Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Bead Fest Texas, Arlington Free Pass! Oct 1st to 3rd, 2010


I am headed to Dallas/Arlington, Texas immediately after just returning back from the Softflex Hawaii show.  It was an excellent time in Oahu even though I did catch a cold and was bitten by mosquitoes going hiking in the late afternoon.

It's time to go to the South to visit all my beady friends. Even though it is a bit hectic having back to back shows, I just couldn't miss the first ever Bead Fest show in Texas after hoping that the show would eventually make it there for a few years.

So if you are in the area or already thinking of attending the show, come as my guest for FREE.

SAVE MONEY!! to spend at the show.

Show Location:

Arlington Convention Center
1200 Ballpark Way
Arlington, TX 76011

Bazaar Hours:

Friday October 1st: 10 AM - 6 PM
Saturday October 2nd: 10 AM - 6 PM
Sunday October 3rd: 11 AM - 5 PM

Admission at the door (cash only) or come FREE on ME!

1 day pass - $12
2 day pass - $14
3 day pass - $16

For more information visit Bead Fest or click this link to view the exhibitors list

You will find me at Booth #201, right when you enter the exhibit hall.  See above for the blue box that will mark your first stop.

I'll see everyone in Arlington, October 1st-3rd, 2010.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Writing for Bead Publications


There are many bloggers that are very good about writing almost daily...

Well this "blogger" is a real life working artist who has many shows and projects to prepare for.

Not that I don't enjoy writing here.

I do...

Sometimes words don't come out as easy as you may think.

You may think....

Hey, Lisa wrote a book.

Why can't she write more on this blog so I'll know what she is up to?

Well....

So today I was thinking a little about writing on the blog, my long list of "to do's" and coming up with a topic for an upcoming Softflex Company bead article I am to write.

Then...

I came across my article from 2009 and thought I'll buy some time (I mean ...I thought I would share it here with you all) my thoughts on getting published in bead magazines...

So it's not too quiet on this blog.

Here goes...

Enjoy the read and I promise I will write more on this blog later.

I have two shows coming up back to back (more details on this later) so guess what?

Yes, I'm going to the studio after I post this...because "I am buying some time..." :o)


**********
(previously written for and published by Softflex Company December 2009)


Writing for Bead Publications
Written by: Lisa Kan 
 
Do you have ideas to share with the bead community and want to see your designs in print? Perhaps it is the fear of the "R" word that keeps you from taking the first step or jumping that last hurdle. The "R" word, you ask is what we all fear and it is quite normal to have these feelings. It's "REJECTION" in capital letters. Capital letters because it strikes our egos and beats down our spirits. As it is said "when the going gets tough, the tough gets going". And to tell you the truth, rejection happens to all writers and designers, we just don't talk about it much. 

Rejection is GOOD for us because it makes us persevere and become better artists. There is always room for improvement. Challenges allow us to grow internally and externally. And there is always more to learn, to write, to design, to create, etc... as the journey is never ending, so never give up. Positive or negative critique, we should all aim to please the most important person, ourselves. So, I am here to cheer you on and give you some tips on how to submit your first article to a prospective bead magazine.

I submitted my first article in Fall 2005. Reflecting now as I write this article, I can't think of a better way to share with the beading community and creating a "voice" for my work than through writing. Since I don't have time to teach in a classroom setting, I have focused my efforts in the last four years to sharing my work and techniques through publication.

You must be willing to “let go” of your design when you submit and get accepted for publication. If you thought the hardest part was taking that first step? Letting go may be the second hardest in the submission journey. I encourage you forward as it’s amazing what can happen with just one article and how one can grow as a designer by letting go. I do warn you in advance that once your design is published it is now “out there”. Even with the advent of copyright laws there is little one can do to stop someone else from copying you. If you have problems seeing others recreate your designs or making it their own, then stop reading here, writing for publication may not be for you.

As I've written in a past Soft Flex® article and to quote the painter James McNeil Whistler again:

"An artist is not paid for his labor but for his vision". 

Your rewards are not always tangible. You are the visionary, be original in your design approach and in the utmost, be true to yourself to create unique works... so let us now begin this journey:

Researching
The focus of this article is on writing how-tos for bead publications but you can modify any of the suggestions to your respective subject. First, gather the magazines that you subscribe to and read on a regular basis. Sort them so that you have the most recent magazines for reference. In the bead magazines, look at the types and complexity of the projects. Go over the layout and familiarize yourself with what will be expected should you pitch a project and be accepted for an assignment. Be cognizant of the page limitations you'll have as magazine articles want to be concise and most projects are between 2-4 pages with diagrams.

Most magazines now have their submission guidelines available on the Internet. Visit the respective magazine's website and search for their submission guidelines. As a last resort contact them for the submission information if all avenues have failed. You don't want to appear as though you have not done your research if all this information is readily available online. Go over the submission guidelines to see what is expected of you once your project idea is accepted. Many times, the editors like to be queried with a photo of the finish project first to determine how the project may fit in future issues. The editorial team also would like to see if the project is something they have published in the past or have already accepted.

Taking the Photos
Taking good photos are by far one of the biggest challenges in project submission. If you are writing a step by step with photos, make sure you are taking photos in a neutral background. I like to use gray gradient screens and daylight specified lighting (6500K) like Ottlites. A camera with a macro setting is a must if you are taking close-ups. A tripod can keep the camera steady and images sharp. As the photos will most likely be the same photos used for the article, they need to be crisp. I like to take at least 3-4 photos of the same step and then select the best when I write the instructions. Most of the time, you only need to snap photos of the finished design when submitting a prospective project for consideration.

The sample photos give the editors a sense of your design style as well as the complexity of the design. For magazine how-tos less is generally more. You'll need to consider the wear ability of your design and how easily assessable the materials can be found.

Duplicating your Submissions
It is generally not good practice to send an identical design query to multiple magazines at the same time. Magazine editors generally frown upon a duplicated design and if more than one magazine editor likes your submission, then what will you do? Wait until you get a response before submitting the identical design to another magazine.

If you do this, you may end up on the black list of designers. Each publication has a list of authors that they will not work with. You don't want to be on that list. Also each publication has a list of designers they use regularly and call with ideas. Your goal is to get on this particular list of regular contributors if you want to write for publication regularly.

Introductory Cover Letter or Email
Dependent on the publication, you may be sending your query via email or snail mail. Make sure you introduce the project in your cover letter to describe its inspiration or maybe how you came to select the components used for the project. A good story behind your design will make it more inspiring for the readers to recreate. If your design employs a unique technique this may also increase your chances of acceptance.

In this cover letter, you'll also want to note how soon you can write up the instructions or if they are already completed. Sometimes after getting an assignment, you may have as little as two weeks for the final package to reach the publisher. Can you do it in such a tight time constraint?

It also takes some time for editors to review submission requests so if you don't hear anything immediately, it is not necessarily a rejection. Wait a month and follow-up with an email to inquire on the status. After a certain time lapse, I say about two months, if you haven't heard anything it's time to move forward to the next magazine.

The Acceptance and Contract
Once your project is accepted, the publication will let you know the deadline to have the finished piece and instructions delivered to their offices. Read the contract carefully as signing any legal document becomes binding. Generally, the fees for the project are documented for use and for non-use. Sometimes, the contract also specifies details for reprinting the project in electronic media, etc. Once you sign the contract you have made a commitment to meet all the terms outlined. Impress the editors and get your package in before their deadline.

Writing the Instructions
Familiarize yourself with the industry terminology and the respective magazine(s) you hope to write for. Write instructions in more detail then necessary assuming your reader is a beginner. Every step it takes to get from point A to B then C, etc should be documented. The technical editor will trim your instructions to suit the page layout and their audience. While designing your piece, take copious notes, which will help also during the editing stage.

Re-read and go over your instructions before finalizing them. There are many ways to get from point A to point B, so try to use the most concise for the industry. I tend to go over my instructions 3-4 times before I consider them done. Some designers may also have their friends test bead their project. If time permits, exhaust all avenues. But, remember you are ultimately responsible for the content of your article so take suggestions openly. There are many ways to achieve the same results in beading and your way may just be the unique aspect the editors liked. For me, most of my designs are created especially for magazine publications and I generally bead multiple samples to avoid time delays in test beading. You'd be surprise how a second sample can improve your instructions.

Most publications will email you their edited version of your instructions to ensure that the integrity of the article is maintained. If this is a step that is important to you, ask before accepting the assignment. You don't want to lose your creative license by allowing any publication to change your article drastically. It is possible that instructions can change after editing that it becomes no longer "YOUR" design.

Diagrams
Once your project has been accepted, if you are writing a how to for a seed beaded project, most likely you will need to document the steps with diagrams. I am very old school when it comes to diagrams, I hand draw every step on graph paper. I usually draw out more steps than I think will appear in the magazine leaving it to the graphic editor to decide what is necessary or not necessary. In this case, more is better than less. Not everyone understands beadwork the same and there is a big possibility that the editor is not familiar with your technique.

After drawing out the diagrams, I also scan the drawings for my personal portfolio. This also helps in the editing stages when the graphic editor has translated your drawings into computer graphics and you want to refer to the original for consistency. It is always a good idea to have a hardcopy and an electronic copy for your final package to the publication as well as for yourself.

Putting it Together
The submission package is an extension of you so make it as professional as possible. I see any submission as a presentation of me. First I get some folders with sleeves from the office supply store. The ones I usually get have slots for a business card and two pockets for papers.

I compose a cover letter to the editor covering the details of the package and a short paragraph on the inspiration behind the design. In another sheet, I compose "about the author" and provide contact information. I place the cover letter and the "about the author" sheet on the left pocket of the binder. Then I tape down (so that it doesn't accidentally slide out in transport) my business card in its slot. The detailed instructions composed in Word, a sample photo of the finished project on top and the diagrams behind, are stapled together. A CD with all the same information is protected in a CD sleeve and placed in the right pocket of the binder.

The finished project also needs to be sent with the instructions and I place the sample(s) carefully in jewelry boxes and secure with tissue/bubble wrap. When mailing, I insure the package and document the tracking number. When the publication receives your package, you will know that it arrived safely.
Then it's just a matter of waiting for the specified issue to be published to see yourself in print.

***************

The above are just high level notes and suggestions for getting published. As you write more, you will develop your own ways of presenting your work. Writing will become much easier with subsequent submissions. In writing, it is inevitable along the journey that there is rejection. Just remember, rejection allows us to improve and persistence allows us to grow. By sharing ourselves with the bead community, through writing or teaching, we give back to the art of craft and the craft of art will continue to reward us.

Bead Creatively,
Lisa Kan

Friday, August 13, 2010

Bead Fest Philly Free Pass: August 20-22, 2010

(Right click on image and save to your desktop to print out)

Visit me at Bead Fest Philly absolutely FREE. 

Save money at the door to spend on beads.  

Drop by my booth #209 first before you stroll the rest of the show. I'm on the top level, main exhibit hall.  Enter and turn left, walk about 100ft and you'll find me to your right. I am right next to my friends, Saki Silver. 

I know I've been very bad about blogging. 

Can you blame a girl who was working hard torching in the studio all summer long?

I will be introducing fabulously new purple and fuchsia shades of Botanicals at Bead Fest.  Once I return from the show, I'll update the website with the new selections.

We'll see you at the show!!!
Lisa

Monday, June 21, 2010

Blythe Blanket... On Again, Off Again

I thought I would have a chance to knit a bit and work on my Blythe blanket (shown to the left) after Bead and Button, but who am I kidding?

SO SORRY, Blythe...

I DO miss you.

Please don't be mad at ME!

It won't be until NOVEMBER before I have time OR energy to knit.

At least you're getting a sneak peak at the masterpiece I have been working on since last winter.

I am a fast knitter but this blanket will take at least 60 skeins of various yarns and maybe two more years until completion at the rate I am going.

But...

priorities are priorities AND I have to be a grown up about things.

After returning from Bead and Button, I've been tackling special orders and requests. I should be all caught up by Tuesday then move forward to prepping for August shows.  There are many back to back shows, so I better be good and not indulge in my other "hobbies" as I had wanted.

Looks like I won't get to bead either since my special project deadline has been extended.  There is no rush to design "yet". 

So it's just me and my glass for the next month... all July.

I've been playing with new limited color rods I got the other day, experimenting with even more color mixing possibilities, for the Botanical series.

(BIG smile)

I absolutely LOVE playing with color in ANY medium.

Next post, I promise to talk more about the new Botanical colors introduced at the Bead and Button show. And, I actually introduced more colors than I originally thought but also four colors were recently "retired" or discontinued due to running out of the respective limited production glass color(s).

Aaaaah... but those are the breaks!

Makes things interesting as well as frustrating if you like a color a lot!

Life remains VERY busy for this girl.

I stay out of trouble when things are busy for me.

THIS IS GOOD!

P.S. You are not imagining, I can write shorter posts and the blog does have a new look thanks to Blogger's new template designer.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

The Perfect Tomato

The PERFECT tomato... heirloom tomato to be exact.

This is the first tomato that came out of our garden.

Before leaving for the Bead and Button show, this perfect tomato was the first of several to be vine ripened.

For the gardeners and those with green thumbs out there, you may laugh at me for making such a big deal out of one small tomato.

But this first perfect tomato was the MOST delicious I have tasted.  It was split in half and shared with my husband who was the one really responsible for the TLC required to make it the best tomato EVER.

You know I have to say this because he was kind enough to share HIS first tomato with me.
Check out the closeup photo of this PERFECT and BEAUTIFUL tomato.

I know you are salivating as you look at these wonderful tomato pictures. (wink)

It's okay, go ahead and salivate.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Introducing a NEW limited fabric wrap...

This will be a VERY short post (for me, it is short) as I have not gone to bed at all and have been up for more than 24 hours.

Don't ask me why.

See the above wrap?

I will be introducing this fabric only in the larger toolwrap size. They are very limited so if you are attending Bead and Button (BnB), you get first dibs.

I am tempted to save one for myself since it is purple and have cherry blossoms. What's not to like? Can't go wrong with that combination!

So.....

Uhmmmm....

What else was I suppose to write here?

(Lisa is thinking....)

I intended to also post about the new Ginkgo and Serenity leaf colors I will be introducing but although I snapped the photos earlier yesterday, I am TOO exhausted to work in Photoshop.

I will also be introducing six new Botanical colors. This brings the current available colors to a whopping FIFTY-FIVE colors. There are two to three limited edition colors that will be discontinued soon due to the rods are no longer being produced. I'm always working up new variations to the existing color selection. So don't worry, be HAPPY.... more colors are coming.

I will write a blog post about the new Botanical colors when I return from Bead and Button.

I'm not taking the laptop on this trip but will have my Dell mini to check in now and then.

If you don't read from me on this blog or Facebook, then it's because I'm having a fantabulous time in Chicago... in Madison... or in Milwaukee. I will have a great time because I'll get a chance to visit with friends I haven't seen in months, beaders who are excited about creating, thunderstorms to run through, etc.

So anyways.... why do I not sleep more than 24 hours before leaving for a show?

I am NOT a last minute kind of person, this is just my modus operandi.

Why ask why?

I just like STRESS. It makes me feel like I'm working extra hard to reach a goal.

(You know I'm kidding, right?)

I NEVER sleep the night before an impending trip because of the fear of waking up late and missing a flight. So I just stay up to work and have just finished packing because earlier in the day I was still cleaning beads. After the beads were cleaned, they had to be strung and priced. There is also a trick to packing the beads compactly so they don't break.

But no matter how well I pack, I always get stopped and searched. My beads are small and piled on top of each other separated by bubble wrap so the airport scanners can't readily detect what's inside. At least that's what TSA agents tell me each time. I'm so used to it, its just part of traveling and not a big deal.

ZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzZZZ

Oh...uh

Where am I?

Who am I?

Where are you?

Why am I here?

(Lisa rubs her eyes...)

Well I'd love to continue typing to you but I'm a bit exhausted and I fear writing something here that I may regret later. I better go before my fingers start typing on their own.

These fingers, they misbehave at times. But since they have a mind of their own, I take no blame for what my hands, these fingers type.

NO BLAME.

I AM BLAMELESS!

Until next time, I'm gonna have a grand time in Chicago, my first stop. I'll take you along with my photos on Facebook upon returning. It'll be like you were with me but in reality you are NOT really and Rebel is there with me. Rebel is always with me.

ZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzZZZ...

Oh it' time to get up already?

Where is my cup of coffee?

Geez look at the time... I am CRAZY. I'll have to get some shuteye on the plane. I hope I don't snore!

See everyone soon in Milwaukee
But before then, time to have a few days of FUN first

Fun First, Work Later
Adios,
Lisa

P.S. Goodness gracious. THIS is a VERY SHORT post? And I was just mumbling nonsensical gibberish as I normally do when I am half awake. Bad fingers.... very BAD.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Introducing the NEW Limited Edition KITS at BnB!

Ever since I started writing projects for publication in late 2005, there was always a desire to eventually be able to offer kits for some of my designs.

I often use vintage beads, Swarovski crystals or high quality semiprecious gemstones in my beadwork, so the feasibility to recreate certain designs was not economical to some.

Many of you have asked me for kits, especially since my book Bead Romantique was published in March 2008.

I was and have been listening.

REALLY!!

I was not ignoring your cries.

But I have also been very busy with MANY projects and focusing on my glasswork. Most of my time is devoted to ensuring my preparedness for each show which I have many each year. I am only ONE person and do not have a team of little ants working for me. I do everything from photography, web design, procurement, advertising, packing, shipping... etc.

You get the idea!

I didn't have enough hands to work on developing kits, until.....


I had a wonderful discussion with my friend Pamela Maxfield (owner of Bello Modo) in Tucson 2010, where I was attending as a designer this year instead of the glass beadmaker. Bello Modo was also representing my Botanicals at the Whole Bead show. And after some brainstorming in Tucson (Feb 2010), discussing further in Santa Fe (March 2010) and MANY emails later, I am very EXCITED to be able to offer you my exclusive collaboration of LIMITED EDITION kits with Bello Modo.

The first kits are based off of THREE designs featured in Bead Trends Magazine's June 2010 issue. In the feature I designed 7 ensembles inspired by Victoria's Love Story. We will be introducing these limited and numbered kits at the Bead and Button show next week. You will be able to view the originals at my booth, #818 and then walk down to Bello Modo to purchase alternate colorways at booths #838 and #840.

And we haven't forgotten about those who can't attend Bead and Button, so the kits will be made available on Bello Modo's website soon. I'll add a link here and on my website when Bello Modo launches the kits on their website. Different colorways will also be developed on popular designs overtime. Remember these are limited edition colorways so if you like a color get it soon as some of the components are hard to restock.

The kits will come with full instructions and a nice photo of the finished design for your reference. All materials to recreate the respective design is included, EXCEPT the standard tools like chain nose, round nose and flush cutters which most beaders have in their tool stash already. I used the Professional Precision Tools for all my wirewrapping and should you need a kit, you can find them available on my website or the kit is also available at my shows. I will have a limited quantity of the tool kits at BnB and an optional upgrade with a small fabric toolwrap!!!

ALL crystals are guaranteed to be Swarovski and ALL antiqued brass findings are Vintaj. You will note their respective logos on the kit packaging.

Here is a sneak peak at what is in store at Bead and Button and soon on the Bello Modo site.

The photos below show the actual colorways being offered currently:


Capture Thy Heart (Necklace and Earring Kit): The thought of finally seeing Victoria after several weeks of absence quickened his steps. He scuffled through fallen leaves and pushed aside the ivy vines that hid the pathway into their hideaway, careful not to make too much noise. He wanted to take her away and start life anew but that was not immediately possible. He still could not believe that he was able to “capture her heart” nor could he fathom that she loved him as much as to risk her father’s antipathy.
*****
A filigree heart connector cages and captures a Swarovski crystal heart drop. The symbolism in this design evokes Victoria feeling caged by her father’s will, yet her heart is captured by love and now belongs to Him. The festoon necklace scallops romantically around the neck to lovingly caress the wearer.

Water Lilies (Necklace Kit): Victoria sat at one edge of the pond in the Secret Garden, a special secluded hideaway from prying eyes. Water lilies floated amongst several frogs, hopping from lily pad to lily pad whilst sunning themselves in the afternoon sun, croaking loudly in unison. The noise did not bother her as she drifted dreamily into thought, feeling rapid anticipation for the late evening. She smiled contently.
*****
Custom coated waterlily colored baroque crystal drops adorn this netted chain necklace. Combined with golden shadow briolette drops and faceted rounds, the design evokes a subtle elegance. In any lighting, the crystals sparkle from the right, from the left and from center stage. This necklace caresses the neckline in choker length with sparkly drops dancing about, adding to the fluidity, flow and movement of the design.

Note: Waterlily colored baroque crystal drops were unavailable but will be offered in the future. There will be many other colorways to select from later.

The Damsel & the Dragonfly (Necklace Kit): Victoria, “The Damsel in Distress”, is represented by the large oval rhinestone wrapped by the orchid filigree. The filigree symbolically frames the contours of her face while the two small drops represent her earrings. It has been several weeks since she saw her Love. Arriving early to the Secret Garden, she waits longingly for her “Knight in Shining Armor”. A dragonfly dances playfully below her face. Dragonflies are symbols of courage, strength and happiness.
*****
This necklace can be worn long as a sautoir or doubled by joining the spiral clasp as a double tiered lavaliere. When worn as such, a crystal necklace frames the pendant protecting Victoria in her Secret Garden. The chandelier earrings with its tiered chain embellishments and crystal dangles compliment the pendant’s wrap style.

Note 1: The large jump ring that attaches the filigree wrap to the dragonfly dangle requires to be carefully added from the back, slowly and precisely. It will be snug but as you can see in the samples above, it will work. Also, the original design used a vintage oval Swarvoski crystal. In the kits we will be substituting a similar shaped Czech or German oval crystal due to the obsolete Swarvoski crystal. This changes the crystal link counts on both necklaces but with no material changes. The kit instructions have been revised to reflect this change.

Note 2: We are working on issuing the earring kit separately. Due to the vintage nature of the stone I used, we are seeking some alternate sources.

*****
Note for ALL kits: Although there is sufficient wire included for each project, the length of wire in the kits are based off of my method of wire-wrapping. It is recommended that you pick up an extra spool of 24 gauge Artistic Wire vintage bronze (or "gunmetal" as called by some) if you make a mistake and need to redo a wrap.

*****

ONLY Bello Modo is authorized to create and sell my limited edition kits with the original copyrights of these designs to myself, Lisa Kan Designs. No other third parties may sell, distribute, OR reproduce any part of the kit in any form. EVERY kit is numbered for authenticity and each colorway has a limited edition of NO MORE than 250 or LESS kits issued when components used are vintage.
*****

I hope you have enjoyed this sneak peak and take advantage of the limited edition kits at the Bead and Button show. These first few kits and this launch are VERY limited.

See everyone at the show soon!!!
Lisa

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Bead and Button Show: June 10-13, 2010

Yes, it is SHOWTIME again at the 10th Annual Bead and Button Show. The LARGEST Consumer Bead Show in the WORLD!!

This time I am flying to the Midwest with a few days in Chicago and Madison to enjoy before the show starts.

This will be my THIRD year exhibiting at BnB in my THIRD booth assignment!! My booth has THREE numbers!!

You may know the significance of the number "three" to me.

I have had many good associations with the number three this year and so far so good, so I hope the momentum continues!!

There is a forecast of thunderstorms again this year. Last year, the attendees were held up on the show floor because of tornado scares. We even lost electricity several times. This is definitely an exciting show full of energy from the attendees AND many days of thunderstorms!

So if you are in the area or are attending the BnB show, here are the nitty-gritty details that you'll want to know.

If you want to see what goodies I am introducing at the show then please read the posts in the next few days.

Show Location (NEW name but same location):

Frontier Airlines Center
400 W. Wisconsin Avenue
Downtown Milwaukee.

Show Hours:
June 10, 2010 - 4 PM to 9 PM
Private Shopping Preview
Exhibit halls open to registrants ONLY


June 11, 2010 - 10 AM to 8 PM
Bead and Jewelry Marketplace
Exhibit halls open to general public.


June 12, 2010 - 10 AM to 6 PM

June 13, 2010 - 10 AM to 4 PM

Daily tickets are available at the Frontier Airlines Center box office at 9:30 a.m. each day, but the Bead Marketplace does not open until 10 a.m.

Click here for a daily $2 Coupon.

For MORE info on the show schedule, visit the Bead and Button Show website.

Lisa Kan Designs Booth is located on the 800 aisle. You will find me at Booth #818. Look for my banner and showguide ad. We are in a new corner booth but just one booth over from last year.

See you all soon!!
Lisa

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Social Networking Etiquette

Subtitled: Confronting Negative Comments

Original article by Peggy Jo Donahue
Commentary by Lisa Kan in RED is meant to be humorous. If you are a customer of mine and one of my Facebook "friends" DO NOT take any of what I have typed personally.

Uhmmm...

Nevermind.

Let's continue forward to the sage advice from MJSA industry leaders. (MJSA = Manufacturing Jewelers & Suppliers of America.)

Many Facebook novices worry about negative comments marring their social networking pages. But experienced networkers in the industry say nearly every online personality or brand has endured negative comments-and lived to see another day. The ones who have handled it well have even won praise.

You can
please some of the people, some of the time, but you can't please all of the people, all of the time. If you get stuck on some negative person's comments to bring you down, get under your skin or ruin your day then they'll just keep on doing it. The better way is to stay positive and get rid of anyone who gets in your way. Remember sticks and stones will break your bones, but words will NEVER hurt you. So hurl around some "sticks and stones" and maybe they will hit the perpetrator.

"I welcome it as an opportunity," says Daniel Gordon of Samuel Gordon Jewelers in Oklahoma City. "In the past, people who were unhappy would go away without saying anything-and never come back. At least now I find out and can do something about it." The key is handling it constructively.

Is Daniel Gordon for REAL??? How would any one welcome a negative comment as "an opportunity". I think most people these days WILL tell you they are unhappy with you on Facebook by either saying it on your page or just canceling out on the "friend"ship. The key is to be on top of things and continuously monitor your Facebook page. Make sure everyone behaves and ONLY say nice things about you. Fortunately for me, no one has been rude enough to tell me they are unhappy with me "yet". But then again, you wouldn't know if they have... (wink)

If you get a negative comment from a customer, follow these guidelines for responding:

• Think before you act. It’s hard to react positively when your company has endured what might be an unfair attack. "First, take a minute before you react, so that you can craft a positive response," advises Ann Arnold of Lieberfarb, a manufacturer of bridal and anniversary rings who is active on social networks.

I would just get rid of the person and disconnect them from your Facebook page. I thought about it for one second too long and they are GONE. There's the big "X" to cancel them out of our relationship. Who needs negativity in your life? Read my Happiness post from March 3, 2010 Get RID OF THEM! ;o)

• Let your fans come to your defense. Waiting a bit before responding has a second purpose. Fans may quickly come to your defense-before you even need to say a word. It’s one of the reasons that Veronica Wei Sopher of Ben Bridge in Seattle takes the time to create a give-and-take bond with her connections in social networks-even on non-jewelry issues. "Sometimes a co-worker will ask, ’did you really need to ask that customer about her headache on Twitter?’ The magic of all that is realized when a negative voice shows up," says Sopher. "If I’ve done my job well, the strong and supportive community around the Ben Bridge brand will speak up and drown out the negativity."

Waiting will allow more people to see the negative comments, Veronica!!! By deleting the comment immediately, you can avoid having to explain the situation to the rest of your Facebook friends or fans. The key word is the Fans "may" quickly come to your defense. I'd like to bet on a sure thing. I'd like to know the negative person is gone before anyone else gets hurt. Besides what if you don't have a "Fan" page. Now why would a "Fan" provide negative input anyhow? You would not be a "Fan" or a "Friend" of someone or company on Facebook if you felt negatively towards them right? UNLESS... this negative person is just trying to infiltrate into your positive energy.

This is the reason why it is safer to have a regular Facebook account. Yes, Fan or "Like" pages as Facebook calls them now, allows you to have endless contacts but it also allows free reign for anyone to join thus later say absolutely anything on your page. With a personal account, you can "accept" whom you want and "ignore" whom you don't. There is a lot of maintenance involved but there is something I like about having control over MY own Facebook page. So I would NEVER wait. I would instead handle this the Lisa Way!!

• Apologize publicly. When you’ve given it a little time and thought, there’s a way to respond, say experts. A quick "so sorry you had a bad experience," is the first step. Then, get it offline quickly, says Sopher. "Ask: ’Can I communicate with you directly, so that we can discuss all of your purchase details?’"

There must be something wrong if a customer, who is a "Fan", is contacting you to resolve an issue on Facebook and YOU have to APOLOGIZE publicly. By the time it reaches Facebook, you already have not done your job. Why are you in business anyways? Why wouldn't you communicate on the phone or email before the situation escalated to this point? I think if it does reach this level of negativity then the customer just wants to send bad vibes on your "Fan" page. I for one would not stand for this type of retaliatory behavior. What happened to "forget and forgive"?

Another reason why you should not have a Fan page. A regular account will allow you to have up to 5000 friends. Unless you are a big humongous company, do you really need to have a news feed of more than 5000 people typing to you? How could you address the needs of 5000 people effectively? You would need to be on Facebook 24/7 monitoring each of their behaviors. Also, NO ONE needs to see how you handle these sensitive situations in a public forum. What I would do is to send a private email to the customer and then delete their public comment. That is what Lisa would do. And she would do it IMMEDIATELY before any other evidence is left. (wink)

• Don’t hit "delete." Though there’s a temptation to erase the offending remarks, it’s the worst thing a business can do. "A personal attack or one that’s vulgar, absolutely, you can get rid of, but otherwise, it’s better to engage publicly with a response," says Carrie Soucy of Miamore Communications in Providence. Companies that delete all negative remarks risk being branded as inauthentic and controlling, two qualities least likely to win you more fans. Worse, the complaining customer could spread the news throughout his network that you ignored or silenced him. Nothing makes social networkers angrier.

I'm not too sure about not hitting "delete". I think the complaining customer who is acting as a "Fan" coming to a business page to complain is up to NO good. Why should this person hold all the cards? There are moderated newsgroups and chat forums, why can't a Facebook page be moderated too. What's controlling about this behavior in wanting to maintain proper decorum by deleting improper posts? And what constitutes as an "improper post" is determined by ME!!! I'm in control here, right? If a customer is complaining this incessantly to have their negative comments reach Facebook, then maybe you should be OUT of BUSINESS!!! I think anyone taking bad experiences to a Facebook page is going too far and they should be canceled out of the relationship. They are not a "friend" or a "fan". These instances should be handled with gloves.... (not kid gloves)... but gloves as in "I'll meet you in a boxing ring" type of gloves. Challenge the complaining customer to take care of this like a man.

(Uhmm... but I'm a lady!! Maybe this won't work in my case. Nevermind.)

**********

These are some tips from jewelry industry leaders on Facebook etiquette. You can take their advice or mine. It's your choice.

But... IF you do it MY way, the Lisa Way...

tell me the story later and we'll both have a good chuckle.

If you want to setup a "Fan" or "Like" page as it is known on Facebook these days, here's another article you may want to read up on from the experts. The info may be a bit outdated since Facebook just changed a bunch of settings June 1, 2010!!:

Getting Started with Social Networking.

I hope I have been helpful!!
but if not...
then at least you had a good laugh

The Night Owl

Lisa

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Victoria's Love Story

After all my shows were completed in 2009, I worked on a special collection of designs for Bead Trends Magazine's Designer Highlight feature on my work that was just published in the June 2010 issue. You can read more about this feature in May 27th's post.

Due to the magazine format, I could not share the story behind the designs. I want to take this opportunity to share with you the love story that was not printed along with the seven ensembles so you may understand my inspiration for each design.

The designs are listed below in the order of the storyline with the cover design, Blushing Blossoms, as the "finale" to the story.

Enjoy my little fairytale romance.

This is Victoria's Love Story...

Project 1: Victoria's Spiral
She stepped into the ballroom in a flowing black gown trimmed with all the finery of golden threaded lace. She searched the room with its multitude of unfamiliar faces cautiously. The room grew silent as attention spiraled towards her walking down the last few steps of the grand entrance. Then out of the corner of her eye she spied him as she greeted her father. There he was with a silly big grin greeting Victoria with a wink. Did anyone else see this? Her heart skipped a beat.
*****
In classic and elegant black with bronze/brass metallic accents, the versatility of this design is captured by both the faceted jet beads and black onyx quatrefoils. The necklace is connected so that it is worn asymmetrically but with a defined pattern. The spiral clasp represents Victoria’s “spiraling” grasp on her suitor’s attention. The complimentary bracelet can be connected to the necklace to continue the flow of design and converts the princess necklace to opera length. The necklace can also be worn doubled as a choker when connected with the bracelet extender. The earrings continue the spiraling symbolism.

Project 2: Water Lilies
Victoria sat at one edge of the pond in the Secret Garden, a special secluded hideaway from prying eyes. Water lilies floated amongst several frogs, hopping from lily pad to lily pad whilst sunning themselves in the afternoon sun, croaking loudly in unison. The noise did not bother her as she drifted dreamily into thought, feeling rapid anticipation for the late evening. She smiled contently.
*****
Custom coated waterlily colored baroque crystal drops adorn this netted chain necklace. Combined with golden shadow briolette drops and faceted rounds, the design evokes a subtle elegance. In any lighting, the crystals sparkle from the right, from the left and from center stage. This necklace caresses the neckline in choker length with sparkly drops dancing about, adding to the fluidity, flow and movement of the design.

Project 3: The Secret Garden
The Secret Garden was a place of magical possibilities where Victoria came to dream, escape reality and to pretend to be just like any other woman, not the privileged daughter of the Duke. Here is where she came to meet Him with the belief that although they came from two different societies in life, they were equals within the walls of this garden. She had to maintain this inner strength to continue the fa├žade. No one must know, least of all, the Duke.
*****
The garden trellis medallion captures the essence of romanticism. The champagne coin pearl is filigree encased and wrapped into the pendant’s center. The coin pearl symbolizes the confines of the safety Victoria feels when she is within the garden. The champagne pearls, Waterlily drops, golden shadow crystals and rose luster firepolish beads were all carefully chosen for their subtle colors to evoke the feeling of privilege and status. The motion of the crystal dangles added to chain follows the movement of the wearer as she walks about. The earrings were designed to continue the necklace motif, which by no coincidence also compliments the Water Lilies netted chain necklace (Project 2).

Project 4: The Damsel & the Dragonfly
Victoria, “The Damsel in Distress”, is represented by the large oval rhinestone wrapped by the orchid filigree. The filigree symbolically frames the contours of her face while the two small drops represent her earrings. It has been several weeks since she saw her Love. Arriving early to the Secret Garden, she waits longingly for her “Knight in Shining Armor”. A dragonfly dances playfully below her face.
Dragonflies are symbols of courage, strength and happiness.
*****
This necklace can be worn long as a sautoir or doubled by joining the spiral clasp as a double tiered lavaliere. When worn as such, a crystal necklace frames the pendant protecting Victoria in her Secret Garden. The chandelier earrings with its tiered chain embellishments and crystal dangles compliment the pendant’s wrap style.

Project 5: Capture Thy Heart
The thought of finally seeing Victoria after several weeks of absence quickened his steps. He scuffled through fallen leaves and pushed aside the ivy vines that hid the pathway into their hideaway, careful not to make too much noise. He wanted to take her away and start life anew but that was not immediately possible. He still could not believe that he was able to “capture her heart” nor could he fathom that she loved him as much as to risk her father’s antipathy.
*****
A filigree heart connector cages and captures a Swarovski crystal heart drop. The symbolism in this design evokes Victoria feeling caged by her father’s will, yet her heart is captured by love and now belongs to Him. The festoon necklace scallops romantically around the neck to lovingly caress the wearer.

Project 6: Midnight in the Garden
The hour is just past midnight. He is late again! Where could he be? As soon as Victoria thinks this, she hears leaves rustling, followed by the noise of someone walking towards her direction. Could it be her Father, her Love or just the night wind teasing tauntingly at her? She sat nervously still as her heartbeat quickens in anticipation. She hopes it is He but she better hide, if not.
*****
Much of my designing for this collection is of similar components. With the use of smaller components joined in a myriad of ways, one is left with more flexible design options, where a simple element can become a more involved design. Designing and beading is very much like a puzzle to me. Rivolis which are bezeled with a netted stitch can be joined easily with jump rings, a technique I utilize often. It is also not a coincidence that this ensemble compliments The Damsel and the Dragonfly (Project 4). Many of the designs in this Bead Trends collection are built from complimentary colors and can be worn interchangeably together.

Please note: The rivoli bezels are created following instructions from my book Bead Romantique (pages 26-27) with two additional beaded rows. Only the two additional rows of beading have been written for the Bead Trends article.

Project 7: Blushing Blossoms
So the story ends here with a grand finale, a blushing bride wearing a Blushing Blossoms necklace. Is this just one of Victoria’s dreams, that she ran away with her Love or was she really able to break away from the confines of her duty to family and her father, the Duke? We can only hope that love conquered all and everyone “Lived Happily Ever”.
*****
Continuing the theme of romance and elegance, this blossom necklace utilizes five Botanical flowers from my new lampworked line combined with my luster (silver-fumed) Luft hollow beads. The asymmetric design adds visual interest with the Botanical flowers added to the necklace so that they could freely move, flow and dance around the neckline. The necklace in peachy and champagne tones reflects what it is to be a woman that transpires time, with a feminine mystique. This necklace would be a perfect fit in a summer wedding as the bride looks luminescent in an outdoor garden ceremony. I enjoy adding a bit of inspiration from Mother Nature and to infuse my designs with stories. I hope Bead Trend readers enjoy this exclusive collection of designs.

Please note: Reference my book Bead Romantique (page 42) for additional tips on creating a balanced and graduated dangle bracelet/necklace design.

*****
I hope you have enjoyed reading Victoria's Love Story and are enticed to pick up the June 2010 Bead Trends Magazine.

Recreate the romance for yourselves...


The Storyteller
AND
Hopeless Romantic

Lisa

Monday, May 31, 2010

Let's Facebook It...

If you haven't noticed, my last few blog posts have been quite late in the evening or early the next morning, dependent on your perspective. It just so happens that I want to write and share my thoughts on the blog lately, more so than ever. For whatever the reasons, here I am.

It's just about 1 a.m. as I begin typing this post. Maybe I have too much spare time on my hands, have much on my mind or just like to stay up late blabbering on a computer screen to whomever wishes to read from me.

I'm a night owl. Always have been.

I get my best ideas as my mind wanders and a lot of work done when the house is quiet. After a long day at the torch when my hands hurt, generally the last thing I want to do is to type on a keyboard, but some days/nights I have much on my mind that I want to write.

Reverse psychology, you know. And amazingly when my fingers touch this keyboard, the thoughts just flow and I forget how tired I am.

In the past, during my studio breaks I would go flip through a magazine for inspiration, clean beads, have a snack, answer emails or knit a few rows of a project. Believe me there is ALWAYS something to do around here.

Since mid February though, I became more active on this social networking site.

Perhaps you have heard of this place?

Let's Facebook It...

Anyone and everyone it seems is on Facebook which brings me to the topic of this post. I had joined Facebook around late February 2009 only because by then I had already had a handful of invites from friends touting "you gotta get on Facebook". Even my sisters urged me to go on there so we could share family photos, etc. After Tucson of that year, I succumbed to the peer pressures.

I am usually good about resisting peer pressures, really I am.

So here I was on Facebook. The instant I signed on, all the automatic invites were my "friends" and then a bevy of other mutual friends saw the "friending" and the next thing I knew within a few minutes I had 20 friends. From there it continued to escalate.

I didn't know what to do with this Facebook. I mean I had a blog where I shared tidbits of my life as a beadmaker, jewelry designer, writer, etc. I didn't give Facebook much thought and throughout 2009 I visited my account sparingly. I was too busy being a writer and beadmaker traveling to shows to bother with Facebook. I barely had time to blog here.

Maybe I was asleep or just tuning things out but all of a sudden it seemed the whole world was getting on this Facebook. I started seeing mentions of Facebook on electronic trade newsletters. I started noticing more of my artists friends mentioning it on their blogs. I started hearing radio stations mentioning their Facebook fan pages. I mean there was NO escaping.

Facebook was EVERYWHERE taking over my life even though I didn't want it to. It seemed as if Facebook was this growing entity taking over everyone's lives and what was I doing? Was I missing out on being part of a social networking revolution? As an artist can I sit on the sidelines and just ignore Facebook? When would I have time to even participate?

A year went by and then I decided to take a leap. I began to believe that Facebook could help bring awareness of my work to a whole new worldwide audience. That, I as an artist, wanted to give back to a community by sharing more of my experiences and what inspires me to create. That I wanted to BUILD my own community of artists with common interests. So I set forth on this goal.

In mid Feb 2010 after attending the Tucson shows, I was determined to take a more active role on Facebook. As an artist, who is also a techie at heart, I couldn't let the signs of times ride along without me. I was jumping on a HUGE bandwagon even though I generally stride to a different drummer. And, Facebook was GREAT and there to help recommend "friends". And those who were my "friends" were also there to recommend me more friends. And I found some old colleagues from my past life as an engineer, so they too became my "friends".

I was asked by a few if I would start a "FAN" page. No, I was not going to start a "FAN" page because I barely had enough time to keep up with one Facebook page. I wanted Facebook to be a place I could share some photos and another side of myself that is not here or on my website. It was the most feasible method to share many photos in "albums" with a lot of people at once. There was instant feedback on Facebook, which this blog lacks.

Isn't that what we all crave when we are on Facebook, feedback?

I am AMAZED at my newsfeed these days. I can barely keep up with what all my friends are up to and I feel guilty at times that I can not respond to every one of their "news" because I genuinely do care about my friends.

Then I wonder what I could be doing instead of being on Facebook?

EVERY break from the studio since late February 2010, there I was checking Facebook updates. My mailbox was full of responses or requests for "friending". At times, the activity was overwhelming. I had to do something about this.

*****

Hey Lisa!!

Yes YOU, Lisa!!

Have you forgotten your purpose and goals in this life?

You should be CREATING!!

Get off Facebook!

*****

I could be doing a lot of other things but I also know that Facebook is an "investment" - as far as *I* want to take it - on being an artist and sharing my ideas. So I MUST be on Facebook to some degree but I must also not let Facebook take over MY life.

So these are my conclusions after actively spending 3 months on Facebook:

I've decided I don't want to go on Facebook to tell the world the minute details of my life. Who really cares? I will just visit now and then to share photos from my trips that I believe may inspire other artists. I will just visit again if I happen to be on a trip and had the most amazing meal at "so and so" restaurant so that YOU can visit too. Or I will post about an article I've written so you'll know what magazine to pick up next, if you enjoy and follow my work.

The day to day activities of me working hard in the studio... well that is really boring news.

Do you really need to know if I am happy, sad, tired, inquisitive, philosophical, etc.?

Really? (Said in a tone, as on SNL)

There is living and then there is LIVING.

It seems we are stuck in the mode of "reality shows" where we desire to get a snippet of others' lives. Facebook feeds this in each of us. I admit some people live quite interesting lives. There are so many photos that are not secured, you can see EVERYTHING on Facebook unless you know how to tweak the privacy settings and navigate safely. There lies one of the biggest problems people are lackadaisical about, the ability to secure their own privacy and learn Facebook.

WOW!!!

Tune in hourly and on a busy day my newsfeed is 300+ long. How can you really get to know a person from news feeds (unless they are already your friend in real life). It's just a slice of their life.

So if you are a "friend" on Facebook and start noticing that I'm not really there or why you don't hear from me much, come back here to read this post.

I'm LIVING, not living.

I have a gazillion things I'd like to do with the time I have spent on Facebook. Yes, Facebook is time consuming but I won't say all of it was a waste of time. I've enjoyed looking at my friends photos and seeing art being created. That is the best part of Facebook, connecting with like-minded artists, whom you would never otherwise meet in real life from ALL over the WORLD!! But I definitely don't want to contribute to the news feed clutter. I can only guess what some of you folks think about perhaps MY past news entries.

Besides between my website, this blog and Facebook, you'll know this girl is always up to something. There is only so much time in a day even if I don't sleep to get things done. Also, if you really miss hearing from me there is always email or the phone.

(Although I am generally in the middle of torching in the studio to answer phones. Nevermind, email me to call YOU back instead.)

Lately there's been so much news about how Facebook is disregarding their user's privacy, etc. etc. stepping over the bounds. But you know, YOU are in control here and are responsible for what you post in a PUBLIC forum. NOTHING is truly private on the Internet. What you share on Facebook is for all your "friends" to see and read whether you know them well or not. Even private emails and photos can be forwarded.

There is even a "quit Facebook day" (TODAY! 5/31/2010) proposed but of the few thousands that might quit, how many come back later? Facebook is like a drug. Does the loss of ten, twenty, thirty thousand or more members make a difference to the over half a billion people in this world that is on Facebook today? No matter the weaknesses of Facebook, it serves one major purpose. It brings people together and provides them an "audience".

What is ultimately sad about Facebook is not the privacy infringements on their users but that some of their users don't know how to communicate outside of Facebook in REAL life. The computer screen is their facade to create an identity which they wish to believe. I'm just saying this is the case of "some" not ALL people. I have really great friends I know in person on Facebook.

I have always loved the face to face interactions where you can see the other person's facial expressions and hear the inflection of their voice. I mean when I tell a joke, a "hahah" or "LOL" can only go so far online. And I *DO* have an excellent sense of humor.

But on the other hand, I've met a few wonderful people (quite unexpectedly) that I would not otherwise have had the pleasure of meeting if I was not on Facebook. Because in real life, our paths would most likely not have crossed, so Facebook has it's pluses. But on this other hand, I've met a few interesting characters that I wished I never came across too. I've dealt with those situations the "Lisa way".

So "Let's Facebook It" is a balance of time and in moderation Facebook will not take over your life (unless you want it to). Facebook should never take over anyone's life. If it has, then it's up to you to change that.

I'm making some conscious changes and tweaking my own behavior.

Facebook will not take over THIS girl's life.

No way, Jose!

Yes, NO way!

I'll have more to share about the business aspects and positives of Facebook from some industry leaders...

... but on a future post.

Later...

This girl has to get some sleep!

Time for these fingers to get some rest....
Good night/Good morning
Lisa

P.S. I bet you wondered when Lisa would stop typing this post. If I type this much, imagine how much I talk at these hours. Yep blabber mouth here!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Lariats You Will Love: Knotted Treasures


Yesterday, Beading Daily did a writeup on lariats. Here is the link to read the newsletter.

You will find my Knotted Treasure Lariat featured with a limited time free download. This project was originally published in the February/March issue of Beadwork Magazine in 2007. It was my first article for Beadwork, thus began my long association with the magazine as well as Interweave Press. I have written MANY articles since then.

It was later that year (August 2007), even before I ever wrote a seed beaded project for Beadwork Magazine, the editors trusted in my abilities and offered me the opportunity to write my book, Bead Romantique. As they say,"The rest is history...." I have Interweave Press to thank for having faith in my abilities, not only as a writer but as a designer.

In the meantime, the Knotted Treasure design was missing an important part that I later discovered when I designed the Pearl Mesh Bracelet for Bead Romantique. In order for the mesh not to fray, you need to twist the ends and add a dab of GS Hypo Cement. Let dry and spread the mesh embellishments into little leaf shapes.

If you need Italian Mesh, I do carry 100" spools in 28 colors of the 6mm mesh. Just visit my website to order. If you will be at Bead and Button or any show I exhibit at, you will see this necklace up close and personal.

Here's the link to download the "Knotted Treasures" project absolutely FREE from Beading Daily.

Enjoy this project!!!

Lisa

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Bead Trends June 2010: Designer Highlight

I want to take this opportunity to share with all of you, Bead Trend Magazine's June 2010 feature of my work.

As many of you know, I not only work in glass but I also design jewelry for publication through my articles for many industry magazines, both in the US and abroad. It is my hope that my writing and designs will inspire beaders (and stringers) old and new into the art of craft.

I do not teach in any other medium than through my writing. Through my writing, I can reach many more people and artists than I can in a classroom setting. This is why I write SO much!!

I don't have an opportunity to bead as much as I used to but when I do, most likely an article will result. Although my specialty is designing intricate beadwork for the seed beader, at times I am invited to share my design techniques in other mediums. I look forward to each of these challenges.

This feature on my romantic and vintage design sensibilities has been over ONE year in the works. I would like to first thank Tatia Meyer, editor of the wonderful idea book Bead Trends, for inviting me in late 2008 to be part of the Designer Highlight after her invitation to design the cover of Bead Trends' December 2008 issue.

At the time, I had accepted the invitation from Beadwork Magazine to be one of four Designers of The Year 2009. That commitment was a wonderful experience as well, designing six exclusive projects for the readers in every 2009 Beadwork issue. Writing kept me busy in between my glass and exhibits! It was a challenging time not in designing but to switch hats from glass to seed beads in between all my shows.

So when my commitments were completed, Tatia was so nice to offer me again to be part of the Romance June 2010 issue as the Designer Highlight. She asked me to think romance, love and weddings.

(click the image for a larger view)

Hey, I'm the romantic and that is one of my trademarks.

It was not difficult to create the story of Victoria and a love story behind the pieces. I hope you will be encouraged to pick up this issue of Bead Trends to create a love story of your own.

In this issue you will find the following, 23 pages of my work with my story of why I do what I do and why I work so hard in doing it. Most pieces have complimentary designs that can be worn interchangeably or in a multitude of ways. Just use your imagination and go....

1. On the cover, Blushing Blossoms: pages 1 and 8

2. Designer Highlight Feature: page 41

3. Victoria's Spiral: pages 42-45

4. Midnight in the Garden: pages 46-49

5. The Secret Garden: pages 50-53

6. The Damsel and the Dragonfly: pages 54-57

7. Capture Thy Heart: pages 58-61

8. Water Lilies: pages 62-63

I also want to thank Vintaj and Kim Fox for their support in this feature. Without their wonderful findings, my designs would not be what they became. Also thanks to K. Gottfried Inc for some of the lovely crystals used in the projects! Thank you SO VERY much to all three!

Get a sneak peak at some of the designs on Vintaj's blog!!

*****
About Bead Trends Magazine from their website:

From the novice to the professional, the art of beading and jewelry design is a craft that anyone can enjoy. It is a world of beauty filled with color, pattern, design, texture, and style. It provides a satisfying outlet to create something that is a unique expression of yourself.

Because we have a passion for creating and believe that everyone has within them the talent and vision to make beautiful things with their hands, Bead Trends has introduced a beautifully photographed series of idea books designed to inspire. Every issue is filled with a variety of styles and techniques that showcase the work of many talented crafters. A favorite section of mine is our “Designer Highlight.” In this section we are introduced to a single artist, who is then given the opportunity to express him/herself and showcase their personal style in their designs.

To read more, visit Bead Trends website

*****

Thank you for everyone's continual support and enjoyment of my work. You make my dreams come true.

I will continually give you my VERY best

Lisa

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Things I MISS!

Lately it has been one show after another. If you have stopped by here or Facebook you'd know my crazy schedule for the last few months. It's been never ending.

As an artist, its great to be busy so I'm not really complaining.

Well not too much.

Really.

But I am EXHAUSTED!

I'm the one who scheduled all these shows last year knowing that there would only be two weeks in between four shows back to back to prep for each of the shows. And then after the fourth show there would only be three weeks to get ready for the largest consumer bead show in the U.S. - Bead and Button.

What was I thinking?

Sure, I am crazy because most people take nearly 2-3 months to get ready for this show.

So you heard it from me personally... I am crazy.

Lisa is CRAZY!

(about sharing her art with as many folks as possible)

Well, I'll be in Milwaukee by June 5th, next Saturday.

I had the bright idea of going early so I can do some photography in Chicago and visit around Wisconsin before the big show. What I should have done instead was to schedule extra days AFTER the show which would have given me a few more days of studio time.

These are my mini-vacations, extra days before or after a show. I don't have time to vacation in exotic places otherwise.

Live and learn.

So I live...

And learn...

I can be very focused and have been diligent in the studio but even a determined Lisa can humanly only work so many hours each day. I make the most of the time still remaining. My hands can only sculpt so many Botanicals before they ache each evening.

My poor right hand has two callouses from sculpting each flower petal. It can not be avoided. It is how I do my magic to create this series to share with the world... the story of the Ume...the plum blossom folklore. It is the cost of creating my art which I wholeheartedly understand and welcome.

So bring it ON! Bring it on.

Please don't ask me at a show if I make every one of my beads and if I use a mold?

It is a question I get at least once every show. I can't assume that everyone is familiar with my work in the vast bead world. But I hope when people look at my glass work you will notice that NO mass production facility can create beads of this quality, color depth and personal detail.

What factory would put this much heart into their work?

But I will answer those who ask me each and every time with a smile. And then show you my right hand, which I sculpt glass with. If you want to touch my callouses to feel if they are real, please do. Just know that it does bother me a bit when someone questions whether I am the beadmaker. I work long hours and suffer callous hands for a reason. The meticulous details, small and large, I place in my work is the reason why you may think I use a mold. If you can find a mold that does what I do, PLEASE let me know.

With My Hands, I Create.

I create from my HEART.

I create with a vision and dream of the possibilities.

I dream.

*****
So what I was REALLY trying to get at with this post was the schedule has been SO crazy that I miss the things I used to do more often when I had more time.

Do you know that I have two eight foot tall bookshelves full of books which I have not had time to read? I miss that. Those books have been sitting on the shelves for many years and there is dust collecting on them. I know I can pick any book out and read it any day but exhaustion encompasses me at the end of most days to do much more than manage the day to day activities of being an "entrepreneur".

You know what though?

I am a proponent that you have to make time for the things you love. I should listen to my own advice. So soon, after I tackle Bead and Button I will indulge again in some of the things I have missed. I'll have nearly seven weeks of no shows but that doesn't mean I'll be taking a break from the studio. The beads don't make themselves folks. I have a bevy of Summer and Fall shows to prep for too. So things will remain busy for this girl but just not as crazy.

I will give myself the need to escape, perhaps in one of those books on my bookshelves. Authors like Patricia Cromwell, Robert Tannebaum, Richard North Patterson, James Patterson, etc. sit in dust waiting for me, calling to me. I have so many favorite authors I used to visit with time and time again.

The good or bad thing about my reading habits is that if I like a book I can finish a 500+ page book in one day. I am (or was) a voracious reader. I will give up sleeping to finish a good book.

Yes, I am fanatic about reading and that is why I have not read a book in a LONG time, not because I didn't enjoy the process but because I knew if I read, I would only read. My glass and studio time would suffer.

Of course, there is the knitting too. My fiber addiction and a walk in closet full of wonderful yarns! I have taught myself many things over the years and knitting is one of them. The satisfaction of finishing a project!! The feeling of excitement to wear something I made with these hands and the wonderful yarns I select for each project. There is also a sense of pride when I have the time to make a gift for a love one. I miss this! I MISS!

There are several in process projects that have suffered from completion. I have a habit of selecting huge projects that take months or years to complete.

I love knitting blankets!! Yeah, I'm crazy. But think of ALL the love in every single stitch of the blanket. Love it.

Well, I started back knitting a few days ago. The particular project was at the foot of my bed, in a plastic bin of chosen yarns. Over SIXTY skeins will complete this project!!

I picked the project up and found the modular blanket pattern I had started late last year on my night stand. My notes carefully scribbled with alterations and stitch counts to spice things up a bit. My hands remembered easily the pattern after glancing at the instructions. It was as though the project never left my hands, these fingers. The needles flowed with each stitch and the knitting brought comfort to me, working on a project that I missed. Working with my hands, creating something from simple components, I love it.

So, hello again, Blythe Blanket!

Hello.

(My blanket is blue, purple and green and has black borders around each square. It will be slightly different than the photo below.)

I've missed you.

Even though it will take me months to finish you, I will.

Then there is my beading. I see my Facebook friends uploading beautiful finished projects into their photo albums and then I think to myself why I only bead these days if I am writing an article.

It is true.

I have not really beaded for FUN since before writing Bead Romantique! My main focus has been my glass work and prepping for shows. My beading has always been another comforting craft I indulge in between the busyness. Many people think that since I write about beading and create projects for magazines, I must also teach and have kits. I bead and write because I want to share with the world my love of beading. That's why I write so much but I have been taking a break to focus back on my glass work. And many of the projects you see in magazines are usually created the same week before a deadline.

Designing. Creating. Writing. All in a two week duration while working in the glass studio too. Now do you realize why I have little time to do the things I miss?

I suppose having an assignment and beading last minute challenges me. I so miss beading but I will get a chance to bead soon after Bead and Button. Yes, it is for a special assignment that I will talk more about later. I wish it was for pleasure but I can only justify so much indulgence without feeling guilty.

At least not TOO guilty.

So I'm looking forward to June and July for the things that I miss. I miss doing them and I will make time (somehow) each day to do one of the things I miss. I miss doing many things. The sacrifices of an artist. It's what I must do. I will miss less things soon. Doing many things keeps me sane and creating. That is why I have so many interests. Good or bad.

Thank you for dropping by to read from time to time. I know we are all busy so I appreciate the time you spend on my blog or on my Facebook. And, I'll try to be here more often to share my thoughts. I should be better about blogging even if these hands ache from a long day in the studio.

I should.

No more excuses.
Introspectively,
Lisa

P.S. Yes, yesterday, I finally started decorating this blog a bit with a new banner. After starting this blog on 07/07/07 it was about time!! There was a reason for starting the blog back then... to write to you...share with you a bit about ME. Thank you for being interested in my work and allowing me into your lives.
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