Archive for October, 2009

Tonight I’m at a special Metal Night at my favorite bead shop. By knowing the right people, I managed to talk myself into a spot at the sold-out event while doing the anniversary bracelet on Sunday.

I have a vision for a special piece. I made a pattern (or at least the framework for a pattern) last night. I’ve been working on what size to make the actual piece, and have settled on a fairly significant 3-inch diameter.

At this point in the evening, I have drawn, cut and started to shape the two layers of the flower. It’s really nice to be able to make use of the vast selection of tools and bounce ideas off someone who has way more experience with this sort of thing than I do.

I can tell that I still have lots to do, but I am so happy with and proud of my progress to this point. It’s so nice to be able to say that I both designed and made this and to see it coming to life.


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As a rare treat, I was able to do two beading projects in two days. This evening I took a class at my favorite local shop creating a metal worked pendant. This creation was inspired by the designer’s neighbor’s Wisteria vine. It was a really fun piece made by crushing light-weight, 34-gauge copper into the blossoms

I really, really enjoyed this metal working technique. It was very organic and worked up nicely. I’m thrilled that I was able to complete the pendant during the class. I can’t think of another metal worked class where I’ve walked away with the finished piece. I have so many nearly completed projects. I’m not counting the fact that I still have to make it into a necklace

I was also very happy to discover that I already own nearly all the tools to make this piece again in the future. I am certain I will be incorporating this technique into other pieces.

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Anniversary Bracelet

This afternoon I was able to celebrate the anniversary of the opening of my favorite local bead shop. As is the annual tradition, we made a bracelet. This year, we had to learn a new technique, which was a fun change from just stringing.

The final product was a lot like the Chaos bracelet I learned how to make a couple weeks ago, but you use your hands instead of an electric screwdriver.

The hardest part was probably trying to figure out the colors. It’s totally fun to be figuring out your colors while shopping in the store instead of trying to dig through your stash at home. It almost makes me wish I had a bead shop at home. Almost. At least if someone else was paying. 😉

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A friend from church brought me this bracelet about a month ago and asked me if I could do something to improve it.

She didn’t love the silver spacers and it was a bit too big. I took it home and tried out a few things in my stash, but nothing really seemed to complement the gray tone of the white beads.

I was out bead shopping when I saw some pearls and realized the luster would complement the matte stones really nicely. I was leaning towards a fall pallet because she’s a red-head and likes the more olive tones.  At the time, I didn’t really see a color that seemed “just right”.

When I was at the bead bazaar last month, I saw a strand of mixed color pearls that was perfect. It took a couple of weeks to find the time to play with them, but I have come up with something I’m really happy with. I think that she’ll like it too.

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One of the things I hope to do on this blog is some book reviews. Right now, it’s just for me because I don’t expect much traffic to the site, but I hope that one day it’s helpful to other people as well.  I feel the need to mention that this is a book I borrowed from the library.  I don’t own it. I didn’t get it for free.  I’m not benefiting in any way by talking about it.

I shot my very first wedding last weekend.  I’ll share some pictures when I get up the courage to edit them.  It was for a friend of a friend. My friend knew that I love taking pictures, do it a lot, and have a pretty good camera. Her friend was getting married, was on a budget and needed a photographer.  And that’s where I came in.

I agreed to shoot the wedding to step waaaay outside of my comfort zone.  I shoot kids, my kids, in very casual settings. I’m happy with many of the pictures I take. I’m shockingly pleased by a few. I’m pretty much a point-and-shoot sort of gal. My friend assured me that this was a very laid back couple who would be thrilled to have wedding pictures. A photographer for their event was kind of an afterthought.

Anyway, after all the arrangements were made, I logged on to our local library and reserved about every photography book I could. I skimmed through most of them and Step-by-Step Wedding Photography by Damon Tucci was hands down the best reference I found. If it looked like I might photograph other weddings, I would purchase this book first.

The book starts with the very basics of shooting a wedding and progresses chronologically through the entire process from the initial consultation to the post-production.

But what I appreciated the most about this book is Damon Tucci’s approach. Unlike many of the other books I looked at, he travels light.  He seeks to get good lighting and settings by using what’s available instead of hauling a bunch of equipment.

This is a great approach for two reasons.  For me, I don’t have any equipment except for the camera, a couple basic lenses, tripod (which I borrowed) and speedlight.  It’s not an ideal scenario, but he works with it.

I also think the light approach is more realistic for today’s couples. There is a desire for more and more shots in different settings, and if you have to set up equipment for each location, then you lose a lot of the spontaneity and a lot of time, which is a precious commodity on the day of the wedding.

I highly recommend this book. It was a great resource for me as a beginning photographer, but I also think that experienced photogs just getting into the business of wedding photography would find vast amounts of valuable information.

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