Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Year's Times Square Confetti

New Year's Times Square Confetti

New Year's Times Square Confetti

New Year's Times Square Confetti
New Year's Times Square Confetti is pre-flight tested for air worthiness December 29, 2008. Dropped from the M&M store Manhattan 1600 Broadway (between 48th St & 49th St) New York, NY 10019.

Image License: I, (sookietex) the creator of this work, hereby release it into the public domain. This applies worldwide. In case this is not legally possible, I grant any entity the right to use this work for any purpose, without any conditions, unless such conditions are required by law.

If This image is subject to copyright in your jurisdiction, i (sookietex) the copyright holder have irrevocably released all rights to it, allowing it to be freely reproduced, distributed, transmitted, used, modified, built upon, or otherwise exploited in any way by anyone for any purpose, commercial or non-commercial, with or without attribution of the author, as if in the public domain.

Best of the ABS - Goals/Resolutions

At the beginning of this year, former ABS editor Elaine Ray shared her goals with us for some New Year's inspiration. As you prepare for tonight's festivities here is her post again as you think of what you'd like to accomplish in 2009.

Who out there has New Year's resolutions / goals? As I reviewed last year's beading list it came to my attention that every idea checked off as "completed" was accompanied by specific "to-do" steps. So this year, I'm setting only goals with "how to" steps - no general resolutions. My "resolve" to do-what-needs-to-be-done seems somewhat weak, but give me a written out goal that I can then cross off the list and I'm on it. I love tools and my tools right now are a list and a Sharpie!

So now I present you with a few of my beading goals and the steps for achieving these goals:

1) Keep up with paper work.
a) Place a sticky notepad by my bed so I can jot down notes as I get ready for bed. In the past I just kept one notebook in my studio, but could never seem to make myself go back downstairs to write in it if I had neglected to do so earlier in the day. I'd just tell myself "I'll write it down in the morning." Yeah, you can guess how good that worked out. So now I'll be able to just grab that sticky note and plop it into my actual notebook the next morning.
b) Put a sticky notepad in my car and one in my purse.
c) Get rid of that place where I put things to file later and just file them now, later never seems to get here.

2) Design and post a entry for each month of the Art Bead Scene challenge. (I know, this should be especially easy for me as I get to know the challenge even before the month begins!) As I set about laying out the steps to achieve this goal I realized that my block has to do with my beading space / organization. So my real goal here is to "Set up and maintain an area for jewelry making". Which, in my case, if very different than the area where I make bead and pendants.
a) Organize beads, pendants, findings, yarn, wire and tools.
b) Hang cork board.
c) Get a sketch book and use it. No more scrapes of paper all over the place.
d) Do not use my beading desk as a "catch all" place for my home life - this is work space. I'm very protective of my clay working space, why not be with my beading space?
e) When trying out different designs, take a quick digital photo of one arrangement before trying the next arrangement - my memory is not what it used to be. Keep digital camera handy - no lost time looking for it, its battery, cables or whatever.

3) List one item on Etsy per week. (This goal is also tied to the above goal.)
a) Read up on Etsy, but don't delay listing: I don't have to know everything before getting started.
b) Designate a place to store items listed in a manner where they can be easily packed up and shipped when sold.

4) Get new styles of beads and pendants out there for the public to see.
a) Maintain my own blog better. (I know this sound more like a resolution than a goal - I did write out steps to achieve this but they are too boring for here.)
b) Improve (Same as above.)
c) Post entries on Art Bead Scene.
d) List on Etsy.
e) Visit and leave comments on designer blogs / web sites.
f) Send digital images / samples to bead shops.
g) Always take the time to photo new items.

5) Set up a somewhere to take quick, reliable photos. They don't have to be jury ready quality, just get the picture taken.

6) Get a business card and carry a few with me at all times. Never hesitate to give one out.

As I read through this list, I realize how fast I should be able to get the steps done, freeing me up to accomplish the actual goals throughout the year. To realize that I really do need to stop and think about what is getting in my way of accomplishing my goals has been a good exercise. Being an Occupational Therapist by training, I should have realized this - no one does Activity Analysis like an OT!

If you'd like another perspective, additional ideas and support to write or revise your own goals, here is link to a great article written by our favorite Bead Nerd, Lori Greenberg.

Thanks for letting me think out loud here with you. Everyone has different ways of approaching goals and getting the job done. Leave us a comment with your own ways of organizing / goal setting for your beady businesses and we can all learn from each other. Feel free to leave a link to your own list of goals / resolutions.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Wishing Wall New Year Times Square

Wishing Wall New Year Times Square

Wishing Wall New Year Times Square
Wishing Wall New Year Times Square: People Share their hopes, dreams and resolutions for 2009 - then will watch them flutter down as confetti in Times Square on New Year's Eve!

You can submit your wish in person at the Times Square Information Center, or via online form. The wishes will be collected and added to the confetti that will flutter down onto Times Square at 12 o’clock on New Year’s Eve.
Image License: I, (sookietex) the creator of this work, hereby release it into the public domain. This applies worldwide. In case this is not legally possible, I grant any entity the right to use this work for any purpose, without any conditions, unless such conditions are required by law.

If This image is subject to copyright in your jurisdiction, i (sookietex) the copyright holder have irrevocably released all rights to it, allowing it to be freely reproduced, distributed, transmitted, used, modified, built upon, or otherwise exploited in any way by anyone for any purpose, commercial or non-commercial, with or without attribution of the author, as if in the public domain.

Monograph of Spiders





Lycosa Tarantula




Thomisus a

Thomisus b

Mygale Plantigrades a


Mygale Plantigrades


Attus saltatoriae

Thomisus Cancroides

Carl Wilhelm Hahn (1786-1835) was a German zoologist and artist. Following a short stint in the armed services, Hahn completed a PhD and took the unusual step of setting himself up as 'freelance natural historian'.

Biographical details are in short supply but it appears Hahn was at least acquainted with the leading naturalists from Nuremberg and his most important early work involved preparing an ornithological publication on bird species from America, Asia and Africa. It is probable that Hahn contributed artwork to a number of books on insects, spiders and birds.

Hahn's most significant publication was the dual-titled 'Monographie der Spinnen / Monographia Aranearum' (Monograph of Spiders) which was issued in instalments between 1820 and 1836. Of the eight or so (near-) complete copies of this work in the world that have survived, none is apparently a definitive version. The history of the publishing is complicated, involving a change in printers following a quarrel, a small number of subscribers, unauthorised episode issues and, when combined with a sixteen year period of publication, the scarcity of complete works becomes understandable.

'Monographie der Spinnen' was the first ever German monograph on spiders and one of the earliest publications anywhere devoted solely to spiders. Hahn provided the original descriptions of a number of previously unknown spider species together with accurate illustrations, so the work is regarded not only as an important historical scientific document, but is still cited today as a primary source in the field of arachnology.

[Nb. The title tags for the above illustrations were taken from the illustration plates but aren't necessarily consistent or accurate in the 'naming sense'. They were simply chosen quickly to distinguish between the images.]

Best of the ABS - Ribbon

I'm still loving ribbon as much as I did when this post was first published back on October 31st.

I've seen an influx of ribbon related clothing and accessories this month. I like the versatility of ribbon, you can use them in alter art/mixed media jewelry pieces, vintage, steampunk or Victorian inspired designs, or you can use ribbons for a modern twist.
You can entwine ribbon in metal chains, use as a cord with a focal bead, embellish a ribbon choker with a pendant, use a ribbon as a closure or tie little bits of ribbon in between beads for some added texture.

A very modern design by Lorelei Eurto combining a Humblebeads spacer bead with wood, glass, stone, brass and a rich chocolate ribbon closure.

Smoky gray seam binding from WistfulSupplies.

A cuff bracelet by MJM Jewelry Designs using another Humblebeads spacer with silk ribbons.

Hand dyed silk ribbon from Jamnglass.

Raku pendant with silk ribbon by MAKUstudio.

Hand dyed ribbon from JodyPoesy.

Here are some more art bead and ribbon designs that have been entered in the Art Bead Scene Flickr group for various challenges.

Ribbon ideas from Beading Daily

And a few designers who offer inspiring creations with ribbons in their jewelry:

Nina Bagley - Narrative/altered art jewelry

Raven Eve Jewelry - Victorian inspired designs

Gilded Cage Design - Ribbon and button jewelry

I'd love to see your designs using art beads and ribbon. Leave a link in the comments if you'd like to share.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Pattern Shapes Tutorial for Adobe Illustrator

Layers Magazine has just published a video tutorial for Adobe Illustrator CS4, showing how to build seamless patterns and creating design elements out of them. The video covers the usage of the "Transfrom effect" and a handy shortcut trick for selecing / deselecting objects in different stacking order. Tutorial link


We recently installed the tile in our bathroom :)
It looks really cheerful,
specially in the morning light.

Realistic Skull Illustrations

Free vector resource from sexualtyranosaurus. The pack contains five anatomic skull and one spine illustrations. The file is editable with Adobe Illustrator.

To use the resource first, you need to expand the *.ZIP archive and then load the *.AI file. Download.

In case this is not kind of skull illustrations are looking for, you can have a look at another vector skulls set here.

Sydney Opera House Fireworks

Sydney Opera House FireworksFireworks burst over the Sydney Opera House White House photo by Chris Greenberg
This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work of the United States Federal Government under the terms of Title 17, Chapter 1, Section 105 of the US Code.

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.

Keywords: Sydney Opera House, Fireworks, New Year's Day, australia

Best of the ABS - Seeds of Invention

On September 3rd, Lynn shared some inspiration for stretching your beading budget with seed beads.

Many jewelry designers start out in the beginning of their learning process using seed beads and then somehow gradually move away from seed beads in their designs as they begin to use lampwork, ceramic, polymer clay and other kinds of art beads. But there are many ways that colorful, fun and simple seed beads can fit into a sophisticated jewelry design and work well with art beads as the finishing touch.

This design by Lorelei Eurto uses a Humblebead's chrysanthemum bead, wire, metal chain and seed beads combined with metal charms. The seed beads add texture, color and a lighthearted touch to the design. The tone and matte finish of the seed beads works perfectly with the warm metal and focal bead colors, and there's something very attractive about all those tiny bead shapes in a strand like this.

This Lotus Flower Bracelet signature cuff bracelet design with Heather's lotus flower art bead six-hole divider combines seed beads with crystals, pearls and stones. Beautiful colors, totally compatible with a great jewelry design and using seed beads blended with an art bead spacer to make a unified color statement that's linear and balanced.

I've been doing some reading about the history of crafts and found out about a designer named Ramona Solberg, a legendary groundbreaker in jewelry design from the 1960's who created a series of this style of necklace using strands of various shimmery colors of seed beads combined onto wire like the one pictured at the left. It's almost structural, and the colors and textures are really unique.

One of the very best things about seed beads is that they are easily available, come in multitudes of rainbow colors, in glossy and matte finishes, and they are very inexpensive. And that leaves you more money to invest in your art beads and special finishing items!

Here is a trellis bracelet tutorial by Heather on her blog that shows how to use seed beads to create your clasp for a bracelet. Let's add versatile to the list of descriptions for seed beads.

Stretching your art bead budget using colorful seed beads is a very good thing!

Le Livre d'Heures d'Isabeau de Roubaix

Heures d'Isabeau de Roubaix

Heures d'Isabeau de Roubaix b

Heures d'Isabeau de Roubaix c

Heures d'Isabeau de Roubaix d

Heures d'Isabeau de Roubaix e

Heures d'Isabeau de Roubaix f

Heures d'Isabeau de Roubaix g

Heures d'Isabeau de Roubaix h

Heures d'Isabeau de Roubaix i

Heures d'Isabeau de Roubaix j

Heures d'Isabeau de Roubaix k

Heures d'Isabeau de Roubaix l

Heures d'Isabeau de Roubaix m

Heures d'Isabeau de Roubaix n

Heures d'Isabeau de Roubaix o

Heures d'Isabeau de Roubaix p

Heures d'Isabeau de Roubaix q

Isabeau de Roubaix was the last of a noble, northern French family whose fortune had been established by her grandfather, Jean de Roubaix, counsellor to Philip the Good. Isabeau was the châtelaine* of Roubaix and was married to Jacques de Luxembourg in 1464.

In the late 1480s, Isabeau founded the Hospital of Saint Elizabeth for the Black Sisters of the Order of St Augustine (it was part-hospital, part-convent). The illuminated manuscript seen above (as well as at least one other decorated manuscript) was bequeathed to the Order when Isabeau died (sometime between 1494 and 1502).

'Le Livre de l'Heures d'Isabeau de Roubaix' (the Book of Hours of Isabella of Roubaix*) is a vellum manuscript consisting of one hundred and ninety one sheets. The liturigical text was composed or arranged locally, but the manuscript itself was produced - specifically for Isabeau - by two scribes in a Flemish workshop in about 1460. There are seventeen pages with miniatures surrounded by exquisite arabesques highlighted with gold. Historiated and decorated initials are found on every page. Roubaix coats of arms can be seen among the border decoration in many of the above images the fifth image from the top and third image from the bottom.

The manuscript was lost for about forty years from the time of the French Revolution and the St Augustine nun who rediscovered it passed it over the Mayor's office from where it found its way to the Roubaix Library.
  • 'MS_006: Heures d'Isabeau de Roubaix' is the featured treasure among the Manuscrits Anciens et Modernes de la Médiathèque de Roubaix. [via]
  • There is an html slideshow displaying details from the manuscript accompanied by brief commentary in French that I was able to follow until the link appeared to die halfway through the twenty eight slides; but this might be due to my own - continuing - connection problems. (?)
  • The announcement post from 2006 on Le Blog de la Médiathèque de Roubaix [trans.]
  • There is little else around worth linking that relates directly to the manuscript (or even Isabeau): the notes above were distilled from brief mentions in a variety of secondary commentaries and books. But the 'Leaves of Gold' website, from the collaborative efforts of a number of Philadelphia cultural institutions, is always a worthwhile overview accompaniment to illuminated works. [The Wikipedia page has links to a number of Books of Hours]
  • Previously.
  • To all those people who have commented or sent emails to which I've not replied because I was too busy or too lazy or forgot, and to the rest of the faceless silent hordes who traipse through this rest-stop and who, like me, find some measure of beauty or solace or interesting weirdness in this crazy world among the illustrated cultural history we are privileged to have access to online, I wish a peaceful and happy new year.