Thursday, February 28, 2008

The Thursday Tease

Aaah... I thought it was most appropriate that I tease everyone this week on color inspired by our feathered friends. And appropriately, this leads me to my friend Jean Yates' premiere article for Softflex Company, March 2008's Spotlight Article, Getting Inspiration from the Animal Kingdom for Your Jewelry Designs. Yes, I'm a few days early in announcing the article, but it was so appropriate that I make this "link" now, as it would be too late by next Thursday! Be sure to read Jean's insightful commentary and how she found inspiration on Softflex's own product offerings that matched well to the animal kingdom!

In the meantime, look at the wonderful shadows and subtle highlights on the feathers of the photo below. Yes it's a beautiful parrot's wing. And the colors below, are simply and totally PATRIOTIC! I love it.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Down Memory Lane ...

My special friend, Jean Yates, sent me her fabulous new book, Links (click the book cover to the right to visit Amazon so you can order it NOW!). I have so much to say regarding this book but I want to dedicate several posts to it later.

Jean took me down memory lane this morning and I thought it would be fun to share with you my February 2002 Artist of the Month profile from Click the title "February 2002 artist of the month" to visit the exact page as the photos didn't translate well when I copied over the text to share with you here.

Once you are on Justbeads, you will see how "young" I looked back then. The photo is part of a studio photo Nick and I took while we were dating (circa, 1997 or 1998 as we were married July 1998) at the SAME studio that took my photos for the book and my publicity headshot for my magazine articles. The Justbead photo was taken by Henry Wang's mom, Lucy, a family of superb photographers! If you need great photos for ANY occasion Henry and Lucy are the ones to go to and they travel to your shoot, as well for your convenience. I'd admit, I was bad and cropped Nick's head out of the Justbead photo. Oooops! Sorry husband.

Even then my design sensibilities were already taking root to who I am now. I was inspired by nature, texture, color, shape, form and function, etc. I love playing with FIRE to create beautiful things! Even then, I wrote and wrote. Hahah. I gotta be me and now you know I've always been this way - long-winded and chatty!!! I love to write and talk about beads, beads, and MORE beads as well as the creative process! Be glad you are not my husband, Nick, who has to listen to me gab EVERY day about beads! I sleep, drink and eat beads!

I'm actually posting this now also because then you'll know my birthday is May 4th. (hint hint) ;o) No need for presents now... just a note in the email on that day is all I wish for. On May 4th, my birthday I will be exhibiting at Bead Expo Phoenix, promoting THE book Bead Romantique.

My sister Sandy and I will also be representing my friends Ezel Findings (aka Ezel Jewels) at their booth (next to me), so drop by for a lookie if you are visiting the show. I'll have a few FREE passes to the show, in a month, so email me if you want passes to save money on beads instead. You'll have to promise to come to my booth for a "short" chat and send me your birthday wishes. There are no breaks for this gal, even on her birthday! But at least I get to celebrate my time surrounded by my Interweave friends, beadie buddies, beautiful beads and talking about beads, beads and MORE beads. If I could eat and drink beads, I would!

From February 2002 (click the banner to visit the exact page!):

Meet This Month's Featured Artist

My name is Lisa Kan, better known to most as "LKan54". The "LKan" is obvious. The "54" is my birthdate, (May 4th).

Before I begin telling you about myself and how I got to where I am now, I want to extend a few special thank you's to some very deserving people. I was quite honored when asked to become February 2002's Artist of the Month. First, this could not have happened without the support of my husband, Nick. I would also like to thank Victoria Sutherland (a.k.a. Storia Designs) who was the first to tell me about this site back in October 2000. I came, I saw, and I stayed. Why? To me, Justbeads engenders a feeling of "family" because they care about their users and have devoted a lot of effort to make this the best bead auction site. Therefore, I want to take this opportunity to thank Bettina and Bob. JustBeads is the only site where I list.

Now about me: I can go back to my childhood years and tell you what inspired me to reach where I am now, but I won't. It's not important where I've been, but where I am going. I've been known to have the gift of gab and can write long novels if given the opportunity. Just ask some of my closest friends. My website tells the rest of my history ( I'll just begin the story with the BEADS.

Beads came into my life in March 2000 when I started selling online. I sold and still sell today Bali precious metals, Swarovski crystals, Czech glass, pearls, semi-precious stones, as well as, finished jewelry. I operated this "business" part time on my off hours from the day job. Time passed. Then, in November 2000, a new bead store opened in my area. I decided to drop in to take a look at the grand opening. Browsing through the bookshelves, I came across everyone's beginning lampwork book, Cindy Jenkin's "Making Glass Beads". I bought it. During the next few weeks, I studied this book intensely and dreamt of glass beadmaking. It was not until April 2001 that I found time to take a 5-hour beginner's course. In late May, I also took up metalsmithing, primarily working with sterling silver. The two beginner courses gave me sufficient information to get started and the rest I learned on my own. Thus, began my journey.

The metalsmithing was placed on the back burner. Within one month of using a Hothead torch, I was set up with a Minor and propane/oxygen tank. And it was not long after, my studio quickly evolved. I took a hiatus from beadmaking practice in June 2001 due to an impromptu business trip to the Far East. Upon returning, the flame beckoned me and I was determined to play with fire once again. In August 2001, 5 months after taking up lampworking, I officially launched my own glass bead line, KanDes Lampwork exclusively on Justbeads. "KanDes" is Kan Designs, which is pronounced "khandeez" (as in Genghis Khan). It is a play on the word "candies" with my name. In essence, I hope my lampwork will "sweeten" your designs.

Birth of an idea: How can I describe the process? Why is lampworking so exciting to me? Well. . . Working with glass, you heat the glass rod until it melts and glows an amberish red, then slowly wound the glass around a stainless steel mandrel. Although it may begin very much like a glob of nothing, gravity takes over and does its work if you manipulate the speed with which you turn your mandrel, with learned control. Turning clockwise towards the flame, right under the flame, it works perfectly all the time. ALL glass when heated looks the same. It is a big glob of molten amberish red. But, aaaaaaaaahh.. when the shape begins to form, whether it be round, oval, square, bicone or abstract, it is exhilarating that it was I and the flame working together to achieve the final shape.

The reality that is: I have a thousand ideas of beads and of metalsmith projects waiting to be made. The only restriction is time and getting my workshop fully equipped. As to lampworking, it's amazing how some of these beads can turn out, since it can be difficult to distinguish colors and the designs when you have a hot gather of glass in front of you. You have to think a mile a minute. One wrong move or a little too long in the flame and that's it. There are rarely any second chances when dealing with hot glass. Precision, control, concentration, patience and meticulous care to details are attributes one needs to master. As to metalsmithing, there's nothing like pounding on some metal after a long frustrating day at work.

If untamed, fire can be destructive. On the other hand, lampworkers and metalsmiths, harness fire to create their art.I can go on and on about the passion I have for the creative process, but I'll end it here. Thank you for allowing me this opportunity to share my thoughts. I hope you come to enjoy my imagination, artistic interpretation and creativity in each of the tiny works of art I make. Lastly, thank you also to everyone (you know who you are!) who has been there to support me in this journey I simply call "My Dream".

All My Best

P.S. I hope you enjoyed reading this little "blast from the past". There are similar information on my updated website bio! Thanks Jean for taking me back to this morning. You are extra special, xoxo!

Please visit Jean's website and blog for more insightful commentary, wonderful stories and creative designs. And, more about Jean's book Links in upcoming future posts! In the meantime, it's back to the studio for me, to make more beads for Portland! Whew! (wiping sweat off my brow!)

Friday, February 22, 2008

Enough beads for Portland...

AN IMPORTANT MESSAGE from my website:

Please note that I NEED to close the show stock for online ordering, due to need to save any new beads for
Bead Expo, Portland. I will open up the stock again afterwards as stock allows. I am exhibiting in a different state this year each month (I'm a bit crazy, you know! so I hope I'll survive this schedule), so fingers are crossed. I apologize for disappointing those who had wanted to place an online order but this is the only way I can stay organized and focused with my studio time. You can still email me to be placed on a waiting list for beads, if you don't mind waiting and I will contact you once I have a nice selection after Bead Expo Portland.

THANK YOU for your overwhelming interest in my work and please don't forget to visit your local beadstores too for your designing needs!! You can still order IN-STOCK premium electroformed leaves, Serenity, Ginkgo and freshwater pearls from my website.
I don't want to disappoint Portland attendees with not enough beads to show and I'm making beads as fast as humanly possible while maintaining the utmost important factor of QUALITY. I believe quality is more important than quantity. If you can make it to any of my shows that would be excellent to visit with you too.

Back to the studio,
still breathing but working hard, as usual

Thursday, February 21, 2008

The Thursday Tease

I thought I would have one more 'animal humor' photo to share with you all. Given what I have gone through with the Yahoo webhosting issue and everything being back on track now, I say we need a THUMBS UP. Isn't this little tree monkey too cute. Look at that face and her sticking her tongue out. Lol.

I am back in the studio all day today. So here's to a productive studio day.

Stay creative (with a little animal humor in between to break up the day!)


Monday, February 18, 2008

Drumroll Please...

Well after 7 days and about 10 emails later (I lost count!), my website has just been successfully updated. I was beginning to wonder if the Yahoo Technical team was going to let me down. I had my doubts based on the emails I was receiving, some good suggestions on fixes but mostly redundant information that I already found on my own. I'd like to pride myself as somewhat of a technical junkie who can figure out things on my own. So I usually don't contact technical support unless I've exhausted all options.

Thank goodness things are back on track now because I had so much news to share with you. I persevered, went on an email writing campaign and never gave up. Come visit, Lisa Kan Designs to see all the updates.

Now that the website uploading issue is behind me, I started back in the studio this afternoon and will soon be totally immersed into getting ready for Portland. Yeah! Whoopee! Flame on!

Beading Daily Free Project - Last Day to Vote

Vote for the free project from Lisa Kan's Bead Romantique. Last day to vote is Monday, February 18, 2008. One vote per person; the project with the most votes will be free to Beading Daily members for a limited time. View the Projects and Vote Now.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Electronic Gadgets are FUN...

Today I received an email from the Yahoo technical support team(the sixth one since the website hosting/uploading problems began). I felt extra special since every email has been from a different technical person, which undoubtedly meant I was getting a lot of personal attention. I also had to repeat my "problem" (which they created) numerous times. In my previous life as a young engineer out of college, I worked in Technical Support for several years, so I am well aware of the "cut and paste" answers from the knowledge base to save time. As a matter of fact, I used to write standard answers for my technical team to shorten the need to type new answers over and over. So I DO understand what these Yahoo folks are going through. What I don't understand though is why my problem is still not resolved (after 7 days!) All we had to do was install the Frontpage extensions which they fouled up while transferring my site to a new webhosting platform with "new fantastic features". So as of yet, things are STILL not fixed, so we continue our wait and my website looks absolutely unpresentable without it's header, footer, and pretty fonts!

The latest Yahoo email went like this:
"Thank you for writing to Yahoo! Web Hosting. We are looking into any difficulties you reported and we apologize for any inconvenience you may have experienced. Our engineering team is currently investigating this issue. Should you wish to contact us regarding this issue, please refer to case number: 1755796. We apologize for the inconvenience."

I've been working so intensely on paperwork and updating the website offline for the last few days that I had to get out of the house this afternoon. While out, we also went electronics shopping as we needed a new phone system. We owned the last one for nearly four years before it started having problems and recently failed.

I'd be the first to admit that I can be quite "geeky" and "nerdy" around technical gadgets. Give me a new electronic gadget and I can amuse myself for hours!

My friend Marsha Neal Studio had suggested getting a digital picture frame to display my various designs and articles at shows, instead of hauling all the laminated sheets that I make with each publication release. I had been researching, waiting and wanting to get a digital picture frame since last August when I saw my friend Kelly Russell with a similar setup at the Softflex Sonoma show. I finally found a 15" screen on SALE that fit the bill. I wanted a BIG screen and who would have thought that Costco was the place I would find the digital frame for my "product signage" needs. The walnut wood frame is so rich and I will add some additional detailing to beautify it later. I've already loaded a new 2GB SanDisk cruzer with some test photos and WOWZA the slideshow photos show up so beautifully. I couldn't hardly contain my excitement that I wanted to share the news here. I can't wait to show this puppy off at Bead Expo Portland so everyone can see the digital frame in action! You would think that I won the lottery with my giddy excitement. It doesn't take much to get a lifetime techie all riled up!

Well since I was on a roll with the electronic gadgets, I had been wanting a designated camera to take on the road ever since I started flying off to exhibit at shows (Bead Expo Charleston, May 2006). Even though Nick offered to "loan" me his Kodak (5.0 MPixels) for my roadtrips, I was yearning for something with better specs. He likes the ease of Kodak whereas I like more features, macro adjustments and higher pixels. I have always been stuck on Canon or Nikon cameras as being some of the best digitals available in the market. Since I already own a Nikon 995, I figured it was time to get my anxious hands finally on a Canon. After checking out Digital Photography Review (my favorite site for MANY years to read up on digital equipment. I NEVER buy any digital camera or equipment until I've visited this site.) and viewing the sample photos, it was clear and obvious that the Canon Powershot G9 was the best choice for my needs (and DESIRES!)

And after less than an hour and some price comparisons on three sites, I've ordered the G9 (with accessories, of course)! Everything should be here within 9 days or so. I don't diddle daddle and already intended to purchase a Canon this year anyways. I wanted to have time to familiarize myself with the camera in time for Bead Expo Portland. I know I will put this new camera to good use and it will reward me with beautiful photos for years to come. My Nikon 995 always stays home for website and article photography, so the G9 will be the designated camera I'll use to take you along on my Show Stops.

Additional Accessories

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Website Update...

Okay, I've updated the ENTIRE website offline and am just waiting for the Yahoo tech support team to give me the go to upload. Right now they are doing some re-activating of Frontpage extensions in the background. I know that I should have designed the website with a more reliable software instead of tying myself down to Microsoft. Something to consider but for now I'm ready for the upload. You'll see so many fantastic pictures and newly updated pages. I bet you can't wait. I know I can't. I hope by Sunday it'll all be fixed but I think I'm overly optimistic.

I will be back in the studio on Monday instead of this weekend. There are still tons of paperwork to take care of and cleaning this office! to be more organized and efficient. I have books, catalogs, and beads all over the place. So, until next time, have an excellent 3-day weekend!

The Red Haiku ...

Okay I admit, I snagged this photo from my friend, Andrew Thornton's blog. Andrew always has his camera handy and was able to capture the beautiful Jamie Hogsett wearing a RED Haiku bead I gave her last year before she left Interweave. I keep telling myself to run away from Andrew when he has his camera because he has a knack at capturing me without makeup, talking or eating, or worse yet in an unattractive pose. Where's my glamor shot now? I need proper lighting and a makeup artist to doll me up. Oh well, I'm just a simple girl and at least you know I can look pretty if I have to. Give me a nice T-shirt and a pair of jeans anytime.

It was because of Jamie that my River's Edge necklace made it to the cover of Spring 2006 issue of Stringing Magazine. When I found out Jamie was leaving May last year, I took Jamie down memory lane, and sent her away with a box of my beads - one from each of the projects I wrote for Interweave - during her tenure. She deserved every bead and more. I love spoiling my friends. I challenged Jamie to use any of her beads to make a finished project for Tucson 2008 and wear it at the Interweave party. Jamie did NOT disappoint and was the ONLY one out of the two others editors that completed her challenge with flying colors. I will protect the innocent and not mention the other editors' names but they have another year to complete their challenges. (WINK! hint: I will see them next month at Bead Expo Portland) I will have to say that Jamie's sophisticated clean design really features the red Haiku and make it SHINE. Red, was selected for Jamie because it symbolizes passion and love. It also symbolizes good luck, fortune and prosperity. Hugs to you Jamie!

The beautiful Melinda Barta, Managing Editor of Beadwork and Stringing Magazine, sparkles with a lovely style is smiling to Jamie's left. She gave me a heartwarming hug after our dinner on Wednesday night. I love hanging out with my friends from Interweave! I get the chance to work with so many talented Interweave editors and am one LUCKY girl! (click the photo to get a closeup of the lovely black and red Haiku necklace gracing Jamie's neck!)

Friday, February 15, 2008

The Historical Manning House Mansion

Welcome to the Manning House Mansion: (click any photo for a larger view) Photos were shot on the last day of the show, Feb 10th, before all the customers arrived to capture the true beauty of this landmark.

Transportation and Parking:

Manning House Parking - Main FREE parking lot that leads you right to the Silverbell Gallery (where my booth is... how convenient!)

Alternate City Parking - If there's no parking spaces available, this lot is right next door. If you stay until we close, after 6 p.m., your parking is FREE! And you do need an entire day to see all the wonderful vendors. Whoopee.)

Free Shuttle Service (Every 15 minutes pickup from the front of the Manning House for your shopping convenience)

Manning House Mansion (exterior shots around the landmark):

A new friend Nick met while shooting photos. This little doggie was so energetic and had fun running around Nick while he shot his photos. She wanted to be in some of them too!)

Our friend posing #1

Our friend posing #2

Various exterior shots of the Manning House:

Onsite Cafe and Rotunda:

Cafe to dine and sip a nice cool drink between shopping. How luxurious the setting!

Rotunda outside #1 Another beautiful area to take a load off your feet during your shopping spree.

Rotunda outside #2 Closeup

The Silverbell Gallery:

Entrance from parking to Silverbell Gallery and Ballroom

Gorgeous restroom with carved wood trimmed mirrors. None of that convention bathroom stalls for you baby!

Kelly Russell of Beadfuddled busy shopping and as usual, not at her booth (ha!) One of my best buddies and her polymer work is featured in a project in Bead Romantique.

Before the show opened on last day

Before the show opened on last day

Lisa Kan Designs (Geez, I need a haircut soon. Thanks Nick for taking a photo of the booth BEFORE it was setup. I'll have to add a nicer one on the next Show Stop: Portland)

T-Beads an original exhibitor from day one just like me and Marsha Neal Studio. Tammy makes the cutest sculptural and frog beads! Many of her themes are reflective of her Florida home.)

Marsha Neal Studi0 one of my best buddies and ceramic artist extraordinaire. Just look at the array of color on her table. How does she do it all?
Nikki Thornburg another one of my best show buddies who makes the cutest sculptural frog beads (everyone loves frogs!) as well as organic beads. Nikki also has an energetic and vibrant personality. I love being around her.

The Silverbell Ballroom:

Before the show on last day. This is how things look like before everything becomes pretty!

Vendors cleaning up before the anxious shoppers show up. We had people waiting by the door nearly every day, 1/2 hour before we opened.

Vendors setting up before the crowds arrive.

Vintaj, one my best buddies has a HUGE presence. There are three projects in my Bead Romantique book utilizing Vintaj. I'll also have a number of magazine articles featuring their findings in 2008. More news on this later, gotta keep the mystery up until the articles are published.

Morning Star Room:

Specialty Beads #1. If you look carefully you will see an alternate version of a project from the book on the table near my postcard! Jannell Botto and Specialty Beads is MY source for beautiful Italian wire mesh for all my projects. This is the SAME product as Wire Lace but sold as "wire mesh". The only difference is the copyrighted name.

Speciality Beads #2 Jannell has an excellent selection of Murano glass beads and pendants, which she brings directly from her trips to Italy.

Speciality Beads #3 Other accoutrement like ribbons and findings for your creations


Redondo Pavilion (this tent will be removed for the 2009 MHBS to add additional onsite parking for your shopping convenience!)

Various Interesting Architectural Details:

I hope you enjoyed taking a tour with me through the Manning House and Nick's camera lens. Join me in 2009 as I return to this beautiful venue. The 2009 show will be managed by The Manning House Mansion, themselves, with exciting new changes and improvements to an already beautiful show. Mark your calenders from February 3-8, 2009 and I'll see you there. More news about the new Manning House Beadshow will be posted on their site soon.

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