Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Paris to the Moon - Inspired by Reading

I mentioned a while back that I was joining in on another new design challenge... Andrew Thornton's "Inspired by Reading Book Club." Today is the big reveal for the group's first book selection!

This month's selection was Paris to the Moon by Adam Gopnik, a collection of essays chronicling the author's time living in Paris with his wife and young son.  Even though I knew it was a series of vignettes and not an autobiography, I was still expecting a stronger story arc running through it for some reason.  I'm not a huge short story or essay person, I like being able to immerse myself in the story...to really get lost in it.  With these essays, I kept getting pulled out of the story as he switched from topic to topic.  My other gripe was that he used an awful lot of French with no explanation.  I'm too lazy to break out the French-English dictionary every couple of paragraphs and felt like he should have given more explanation of the French terms or at least a little more context to help the reader out.

I have to admit that while there were some scenes in the book that captured my imagination, I had a hard time translating any of them into a piece of jewelry with the time and beads that I had available.  Maybe since I've never been to the City of Lights, it was extra hard for me to visualize things in my mind's eye.

I don't want to give the impression that I hated the book or anything... that's not the case.  It certainly wasn't my favorite and it wasn't without flaws, but it did have some interesting chapters.  Some of my favorite bits were the author's quest to find a New York style gym in Paris, his description of the children trying to catch rings on a stick while riding the carousel, and the chapter about their short time as off-peak members of the pool at the Ritz hotel.  As a librarian, I also found the part about the library interesting and sort of horrifying... it sounded so rigid and dysfunctional!  

I ended up making use of a Parisian-themed collage sheet from Nunn Design and some of their copper plated bezels, links, and chain to make a cute little bracelet.  I also broke out the rubber stamps to find the Eiffel Tower I used on the larger middle link.  I used UV resin on all three of the links and added a couple of Czech glass beads in shades of green for a little dash of color.

I wanted to use one of the fancy copper pendant bezels that I bought for a coordinating necklace but, unfortunately, I botched the resin job not once, but twice.  Thank goodness I was able to pry my resiny-mess out of it before it completely set!  That would have been an expensive as well as frustrating mistake!

In the end, I feel a little like I copped out by making a piece that is fairly generic "Paris" instead of being "Paris to the Moon."  I think that translating from the written word to a visual medium was much more challenging for me than using a photograph or painting as an inspiration.  I'm taking May off from the book club challenge (too much going on to face the super long fantasy novel!) but I plan to be back in action for the June installment.

Please check out what everyone else created in response to Paris to the Moon and consider joining the fun if you are creatively inclined!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Art Jewelry Elements Earring Challenge Weeks 15 and 16

This is my second reveal for the AJE Earring Challenge.  Participants are to make a pair of earrings every week using at least one handmade component.

For this reveal I'm featuring two pairs of earrings with Vintaj metal blanks that I embossed and painted myself.  I talked about the process for making these little lovelies earlier in the week.  If you missed it, you can check out that post HERE.

The first pair features a motif that I've been enamored with lately...bees!  The upper part of the new India Archway DecoEmboss folder reminded me of honeycomb so I positioned the brass blanks in that area to create the design on these earrings.

Naturally, I chose to paint them in shades of yellow.  I punched a hole in each blank and riveted bee charms to the rectangles for the finished product.  I actually made a second pair with the bees hanging from the bottom of the rectangles, but I like this set a little better.

Week 15:  Embossed and painted brass by me.
Next up is a pair I made with the new Celtic Weave DecoEmboss folder.  The pattern reminds me of the Man in the Maze motif that I first became acquainted with from my childhood friends the Bilbro family.  I punched extra holes in the bottom of the circular brass blanks so that I could add some extra dangles for extra pizazz and movement.  I used the new Lapis and Emerald patinas which made a great teal color in the middle that I just love.

Week 16:  More embossed and painted brass by me.
I'm sure that you'll seeing more earrings from me using these techniques as the earring challenge continues.  I have such fun playing with different designs and paint colors... the possibilities are endless!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Exploring Color Palettes

Mixing colors doesn't come all that easily to me as a jewelry designer and it's something that I want to learn more about this year.  I don't come from a fine arts background, so my understanding of color theory is at a pretty basic level.  When I start looking at colors, I have a strong tendency to want to keep to shades of one hue instead of branching out with pops of contrasting color.  I think playing with diverse colors must be controlled by the same part of the brain that deals with asymmetry... and for me, that area of my brain just needs an extra work out!

The Spring 2013 issue of Jewelry Stringing magazine had a great article called "Colorize Your Jewelry: Top Spots for Color Inspiration."  I skimmed the article when the issue first arrived, but it took me a little while to get around to checking out the websites and blogs that were highlighted by the author.  The other day I finally circled back to the article and then spent the better part of the afternoon in pursuit of amazing color combinations.  The article was a great jumping off point, but I found some great sites and palettes by looking around on Pinterest and other places too!

Color Palette from the Oh the Color website
Perhaps I am just craving some color after what feels like an endless, grey Minnesotan winter, but I'm ready to celebrate COLOR!  Maybe some of you are feeling the same way, so I thought I'd share some of my favorites that I discovered in my color explorations with my readers.

Design Seeds
This website is pretty much all about showing people gorgeous color palettes.  Each day, Jessica Colaluca posts one or two photos along with a color palette that she pulled from it.  I love how you can click on a color in a given palette and it will take you to other photos/palettes that include that color.  There are some more advanced search functions as well.  Since she's been at this since 2009, it's nice to be able to search through the wealth of rich color on her site!

Tulip Color from Design Seeds blog

Brandi Girl Blog
Each month as part of the monthly art challenge, the Art Bead Scene blog shares a color palette for the artwork that is created by Brandi Hussey.  I have long been impressed by the beauty of these palettes but hadn't looked any further until now.  I finally made the leap to look at Brandi's blog, and, WOW, what a wealth of information she shares there!  Brandi is an artist who was formerly a jewelry designer so, in addition to sharing her gorgeous photography and color palettes, she also talks a lot about color theory and design and shares a ton of tips for working with color and beyond.  I want (and need) to go back and explore her blog further... I can tell that I will learn a great deal from this talented lady!

Spring Trees color Palette from Brandi Girl Blog

Here are links to a few more spots on the interwebs that had some serious color inspiration:

  • Photo Card Boutique has a section for what they call Color Crush Palettes.
  • Decor Hacks is a DIY home and craft projects site that has a great section of palettes as well as design ideas. 
  • Oh the Color strives to be a digital sketchbook for color inspiration and to highlight artwork.  They have been posting a palette each Saturday (by Brandi Hussey) that pulls from the previous week's colors. 
  • Color Collective creator Lauren Willhite showcases color palettes "pulled from the work of various designers, artists, and photographers that I am inspired by."  Many are drawn from fashion photography.

All this online exploring inspired me to start a new Pinterest board, Pretty Palettes!, to save some of my favorite color combinations.  My hope is that I can use this as a place to go for color inspiration if I ever get stuck on color.

Overall, my favorite sites were those where they show a color palette along side a photo (or photos) that the colors were drawn from.  I like seeing an image where the colors are mixed together a bit more than just chunks of color side by side.  I think seeing a picture also helps me in thinking about how to best balance the mix of colors in a design too.  As I said, I'm color-challenged so I need all the help I can get!

All that being said, there are plenty of interesting web sites out there that are mostly just groupings of color.  My favorite of these was Adobe's Kuler website that allows you search, create, and share color palettes (they call them themes).  My favorite feature is the ability to create a palette from an uploaded a photo (or one from flickr) and then save it if you have registered with them (it's free!).  Of course, you can just browse the thousands of themes that other people have created and shared.

A color theme I created with one of my jewelry photos.  Pretty cool!

What puzzles me the most about my inability to effortlessly mix colors in my designs is the fact that I'm so drawn to things that have a variety of colors in them.  I'm drawn like a moth to flame by pre-made seed bead mixes, colorful scrap-booking paper, and fun fabric prints so why doesn't my mind naturally turn to those types of color combos?  Looking at all of these great resources has really re-energized me when it comes to adding color to my designs in interesting ways.  I'm smitten with color and I hope my designs will show it!

Some of my favorite seed bead mixes from Glass Garden Beads.
Is anyone else fascinated by color palettes?  or just color in general?  What are your favorite web sites or other sources of inspiring colors?  Let me know in the comments of this blog post... I'm always looking for new ideas and sources of inspiration!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Fun with the BIGkick and Vintaj Patinas!

For a variety of reasons that I won't bore you all with, I haven't had time to play with the new Vintaj Deco Emboss and Deco Etch dies or the new patina colors that I bought a while back...and it's been killing me!  I'm sure all of you know how it feels when you get some new toy or gadget and just want to drop all of your responsibilities and play.  Well, that's how I've been feeling until now.

I thought I'd share a little bit about the process since some of you have been surprised by the effects that can be achieved.  Apologies in advance for my somewhat suspect photography skills for this post... I was working with iffy lighting for all of these!

Christmas before last, Eric bought me my Vintaj edition BIGkick machine and I've been having fun with it ever since.  (I have a pretty fabulous hubby if I do say so myself!)  It's basically a small roller-based die cut machine (like what schools often use to cut out shapes for bulletin boards).  Anyway, some smart person discovered that you could use paper embossing folders with thin metal to get cool effects and soon there were jewelry specific products on the market.  Vintaj partnered with Sizzix to make this special edition machine and a series of embossing folders and etching dies.  In the picture below you can see a pair of brass blanks that I've positioned on the DecoEmboss die as well as a closed die folder.  The next step is closing the folder, putting the second clear cutting pad on top (you can sort of see it off to the left side), and rolling everything through the machine.

Here's a close up from after I rolled these little blanks through the machine.  These are going to be painted yellow and have some little bee charms dangling from the bottom when I'm done with them, but that reveal is for another day!

So, I spent a little bit of time rolling a bunch of plain blanks of various sizes and materials (they come in brass, copper, and a blackened metal they call arte metal).  I like to do things in decent sized batches since I have to get out special equipment and it saves time to do a bunch all at one time.  Here's what I rolled out:

After I emboss and etch everything I like to give them a quick bath in a little bit of dish detergent and warm water.  The tutorials and such don't say to do that, but since the blanks often have a little bit of oil left over from the manufacturing process (that's my guess, anyway...it could just be protective for storage and shipping) I figure it's a good idea to clean that off to allow for a clean surface for the paint to adhere to.  Again, Vintaj paired up with Ranger, a company who is known for it's paints and inks, to develop a line of metal friendly paints designed for use with their metals.  They call them patinas, but that's just fancy talk for paint!  They just rolled out two new sets that I was eager to try out.

After painting the pieces and setting the paint a little bit with a heat tool (i.e. tiny but really hot little hair dryer looking thing), you can sand off excess paint from the high points to bring back some of the metal to the surface.  The arte metal is kind of fun since when you sand it down it actually shines through silver.  Here are the same pieces after getting painted:

They are super close to being done at this point.  My photos were taken in some iffy light conditions and don't do the colors justice.  I'm pretty happy with the way I did some color blending to get a sort of ombre effect on a few of them.  All that's left is shaping anything that needs it and then sealing everything with the Vintaj Glaze for durability and to keep the shine on the exposed metal.  The glaze can also be used to thin out the patinas to create some cool effects but I didn't do any of that with this batch.

It's probably a little hard to really tell, but here are the pieces after I shaped some of them and applied the glaze.  I used my dapping block (the wooden square in the top right) and my trusty hammer to dome some of the pairs.  I learned the hard way that using the glaze before dapping can cause some undesired effects.

I also curved the three rectangles that became a bracelet.  Here is the finished product... in person the painted and glazed pieces almost look like they are enameled or cloisonné.

That's all the show and tell for the moment.  I'll showing off at least two pairs of earrings that come from this batch on Sunday for the Art Jewelry Elements Earring Challenge reveal.  Most of these will hopefully be completed and for sale at the Chanhassen Spring Boutique sale that day too for you local folks!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Art of Science Creative Challenge Reveal

I mentioned a while back that I had discovered (and planned on entering) the Art of Science Creative Challenge being hosted by Tara Linda.  Today is the big reveal day!

To jog your memory, here is the inspiration... a gorgeous photo of Orion's Nebula!

Photo from NASA/Hubbel Telescope

Per my usual process, I started by looking for some sort of focal to be my starting point.  I was pretty sure that I would be able to make use of the larger lampwork glass pieces from Unicorn Beads that I recently won from a contest on the Vintaj Brass blog.  It's fitting that the theme that month had been "Northern Lights"!  Here is what I won:
I decided that the large dark blue coin bead (in the center of the picture) would be perfect for this challenge and I started designing from there.  I just learned that this bead is made with dichroic glass chips to give it the layers of brilliant metallic color.  I find it both interesting and totally fitting for this challenge that dichroic glass was originally created for the aerospace industry... NASA developed it for use in the face shields of space suits.  I think this little bead was obviously destined for this space-inspired challenge!

Since the colors in the photo are so amazing and vibrant, I knew that my creation needed to have those same qualities.  Photos don't capture it super well, but the focal bead has a good amount of metallic orange, green, and teal blue within the darker blue glass.  The dominant colors in the nebula are oranges and reds, so I wanted pops of that in my necklace.  I decided to use copper chain and wire to bring in more of that orange color right from the start. 

As I dug through my bead stash for possibilities, I found myself drawn to my more sparkly items:  Swarovski crystals of many colors, faceted glass and gemstones, crackled Czech glass.... pretty much anything with some shine, sparkle, or iridescence got dumped out on my bead board.  The first thing that I decided on was a lime green crackled Czech glass round.  I'm super proud of myself for trying a new (to me) wire wrapping technique on this little bead.  I think that the wire cage swirling around the bead feels sort of cosmic and adds some visual interest and movement to things.

I used the same wire wrapping technique with the pendant and then added a trio of bicone crystals to the bottom loop.  I pretty much stuck with the crystals and chose a variety of colors and shapes to go with both the photo and the pendant.  I used a smaller sized chain on one side so that the toggle bar portion of the TierraCast Del Sol clasp (that I chose for its sunburst pattern) would sit correctly.  To balance out the design I added a collection of crystals along the length.  

So, without further ado (or yapping from me!), here is the necklace that I created in response to the beauty of Orion's Nebula!

I also whipped up a pair of earrings to coordinate with the necklace.  There were two matching small coin beads in my prize package that fit the bill.  They don't have quite the same orange fire as the pendant so they "go" more than match.

You can see what everyone else came up with by taking a tour of the other blogs.  Enjoy!

Tara Linda:  http://taralinda.wordpress.com/

Angie Warren:   http://therer2doors.wordpress.com/

D of Wondrous Strange Designs:   http://wondrousstrangedesigns.blogspot.com/

Andrew Thornton:  http://andrew-thornton.blogspot.com/

Sarajo ~ Sj Designs (me!):  http://www.sjdesignsjewelry.blogspot.com/

Marina of Fanciful Devices:  http://fancifuldevices.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

April Art Bead Scene Challenge

I didn't think that I would have the energy or time to make something for this month's Art Bead Scene challenge, but when I saw the inspiration artwork, I just couldn't resist!  Maybe it's because this Minnesotan winter doesn't seem to want to end, but the beautiful spring meadow in full bloom had me itching to create!  If you want to read more about the painting you can check out the post over on the ABS blog HERE.

Walk in the Meadows at Argenteuil, 1873
Claude Monet
Color Palette by Brandi Hussey
Often the rate limiting step in choosing to do one of these challenges is what sort of art beads I have in my stash that might work.  Luckily, I had just purchased a pendant mix from Tracee Dock of The Classic Bead on Etsy and one of the flower pieces was just the thing.  Around the same time I also brought home a new seed bead mix from Glass Garden Beads out of Northfield, Minnesota that had the same colors as the pendant plus a little grey and black.  I knew immediately that I wanted to do a multi-strand necklace using the seed beads and some chain for two of the strands.  You can see the things I started with in the photo below.

I really haven't made too many multi-strand necklaces in my jewelry making career.  (We'll add this to the list of things I'd like to learn to do better.)  I tend to stress out about getting everything to be the correct length and lay right... especially when I'm stringing beads or working with closed link chain which aren't too forgiving if you are off on your measurements.  Anyway, my vision was for multi-strand so it was make it work time!   

I knew that I needed to add in some of the other colors from the painting in my third strand.  I decided to focus mostly on the shades of green while also adding some small pops of orange.  I added a few larger yellow seed beads to tie the strands together a little more.  Once I had my three strands completed I was ready (at least I thought I was!) to add the cones at either end of the strand to pull things together and give it a more polished look.  At that point I took a look to make sure I was happy before finishing the wrapped loops on each end of the cones.  I decided that things looked a little disjointed color-wise and thought that maybe another strand of the turquoise and yellow seed bead mix was what it needed.  I did a little more stringing and was finally ready to finish off the ends!  Here are a couple of pictures showing you the strands before and after getting them all finished and the wire wraps completed... see what a mess I'm hiding under there?

I ended up using a longer cone than the one I was originally thinking.  The shorter one just didn't hide the crimp tubes on the beaded strands well enough.  Even though the pattern on the pewter cones is supposed to be Celtic knot work, I think it has a woven basket feel that fits nicely with the pastoral scene in the painting.  The aqua colored crystals help tie everything together and give it a little extra pizazz.  I left a little extra chain to give some flexibility as far as how long to wear the necklace. 

Here's the finished product... now I just have to decide if I want to sell this one or keep it for myself!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Art Jewelry Elements Earring Challenge

I've recently stumbled upon a number of new jewelry making blogs that I've started following.  One of them is the Art Jewelry Elements blog which, as the name implies, has a focus on using hand-crafted, artisan beads and components.

In January, before I found them, they started a year long challenge to make one pair of earrings a week using at least one artisan component.  Every two weeks there is a reveal on the AJE blog that highlights a few designs from the current period.   Participants are able to link to their blogs or Etsy sites at the end of these bi-weekly posts.  They also have a board on Pinterest where participants that have been invited can pin their weekly creations.  They initially limited it but have just opened it back up... allowing me to join in the fun!  CLICK HERE to check out the great designs on Pinterest.

Anyway, I just got word that I would be included starting the second quarter of the year so I did fudge a tiny bit for my first two weeks (13 and 14 out of 52).  I used a couple of designs that I had previously made.  One of them is pretty recent, so I don't feel too much like a cheater, but my other pair I have had for a while.  I made them to go with my steampunk necklace that I mentioned in a previous post.  You can check it out HERE if you missed it.

Anyway, here are my first two submissions for the AJE Earring Challenge...

Week 13: C-Koop enameled gears

Week 14: Ceramic beads by unknown artist.
My week 14 beads are called Ancient Gears and you can see them in my Etsy site HERE.  I have a matching Ancient Gears Necklace too.

I think that this challenge will be one more great way to keep my creative juices flowing and to challenge my design aesthetic.  It should also do wonders to make a dent in my art bead stash!  From looking at some of the other pins on the board, I think that the earrings I emboss or etch and then paint would count for this which is great because I'm excited to finally make some things with my new embossing folders and patina colors.  From a business point of view, I also have some hope that this creative challenge might give my work and my Etsy site a little more exposure.  It can't hurt anyway!

Check out the blog hop to see what other folks have created the last two weeks!

Powered by Linky Tools
Click here to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list...

Monday, April 8, 2013

Vintaj Plum Orchard Design Challenge

This month's design challenge theme over on the Vintaj Natural Brass blog is "Plum Orchard."  I will fess up here right from the start: for the first time I didn't create my piece in response to the theme... I used something that I had previously made.  In this case, it's a necklace I made in February that my friend Kathleen bought from me at the Artsy Market sale...so it's not terribly old!

I wanted to do something a little different or unusual above the main pendant (I tend to do a lot of designs where I attach the chain off of a jump ring of some sort) so I decided to try riveting the two Arte Metal flower pieces together.  It was a little tricky since the little flower drops have so much texture to them and aren't even, but I made it work.  I distressed the surface a slightly to get the silver color to shine through on the high points and then did a little touch up job with black paint to disguise the rivet.  Here is a before paint picture... it worked pretty well, if I don't say so myself!

This isn't one of the more elaborate designs I've done, but I'm happy with the relative simplicity.  It has great pops of color with the various purples that make me think more of the fruit of a plum tree than the blossoms.  I'm so over Minnesotan winter, and I hope that I will get to see some real, live blooms soon.  For now, I'll have to be content with flowers in my jewelry designs!

Lots of folks entered the challenge this month so competition will be fierce.  If you want to see all the designs and vote CLICK HERE.  Mine is number 14 this month...I hope you'll consider voting for me! 

Friday, April 5, 2013

Steampunk Leanings

Steampunk is a movement that's been having its day lately in literature, fandom, and design.  If you aren't familiar with the steampunk aesthetic, here's a cliff notes explanation for you:  it's most often considered a sub-genre of science fiction that is usually a re-imagined past or a post-apocalyptic future where steam technology has developed more elaborately than it ever did in our actual history.  For instance, instead of travel by airplanes, you would use dirigibles or ornithopters.

Me looking all serious in my steampunk inspired outfit at a local con.
In books you tend to see a mix of Victorian England or the American wild west with crazy steam-powered gadgets and often a little dose of the supernatural.  Here are a few of my favorite books from this sub-genre in no particular order.  Some are adult and some teen...and I'm not telling you which!
  • Airborn by Kenneth Oppel
  • Boneshaker by Cherie Priest
  • Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld
  • Mortal Engines by Philip Reeve
  • Soulless (as well as the rest of the Parasol Protectorate series) by Gail Carriger
As far as steampunk themed jewelry designs go, you often see things like keys, gears, re-purposed lockets and watch faces.  If you are interested, Jean Campbell wrote a cool book called Steampunk-Style Jewelry.  I haven't gone too crazy with any of my steampunk-type designs, but I've dipped my toe into the pool.

Here is a steampunk inspired necklace that I made in my recent adventures in UV resin.

I used a cool piece of scrapbook paper that was like an old-fashioned hardware ad in the bezel with resin over it.  I loved the gears on it...and originally thought I'd add some metal gear pieces into the necklace.  In the end, I went with a variety of interesting gemstones and a cool key copper toggle clasp along with the chunky copper chain.  I'm pretty proud of the wire wraps I used on the ocean jasper faceted teardrop!

And here is an older piece (I'm wearing it in the picture of me up above!) that I made to go with my costume that I wear to sci-fi/fantasy cons.  I wear this one in real life too, usually with a black turtleneck or something fairly simple.

I fell in love with the key hole pendant from Earthenwood Studio and built my design from there.  I added in some gears, including an enameled one from C-Koop Beads, as well as a couple of different key charms for the long, dangly pendant.  Since steampunk is all about mixing things up, I used two different types of chain... a smooth brass on one side and a snakeskin textured gunmetal on the other.  

It's funny and kind of neat looking back on something that you made a while ago... I think this one is from 2010.  My design aesthetic has certainly shifted over time and my skill set has grown quite a bit since then!  This was one of the first necklaces I made with an asymmetrical design and it was also the first time I attempted a wire wrapped bail.  I feel like I've really come a long way when it comes to jewelry design!  While I still like this necklace, I would probably do some things a little differently if I was making it today.  

Are any of you steampunk fans?  I'd love to hear if you have any great steampunk books that I may have missed.  Even though I always have a huge pile of books in my "to read" pile, I'm always looking for more suggestions.  Please let me know what great books you have come across in the comments!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Northern Lights Winnings

Back in February I was the lucky winner of a nice little prize package from Vintaj Natural Brass and Unicorn Beads through the Vintaj Blog.  You can see the post announcing my win here, or just check out my spoils in the picture below.

This past weekend I finally dug in and started making some jewelry with my goodies.  I don't know when I'll get around to using the rest of my winnings, so I thought I'd do a little mini post with what I've done so far.

I'm really happy with these two pairs of earrings using the amethyst duplex beads.  These beads are a really odd shape and I wasn't sure at first how to incorporate them into a design.  While I'm not going to run out and buy more of this shape, I'm pleased with how these turned out... and happy to have made use of free beads!

Next up, I had a couple of cool square-ish tile beads in a funky pale blue/purple with a great sparkly purple inside.  Two matching beads = a great set of earrings!  I added in some of the little teardrop beads in a pinky purple and some light purple Swarovski crystals to round things out and give them a little more sparkle.

I obviously still have lots of goodies left to play with... You'll see two more creations with items from my prize package later this month with the reveal of the Art of Science Creative Challenge.  Stay tuned!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Chanhassen Spring Boutique

Happy April everyone!  It doesn't feel like spring on this first day of April in Minnesota (perhaps Mother Nature is playing an April Fools Day prank on us!) but at least the sun is shining bright.  I'm still hoping that we'll see some greenery and flowers before too long, but for now I'll have to settle for some of my little flower earrings.

I mentioned in my Artsy Market wrap-up post that I would definitely do another sale... well, that time is near!  I felt good enough about the Waconia show, that I went ahead and paid for a table at the Chanhassen Spring Boutique that will be held at the end of April.

I've never been to this event (formerly called the Spring Bazaar), but here's the description from the Chanhassen Connection Newsletter:  "The Spring Boutique features a variety of commercial and handcrafted arts and crafts, jewelry, collectibles, home decor, toys, and trinkets for everyone to enjoy!"

Here are the details:

When:  Sunday, April 28 from 10 am until 2 pm
Where:  Chanhassen Rec Center, 2310 Coulter Blvd., Chanhassen, MN 55317
Admission is free, but they ask that folks bring a non-perishable food item to donate to the local food shelf.

This is the perfect time to shop for Mother's Day or graduation presents... I hope to see you there!