Monday, March 29, 2010

Paint...paint...PAINT! Another room gets a makeover.

Hi All:

It's a new week and I'm heading into my busiest time of year, with the exception of Christmas.  Lots and lots and LOTS of Spring shows over the next month to prep for.

But I'll go into that with next week's blog post, as I am awaiting a HUGE supply order before I settle into a non-stop production situation.

My accomplishment over the past week has been to finish painting another room.  Since I finished my office, covering up that hideous mustard yellow, I moved onto my living room which was originally a hideous caca brown.  All the beautiful original Craftsman woodwork in my house was covered up by this ridiculous color.  Plus, it made the room so dark and dreary it was like a cave all winter.  Even in the middle of the afternoon on a sunny day, the room was dark.

So anyway, I chose this gorgeous warm peachy tan instead with an accent color of a deep military grey blue.  Originally, I had planned to primer over the caca brown with a white primer, but decided to try a test first:  one over the caca brown directly, and one over the primer.  The new color was even prettier over the caca brown, so I painted directly over the old color without primering.

The painting gods are probably rolling over in their graves, but oh well, go with the flow.

So after 3 days of painting...around so much wood work, I was FINISHED.  And instantly the room is lighter, and HELLO looks much bigger, which is always a good thing.  Goodbye cave!

Decided to do a quasi-mural over the fireplace, because the new accent color is dark and didn't want to cover up my huge brick fireplace like the last owners did.  So created a Frank Lloyd Wright-esque pattern using just painter's tape and a trim roller.

So here are pictures -

Look...caca brown.  The next one is even worse. drab....


OMG!  Look at all that gorgeous hardwood!

And look!  Sunshine...not being sucked into the walls.

Mural over the fireplace.

And this is the next project...although with my show schedule, is going to have to wait until May-ish.

Ah yes...puke pea green walls...and ceiling.  I need a 5 gallon bucket of primer.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Antique Malls are a BAD influence...and so am I!!

Hi All:

It's Photography Tuesday!  And I have the best photographer ever...and I'm not just saying that because she reads this.  (Hi Rachel!)  So the lovely Rachel came over and caught me up on all the new designs, now I just have to work my fingers to the bone to get them all onto my various websites.

I need a nap.

Just kidding.  So anyway...she came over and took pictures and it was a rousing good time as always, quick stop for yummy Greek food and then a cruise by downtown.  And since we were down there, we HAD to stop by my favorite antique mall, Second Chances, which is at the corner of 13th and Howard in Omaha.  This place is like my grandma's house, her attic, and all the garage sales in the state CRAMMED into a store which is 2 stories and about 6000 sq feet of luscious vintage goodness.

Oi.  I get into so much trouble there.  The sheer amounts of neat vintage tidbits they have stuffed in every nook and cranny in this store is truly amazing.  And they have 3 cats that live in the store.  So you're randomly looking through stuff and you get some random cat love.  Who could ask for anything more?  I mean really.

After spend...spend...spend...and exerting my bad influence on someone who should be my little sister...I mean really, if the universe loved me, Rachel would have been my little sister.  She'd have been awesome...unlike that spastic wonder of a brother I was stuck with.  I'm kidding...I love my brother...but as a teenager, he was a mess.  Not like Ms. Rachel who is gloriously sarcastic and has all kinds of snappy goodness to empart on this world.  Oh yeah.

So was off to enjoy an ice cream cone at Ted and Wally's(?), I am truly horrific with I think that's right.  Please correct me if it's not.  I had strawberry and cheescake....omg, love it. 

Made a quick and less costly stop at Cornerstone Beads to see if any new pretties had made it in.  got a handful of new stuff...but did not go apeshit in there this time.  A first for me.  Of course last time they'd been flush with new stock right after the Tucson Gem show.

Then we hauled our cookies over to the Orpheum Theater building to another antique shop that underwhelmed me to a point that I nearly bought these truly heinous bookends shaped like fairies just to prove I'd been there.  Fortunately, good sense and over-priced stickers talked me out of it.  90 bucks for faceted glass beads that are scratched and severly must be joking.

Then we strolled on back to the car and kamikazeed our way out of way streets are truly fascist people.  Described in great detail the first scenes of the movie, The Rocker, with Rainn Wilson and then was unsuccessful trying to find it on OnDemand, YouTube, ITunes, etc...which annoyed me because a week ago, it seemed like it was everywhere.

So anyway...called it a day and said goodbye to Rachel.  She's my helper on Saturday for the St. Wenceslaus Spring Bowtique in Millard, yay!  Ok, so that's it...back to painting the rest of my living room and listing some more new stuff, and editing pictures...

I need a nap again.

Leah :-)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

I've shopped and I've painted...and now I'm spent.

Hi all:

Well, this blog entry is, oddly enough, about slacking.  When my last show ended, I was supposed to take the next day off and then get back to work on new stock for my upcoming shows.  Didn't really happen that way best intentions went by the wayside in the face of sunny skies and warmer weather.

FINALLY, after months of snow and grey skies, dreary and cold, the last 3 days have been in the 50's with sunshine that I swear I'm trying to soak up in buckets.  There's been talk of snow this weekend...but I refuse to entertain that notion.  I'm ignoring it until it goes away...I may even boycott shoveling.

So anyway...back to being a slacker.  I took Monday off after I broke down for the show.  Tuesday, the lovely Rachel caught me up on all my new product from the last month and I went antique shopping again and found TONS of cool stuff to work with.  If I ever get my ass back to the design table this week.  At least I have all of next week to prep for my show on the 27th. nice, warm weather....I've been painting.  Painting my office...which was, as you saw in earlier blog , mustard yellow.  Eww.  I took the opportunity of painting and re-decorating my office.  The paint color is this beautiful soft slate blue that is so pretty and soothing, I want to swim in it.

Kept my furniture the same, just bought a new oak file cabinet since my desk matches my hardwood floors.  New lamp, organizational tidbits, etc in this pretty Art Deco print from Liberty of London which I have been trying to lay hands on for YEARS.  Found this cool rag rug in the kids department at Target of all places.

So anyway here are the before and after pics.  FEEDBACK please!  Can't wait to start on the rest of the first floor.


See, hideous mustard yellow.  Eww.


New file cabinet, am trying to find pulls for my desk to match.

Isn't this a pretty color?  Love it!  Piglet is inspecting the changes.

Piglet again...he apparently approves.  And my collection of Skelanimals.

Munchkin has already claimed the bench for his very own.  Will have a couch in here soon.

So that's it for now.  Plans to go back to the design table tomorrow.
Leah :-)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

No TGIF this week...

Hi All:

So it's the end of another week...well ok, almost the end of another week.  I am set up for the long weekend again - hopefully sales will be good 'cuz the weather sure isn't.

I have been the entire gambit of emotions this week over the weather...there was much rejoicing when my entire lawn was revealed for the first time in 3 months and then this morning it started snowing again.  Ick.  So tired of winter...can it be Spring already?

Worked my fingers to the bone the last couple weeks and have a ton of new stuff which I am currently plowing through as far as pictures and new listings for the websites...give me about the next 2 weeks to catch up.

Picked up a Bridal Show in late April which gives me at least 2 shows per month for the rest of the year pretty much...well with July off.  Have a travel agent gig that month so am cooling it with craft shows.  Woohoo, get to go to Keystone, Colorado for 2 weeks and watch grown adults kamikazee down the side of mountains on bikes.  And arrange for medivacs if necessary.

Changed my booth set-up, which was a month long project.  I'm loving the new set-up, super easy to change to any configuration which is handy for craft shows, never know what size booths are going to be available.  Here are some pics from the show I am currently at.

So that's it for this week. 
Leah :-)

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Wednesday Blog - an uninspired title, but still...

Hi All:

So here is this week's blog - which as it happens is about new designs as well as design theory.  What seems like a heavy handed subject - the theory of design - is actually just a few musings on how I design.

Some people sketch or draw their ideas and then go from I cannot draw, not for lack of trying, and sketching for me looks like spastic stick figures, those "some" people do not include me.

Some people work from photographs or design books, taking inspiration from architecture or nature, etc...and then translating that inspiration to their designs.  I guess I do this sometimes...

But mostly my designs start from a pile of supplies.  Gemstones, crystal, metal, chain, etc in a jumble on my design designs begin as a pile of color and texture and then evolves from there.  Perhaps begun with some antique brass chain from a vintage shop that I rescued from a very ugly necklace, and then a peruse through my large stones and pendants and other antique jewelry bits to find a focal point for the design which is forming in my mind.

From there, depending on the colors I am working with, I look for textures and colors to complement or match what I already have...then I begin my version of "draping"...basically a borrowed technique from my early days thinking I wanted to be a fashion designer.  Those days were very short lived as I realized that I hated to sew...passionately hated it, and I sucked at it too, so that was handy.  haha.

We all have our strengths, but sewing a straight seam is not one of mine.

So back to "draping" - I drape the jewelry piece with the raw materials the way I see it in my mind and then tweak as necessary for length and wearability.

All this without a single measurement or drawing....and while it seems like a very schitzophrenic way of designing jewelry, it has always worked for me.  It does keep me up some nights, when the compulsion along with an idea suddenly jumps into my head, at 3am while I am trying to catch a few winks.

But the point of this blog is really about both the theory and the practice.  I rambled about the theory and now here are pictures of the practice.  Some shots of some of the finished pieces I have made the past week or so.  Just a peek, until they are unveiled to the public at my show this weekend.

Happy Spring everyone - we're into March and the snow is slooooowly melting off my front yard.  Hopefully that means that 70 degree temps are not far behind.

Leah :-)