Sunday, August 31, 2008

Where is Everyone? The Desperate ABS Neighborhood

While retrieving her newspaper from the front porch, The Desperate Editor notices a unusual quiet in the neighborhood. Seems that either they're all sleeping in or have gone on a vacation before Labor Day. Guess she has to go out into the Bead Blogging World for her fill of today's gossip....

Art Bead Scene
Thinking about selling your jewelry and craft items? Get the scoop on opening an Etsy Shop.

Bead Style Magazine Goes Back to School
Check out BeadStyle's new Beading Parties, free projects, and links to friends

Carmi's Art/Life World
Carmi uses ribbon to really embellish resin pendants.

Jewelry & Beading
A spiraling peyote stitch tube using beads of different sizes creates a beautiful centerpiece.

Katie's Beading Blog
Take a peek at the latest additions to Katie's bead stash, including: "vegetable ivory," Venetian glass, raku pottery and more!

Naughty Secretary Club
You could win one of the amazing door prizes being given away at Jen’s book release party without even walking through any doors!

Strands of Beads
Melissa finds Very Useful Items at American Science & Surplus

Have you heard any good dirt in the beading world? We'd love for you to share!

Gossiped...errr...reported by Cindy Gimbrone, Desperate Neighborhood snoop and glass beadmaker.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Louis Armstrong Stadium National Tennis Center

Louis Armstrong Stadium

High Resolution Image‎ (1,656 × 1,242 pixels, file size: 576 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg)
Description 2006 U.S. Open. Louis Armstrong Stadium a tennis stadium of the US Open, USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, Date August 31 2006. Author: Alexisrael
Licensing: Public domain I Alexisrael, the copyright holder of this work, hereby release it into the public domain. This applies worldwide. In case this is not legally possible: I Alexisrael grant anyone the right to use this work for any purpose, without any conditions, unless such conditions are required by law.


This file contains additional information, probably added from the digital camera or scanner used to create or digitize it. If the file has been modified from its original state, some details may not fully reflect the modified file.
Camera manufacturer - EASTMAN KODAK COMPANY
Exposure time - 1/350 sec (0.00285714285714)
F Number - f/5.6
Date and time of data generation - 17:34, 31 August 2006
Lens focal length - 5.6 mm
Orientation - Normal
Horizontal resolution - 230 dpi
Vertical resolution - 230 dpi
Software used - Adobe Photoshop CS2 Windows

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Vector Illustration in Web Design

An inspirational blog posting that I found while browsing in A set of screenshots of websites implementing vector illustration in their interface. To see the posting click here.

Digital Illustration: new opportunities

An eye-opening article from ComputerArts Magazine.
"Lawrence Zeegen investigates how illustration has been reborn for a new audience, with a new generation of illustrators who are taking it into new territories

Illustration is a force to be reckoned with. Not content to break back into a marketplace once dominated by the photographic image, illustration has fought hard, forced itself under the spotlight and stepped into the limelight. A rebirth, once attributed to the flexibility that digital kit offered, has now reached a vital second phase – a new stage of extended opportunities in the development of the discipline." Read more.

Studio Saturday-Sunny Side Up!

Welcome to Studio Saturday! Each week one of our contributors gives you a sneak peek into their studio, creative process or inspirations. We ask a related question of our readers and hope you'll leave comments! As an incentive we offer a free prize each week to bribe you to use that keyboard. The following week we choose a random winner.This week's winner is suzann wilson ! Please send your postal address to the ABS Suggestion Box to receive your Pinwheel Flower Pendant from Jennifer at Jangles.

My last Studio Saturday was at the end of May. I was preparing and showing at 2 major events. I have also been recovering from surgery. I am doing great and nearly back to normal. What ever normal is!

Above is the Needle Minder that had shown in my last Studio Saturday post in the greenware stage.
They are now glazed and the colors turned out great. Brighter than my photo shows (I'm battling with my digital camera). The needle minder is two sided with earth magnets embedded in each clay side. They are used by stitchers on either side of the canvas, quilt, etc. These keep track of your pins and needles so they don't end up on the floor or on your chair.
Depending on your mood you can have have the three dimensional sun looking up at you or the sun/moon glowingly staring at you. Of course these can be make as buttons with a shank back or loop(s) on top for a pendant. These are not listed on my website yet but email me if you would like to order.

"Blue Moon", "Moondance", "Don't let the Sun Go Down on Me"...

My question for today's Studio Saturday is:

What Sun or Moon Song is your favorite or inspires you?

There is always a song playing in my head when I'm working. Sometimes it helps me get through the day while I'm working.

One random commenter will win the Three Dimensional Sun shown
above on the left as shank back button. It would look great on your handmade bag or new winter coat!

Jan Balet's Bedroom

In September 1951, Good Housekeeping magazine asked eight contributing artists to "paint bedrooms they themselves would like." A quirky idea for a magazine article, and one you're unlikely to ever see in a magazine today, but given the minor celebrity status of the illustrator in those days, why not?

Among those eight who contributed to the article was Jan Balet. I thought it might be fun to conclude this week's look at the artist with this oddball item...

... whether or not it reveals anything more about Balet, I'll leave for you to decide.

My Jan Balet Flickr set.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Governor Sarah Heath Palin

Governor Sarah Heath Palin

Governor Sarah Heath Palin (Official Army photo by Staff Sgt. Mac Metcalfe, Alaska Army National Guard)
Gov. Sarah Palin Visits Kuwait While visiting with Alaska Army National Guard Soldiers at a dining facility in Kuwait , Gov. Palin was asked to address a group of Soldiers who were not from Alaska.
She took questions and shared information about our great state. Standing next to Palin is Maj. Simon Brown, executive officer for the 3rd Battalion, 297th Infantry, Alaska Army National Guard. Brown is from Wasilla, Alaska.

Alaska Department of Military & Veterans Affairs PO Box 5800 Fort Richardson, AK 99505-5800

This image is a work of a U.S. Army soldier or employee, taken or made during the course of the person's official duties. As a work of the U.S. federal government, the image is in the public domain.

Generally speaking, works created by U.S. Government employees are not eligible for copyright protection in the United States. See Circular 1 "COPYRIGHT BASICS" from the U.S. Copyright Office.

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Stephanie Tubbs Jones

Stephanie Tubbs Jones

Image, Congressional Pictorial Directory, 109th.
Stephanie Tubbs Jones a Representative from Ohio; born in Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, Ohio, September 10, 1949; graduated from Collinwood High School, Cleveland, Ohio; B.A., Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, 1971; J.D., Case Western Reserve University,
Cleveland, Ohio, 1974; elected to Cleveland, Ohio, municipal court, 1981; judge, Court of Common Pleas of Cuyahoga County, Ohio, 1983-1991; prosecutor, Cuyahoga County, Ohio, 1991-1998; elected as a Democrat to the One Hundred Sixth and to the four succeeding Congresses (January 3, 1999-present); chair, Committee on Standards of Official Conduct (One Hundred Tenth Congress); died on August 20, 2008, in Cleveland, Ohio.

This United States Congress image is in the public domain. This may be because it is an official Congressional portrait, because it was taken by an official employee of the Congress, or because it has been released into the public domain and posted on the official websites of a member of Congress. As a work of the U.S. federal government, the image is in the public domain.

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Whatever happened to Jan Balet?

Illustration must have been good to Jan Balet. By the time the feature article on him appeared in American Artist in 1946, he already had a residence and studio in New York City, a summer home in Long Island and his own plane. Not bad for a German immigrant who had arrived broke and unknown just eight years earlier!

Jan Balet's work began appearing in Collier's magazine around 1955. Though Balet was still doing his popular "graphic whimsy" style for the Lees Carpet ads and for clients like Good Housekeeping, the Collier's work suggests that Jan Balet was searching for new directions.

In the mid-50's the Cooper Studio/New School style commanded the lion's share of the illustration market. The Avante-Gardists like Robert Weaver were making inroads with some art directors and the Decorative style was still an emerging flower. The Storybook stylists like Art Seiden, Aurelius Battaglia and the Provensens really were focusing their efforts on storybooks...

Just how did Jan Balet fit into 'the big picture'?

Perhaps he felt a bit like the odd man out...

Jan Balet loved to travel. In 1961 he visited Texas, Arizona and New Mexico. The experience must made quite an impression. The three pieces below came out of that trip and, in their naiveté, show a new sophistication.

Keeping in mind that the early 60's was a difficult time for the illustration business, when many artists were searching for new markets, new directions...... could this - and Balet's desire to explore his creative potential - be why he returned to Europe in 1965?

Balet settled in Munich and began doing lithographs, like the ones show here, for the fine art gallery market. Later, in 1978, he moved to Estavayer-le-Lac, Switzerland and continued to produce limited edition prints and posters. A quick search on the internet turns up many examples like these available from galleries all over the world.

One gentleman who knew Balet years ago writes at, "He was a great person to know, with an honest, salty sense of humor which one sees in his artworks."

If Jan Balet is still with us (I found nothing to suggest he has passed away) he will be 95 this year.

My Jan Balet Flickr set.

The Bead Scoop: Blue Buddha Boutique

Jump rings are elevated to a new level at the Blue Buddha Boutique. Blue Buddha's jump rings come in a variety of metals, colors, diameters and wire gauges. You can go classic metal in sterling, copper, brass and steel or punch it up a bit with color mixes such as the Persian Rug and Earth Mixes.

Now maybe you're inspired to design with jump rings. Try chain maille. Blue Buddha Boutique offers well-written, easy to learn free tutorials that enticed me to try my hand at mail.

Written by Cindy Gimbrone, new chain maille addict and glass beadmaker.

Codex Manesse

medieval knight and horse

Herr Ulrich von Liechtenstein
[now where have I heard that name before?]

medieval musicians play for the king

Meister Heinrich Frauenlob

medieval man winched up castle wall

Herr Kristan von Hamle

jousting medieval knights

Herr Walther von Klingen

man reading scroll

Graf Rudolf von Neuenburg

tournament champion receiving tribute

Herzog Heinrich von Breslau

medieval falconry

Konradin von Hohenstaufen

male and female playing chess

Markgraf Otto IV. von Brandenburg

gathering in tent pavilion

Meister Gottfried von Straßburg

illuminated manuscript - male and coats of arms

Der Tannhäuser

backgammon game in medieval manuscript

Herr Goeli

knights in combat outside castle

Kristan von Luppin

medieval sailing ship

Herr Friedrich von Hausen

Codex Manesse may well be the quintessential medieval manuscript. The parade of miniatures - gallant knights and comely maidens, chess, backgammon and falconry, jousting tournaments and heraldry, castles and court musicians - feature the types of (near) cliché imagery we all immediately identify with the period.

The manuscript was compiled in the early 1300s at the request of the Manesse family in an attempt to record the major figures of the minnesang - the German tradition of composing and performing love songs, similar to the provincial troubadours of France.

The 137 manuscript illustrations depict 12th and 13th century poets (minnesänger) in scenes reflective of their names or themes from their songs. They mostly came from the nobility - Dukes, Kings and Counts - but sometimes the minnesang included educated members of the middle and lower classes.

The Manesse brothers observed that the bourgeois classes of their time were gaining in power, partly as a result of the 13th century interregnum that had seen much of the authority of the Holy Roman Empire ceded to territorial rulers. New forms of literature - particularly the fables - were replacing the minnesang as the dominant oral and written tradition, so the motivating force behind the production of Codex Manesse was as a means to preserve the history of the declining Germanic troubadour culture. Codex Manesse remains, therefore, the most important primary source document for love songs of the middle ages in middle high German.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Civil Rights March on Washington, D.C

Civil Rights March on Washington, D.C.

Access Restriction(s): Unrestricted. Use Restriction(s): Unrestricted
Civil Rights March on Washington, D.C. [A wide-angle view of marchers along the mall, showing the Reflecting Pool and the Washington Monument.], 08/28/1963. ARC Identifier 542045 / Local Identifier 306-SSM-4D(80)10. Item from Record Group 306: Records of the U.S. Information Agency, 1900 - 1992.
Still Picture Records Section, Special Media Archives Services Division (NWCS-S), National Archives at College Park, 8601 Adelphi Road, College Park, MD, 20740-6001. PHONE: 301-837-3530; FAX: 301-837-3621; EMAIL:

Creator(s): U.S. Information Agency. Press and Publications Service. (ca. 1953 - ca. 1978)
Type(s) of Archival Materials: Photographs and other Graphic Materials

Still Picture Records Section, Special Media Archives Services Division (NWCS-S), National Archives at College Park, 8601 Adelphi Road, College Park, MD, 20740-6001. PHONE: 301-837-3530; FAX: 301-837-3621; EMAIL:

Production Date(s): 08/28/1963. Part Of: Series: Miscellaneous Subjects, Staff and Stringer Photographs, compiled 1961 - 1974 Access Restriction(s): Unrestricted. Use Restriction(s): Unrestricted

Variant Control Number(s): NAIL Control Number: NWDNS-306-SSM-4D(80)10

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Vector Speakers #2

Another free vector stock by xavialonso10. To use open the pdf in Adobe Illustrator. Download
*note: You can also take a quick look at the first vector speakers that I posted in March.

Jan Balet: Influences of an influential illustrator

In the business and among his peers Jan Balet was known as a cartoonist or a 'decorative' illustrator who worked in a 'humorous' style.

But pinning a label on Balet is more complicated than that. American Artist magazine called his work "graphic whimsy", which is a fun way of putting it, I think.

Balet himself said he drew inspiration from both ancient Greek and ancient Egyptian art -- something that might not be apparent until its pointed out, but it hints at the hidden complexity of Balet's intentions.

Personally, I see a broad range of influences,

...including the work of Balet's contemporaries, like Jim Flora and Roy Doty.

Roy told me he didn't know Balet well, but they sometimes crossed paths as they came and went from the offices of clients when picking up or dropping off assignments. Roy described Balet as "very much the European."

He was probably commenting on Jan Balet's character -- but I think that Balet's work has a sort of European character as well. On his studio walls Balet hung the work of Picasso, Chagall, Guys and Lautrec. He is said to have favoured the work of these "French Moderns" but that he was "Catholic in his tastes and likes all sorts of art that is good of its kind."

The small sampling here and the other work you've seen so far this week certainly lends credence to that statement.

My Jan Balet Flickr set.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Ornament Thursday - Academia

Words of Wisdom for jewelry designers:

1. Don't worry about making mistakes, creativity is really just taking risks.

2. Push past your color safety-net and look for new inspiration. Borrow color palettes from nature, art history or fashion.

3. Overwhelmed with where to start on a new design? Pull out only a few items and challenge yourself to use only what you've selected.

4. Find inspiration from unlikely sources. Love architecture? Have a favorite city? Love to study biology? Use your obscure passions as a source for your next jewelry design.

5. Throw in the kitchen sink! It doesn't have to come from a bead store to be used in your jewelry. Look for components from hardware stores, scrapbooking sections, altered art supplies, fabric or yarn stores, toy stores, antique shops, etc.

Golden Rule Charm Bracelet

I created the dangles for this charm bracelet using a few items to remind me of life lessons I need to remember. This is my project for this month's Ornament Thursday theme, Academia.

1. The ruler charm to remember the golden rule, "Do onto others as you'd like to have done unto you."

2. The acorn turned upside down and filled with beads to remind myself that my cup is overflowing.

3. The owl as a reminder to seek wisdom and understanding.

4. The stained glass charm to remind myself to keep the faith.

5. The colors - green was used to symbolize growth and moving forward. Blue to symbolize that my spirit needs to be refreshed and not to spend too much time working.

Visit the links below to see how the rest of the Ornament Thursday designers interpreted this month's theme.

Back to School-Make your own Pencils

BeadStyle goes back to school

Beading Help Web Wires Up Academia

Check out the "homework" project from Joolz by Lisa

Cindy Gimbrone aka Lampwork Diva

Michelle's Edumacation

Swelldesigner goes crazy over school supplies!


Blogged by Heather Powers of Humblebeads.

Roger Federer

Roger FedererDescription Roger Federer At The 2002 U.S. Open. Author Original: Alexisrael / Modified version: Bella B.

Licensing Public domain, I, Alexisrael the copyright holder of this work, hereby release it into the public domain. This applies worldwide. In case this is not legally possible: I Alexisrael grant anyone the right to use this work for any purpose, without any conditions, unless such conditions are required by law.


This file contains additional information, probably added from the digital camera or scanner used to create or digitize it. If the file has been modified from its original state, some details may not fully reflect the modified file.
Orientation - Normal
Horizontal resolution - 200 dpi
Vertical resolution- 200 dpi
Software used - Adobe Photoshop CS2 Windows
File change date and time - 10:21, 27 May 2007
Color space - sRGB

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A free set of of spiral vectors by sexualtyranosaurus. You can easily create similar shapes with using the "Transform Again Feature" in Adobe Illustrator (Ctrl + D or Cmd + D) Download. To use open the pdf with Adobe Illustrator.