting the same town

So---- I will blog again once I get good photos of my project, but for the meantime, please visit the design team's blogs and see what they have created.

----UPDATE time--
I looked everywhere for my tripod and I have decided myself an expert tidy-upper... because it is so tucked away in such a perfect spot that it has made itself invisible to me.
So-- here is what I made this month.
It's not a new design for me, but it is new work and I really needed to break back in with some production type making time.... and I have been itching to get out and contact new stores to carry my work and this is what I want someone to carry. 
These necklaces are so fun to wear and I have made quite a few for friends/customers in the past few years.... and they have been loved, really really loved.  It is just a really simple natural style that suits my breezy spirit and seems to suit quite a few other natural breezy spirits too.

Now I'm off into the world-- new necklaces and buttons in hand and adventuring into the shopping district.  Wish me luck!

Don't forget to check out everyone in the design team's blogs.
This month Staci is auctioning off her necklace to help out a friend who is going through a tough time.  SO!  Check it out!
Thanks for coming!




Monday, January 9, 2012

It's Back!!! Artisan Clay Design team.....The beads

Happy New Year!
I hope 2011 was good to you!   Here's to an even better 2012!
These little treats are being mailed out to the Artisan Clay Design team today.....  no one knows which piece they are getting.... and I still didn't pick one for myself.

Stop back on the last Friday of the month to see what everyone comes up with!