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Art Alliance of Lee County draws a crowd

The skies were blue, the sun was shining and for the most part there was only a gentle breeze–Southwest Florida at its finest.  Saturday, October 22nd, the Art Alliance of Lee County held their second annual Fall for the Arts.  I knew it was going to be a good day, when my booth was stationed right next to one of my icons… Doug MacGregor, a political cartoonist and author. I figured if I didn’t make any sales or have a customers, I was in for great conversation.  What I love about events like this is that it attracts people who appreciate art and recognize people who have turned their passion into a potential living.  The other great thing about this event is that it encourages demonstrations.  I demonstrated bead crochet and actually completed a bracelet during the day.

Teaching and Selling at the same time works for me.

So now I am going to stop talking and show you a few pictures from the event.

My Banner adds a Nice Touch Photo by Mark Trank

 

By the time Mark got there to shoot the Crowds had thinned out

I really enjoy talking with customers. Photo by Mark Trank

By the way,  I have to share something really interesting.  There is a growing trend among jewelry artists to combine efforts to increase sales for all.  I saw evidence of this at the show… when a a few artists came up to me and offered to share space at a store or even give me a heads up on future events.  This is happening on line as well.  Check out Melinda Orr’s blog at http://orrtec.blogspot.com/ to be part of a Big Yard Sale and Give Away.

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A Trip Down Memory Lane

I have been on a cleaning craze since the beginning of school.  I have almost made it into my beadroom… first it was one of my son’s rooms, then it was my closet.  I found the sweetest pictures of my three boys when they were little.  But I have also uncovered some of my failed beading projects.  I will photograph them and put up a slide show of them tomorrow. 

Returning to my roots as an educator, I think the slide show will show how learning progresses up a ladder.  In teacher terms,  “scaffolding” to help a student learn.  It seems as I read many blogs of my fellow beaders, most have scaffolded themselves from the very simple to a more sophisticated form of beading.  For me, it has taken me from simply stringing into the use of fibers, seed beads, sewing, braiding, Kumihimo, knotting and crocheting.  But lately I have had a hankering to learn more about wire wrapping.  So tomorrow I am so excited to be taking a class from a wonderful Jeweler and teacher Babs in Fort Myers.  I will hopefully have a product worth showing.

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First Day of School

First attempt at Wire and bead Crochet Nice Huh

Two of my three children went back to school today.  The third is out of school, on his own.  As I was helping my middle son clean his room yesterday before he started his senior year at high school, I was likening this process to what I go through between big beading projects. De-cluttering, cleaning up, starting fresh… all important steps for getting the creative juices going. I am participating, for the first time, in the Bead Soup Blog Party organized and sponsored by Bead Artist Extrodinaire Lori Anderson at www.prettythingsblog.com So I am going to clean my room before I begin.  My son did not believe me that this was a necessary step for being successful as a senior in a highly competitive program about to apply for colleges, have a bar mitzvah, write three major papers, take two IB tests, and ofcourse, his most important priority, have fun. Oh well, it takes age to produce such wisdom.  He told me yesterday that “I should look now, because it will be back to the way it was in three days or less.”  So today before he came home from school, I snuck into his room and admired the floor without papers and dirty socks, the shiny trophies from his entire childhood of sports and I thought whether he admits it or not, this is going to help him accomplish his goals this year.

As for my goals, I am going to post the pictures of my work in progress from two days ago.  I am going to gather the beads for the party.  Keep reading my blog for updates and I am goinng to finish a necklace that is sitting on my workspace waiting for the clasp. 

Second attempt was the worse than the first

 

My third atempt kind of looked like an earring

 

 She thinks she’s got it

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The Learning Curve

When I first started beading 10 years ago, I realized quickly that reading the instructions almost never worked for me.  As an educator in a public high school for ten years, I noticed all the different styles of learning— visual, kinesthetic, auditory, naturalistic.  The list goes on… but knowing your prefered learning style translates into success. I am an auditory and visual learner. Explain to me, draw me a picture and let me ask questions and interact with the instructor and I get it.  My neice, Elizabeth, who was much better at reading instructions, used to take the written beading instructions and translate them for me.  She would draw simple diagrams and re-write the instructions taking into account my wierd way of looking at things. 

Fast forward five years to 2011–for the past month now I have been struggling with a form of bead crochet that kept eluding me.  Finally, a few nights ago, while working on this technique, it clicked. I got it and I did it without a teacher explaining it to me or even my neice drawing it out.  So maybe, an old dog can learn new tricks. Learning new things, perfecting a technique takes practice, practice and more practice.  Tearing apart a failed piece or even discovering a mistake actually looks good is part of this process.  One of my earlier efforts at the bead crochet necklace I was working on actually might work as an earring.  So I have one earring.  Now if I can only figure out what I did wrong again, so I can make a second earring. Lol. Tomorrow I promise to take pictures and add it to this post.