Sunday, January 30, 2011

One World One Heart Event


I'm so excited to announce that over the next two weeks, I'll be participating in a worldwide blogging event called One World One Heart! I recently heard about it from one of my fellow Fire Divas and will be helping with our team blog there, but I thought it would be great fun to also play along on my own blog as well.

What is One World One Heart (OWOH) all about? The best way I can think to put it is that it's one ginormous blogger "meet and greet" party! The hostess, Lisa of A Whimsical Bohemian, created this annual even 5 years ago and, I must say, it sounds like it just keeps getting bigger and funner (is that a word? LOL) every year. Last year they had over 1,000 people join in the fun, but sadly, this will be the last year it will be done. I wish I had known about this event years ago!

Here's the deal—bloggers from around the world sign up and each one will be offering some sort of wonderful "door prize" for their readers. We can visit any of the other blogs on the list and hopefully, make a lot of new and fabulous friends who share common interests. I love this concept and am really looking forward to it.

Lilac Watercolor Rose
Wild Safari set
Twilight Marquis series
I guess I need to introduce myself to any OWOH bloggers who might happen to stop by here too, right? ;-) My name is Lori Bergmann and I'm a life-long practitioner of all things artistic and crafty—you name it, and I've probably tried it at least once! A former graphic artist, I'm now a SAHM and freelance designer working from my home studio for about 19 years. Currently, I've been rather obsessed with making my own glass beads (lampworking) over the past 3 years, and combining them with metal clay, mixed media, and jewelry design. Before that, I did quite a bit of published work in scrapbook and paper craft magazines. But that's not to say that I wouldn't also have tons in common with anyone who likes to rubber stamp, draw/paint, photography, Jane Austen, big band music, or are into DIY remodeling and decorating either! 

Ode to Chihuly
Winged Romance

I live in beautiful Maple Valley, WA, which is about 45 minutes below Seattle. I share my life with my wonderfully supportive husband of 24 years, and two teenage daughters who mistakenly believe I've never been "cool" and are much too sassy for their own good. Throw in two very hairy canine characters named Indiana Jones and Romeo, and the possibility of a new baby bunny and then you'll know why I love to run to the sanctuary of my studio whenever possible? ;-D

My prize will be one of my handmade glass and sterling-cored European charm beads. I've just started making these and am having so much fun with them! I used a special glass that has real silver infused into it that creates all the wonderful colors and swirls inside the bead. It will fit any of the fancy add-on charm bracelets like Pandora or Troll, or you could also easily string it onto a cord, ribbon or chain and make it into a necklace. 


If you'd like to "put your name into the hat," so to speak—just leave a comment here and I'll do a drawing on February 17th to pick one lucky winner. Please make sure to leave your email address along with your comment so that I can easily contact you if you're the winner. You can find a list of all the other bloggers who are participating HERE. Thank you so much for stopping by and good luck! *Ü*

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

CHA or Bust!

Camera to capture any celebrity sightings and friend reunions?

       … check!

Orthopedic gel shoe inserts?

       … check!

Handmade jewelry projects to show to interested magazine editors?

       … check! 

Extra strength breath mints?

        … check!

Carry-on bag with projects for my workshop?

       … check!
 
Towel for wiping off drool?

       … check!

What is all this about? Why, the Craft and Hobby Association Winter Conference and Trade Show, of course! Affectionately known as "CHA" for short, this is an annual 4-day wholesale event that showcases products for the crafting industry from all over the world: fine arts, general crafts, scrapbooking/paper crafts, fabrics, and floral decor. Think of all the goodies you see walking down the aisle of any Michaels or JoAnn Fabrics store, and you should get the general idea!

I've been attending this show as a Designer Member for 10 years now and every time I go, it's still an almost Christmas-like experience for me. I get to see all the newest designs and products before they've hit the store shelves, demo or teach for some great companies, recharge my creative batteries looking at all the inspirational ideas, network, and reconnect with friends I only get to see at this event. 

I took Katie with me 2 years ago, and here she is enjoying a "make-and-take" painting project.

This year, I'll be teaching a scrapbooking workshop for Momenta on Friday night, then plan on spending the rest of the show visiting with friends and power-walking the aisles, discovering new things and gathering ideas for articles I would like to submit for publication. You think I was kidding about the orthopedic shoe inserts? You try walking several football field lengths of concrete for 8 hours straight and see what your feet feel like at the end of the day?! LOL But it's oh, so worth it! 

I'll be returning on Monday, and hope to share some great "Friday Finds" and other news from the show later in the week. Maybe I'll even get my picture taken with the likes of Vanna White or Jane Seymour this time?! *Ü*

What are some other places or events you like to go to recharge your creativity?

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Bead Unique News and Giveaway!


Edited to add: We have a winner!!
My first winning number never responded, so I went ahead and did another turn with the Random Number Generator and this time lucky #24 was chosen! This time, I had a proper email address to contact her, so a big "Congrats!" to Mary!

Thank you to everyone who participated in the Giveaway and left such lovely comments for me too! *Ü*

I've been waiting impatiently for the past few months to let you in on a secret—I have a necklace design and "how-to" article featured in the Spring 2011 issue of Bead Unique magazine! I'm so excited, as this is my first article in this magazine and I'm hoping it's the first of more to come in the future. This is one of my favorite magazines—not only because of the wide variety of jewelry designs that they show—but because they often feature artisan lampwork beads (which, as you know, is something near and dear to my heart!).

"Farfalla" (which means "butterfly" in Italian)

This is just a quick photo I took of my "Farfalla" necklace before I sent it off to the editors, but you can get a much better look in the actual magazine issue. I used my own lampwork glass beads made with silver leaf and hand-wrapped the links together with sterling silver Bali findings. My "how-to" article gives detailed instructions on how you can create my embossed Precious Metal Clay (PMC) butterly pendant that is the focal point of the necklace.

I also have a pair of earrings made with my Robin Egg glass beads and fabulous Vintaj brass findings in the "I Need More Earrings!" section. If you'd like to purchase the beads I used for either of these projects, I'm planning on listing them in my Etsy and ArtFire shops as soon as I return from the Craft and Hobby Association (CHA) Convention next week.


One of the perks of being published is that you get extra copies of the magazine, so I thought it would be fun to give one away to a lucky reader this week! So if you'd love to see all the other fresh ideas featured in this issue, all you have to do it leave a comment here, along with a way for me to easily contact you if you're the winner. I'll draw the winning name on Thursday morning, January 27th. Good luck! *Ü*

P.S.—If you feel the urge to "like" my Facebook Fan Page or "heart" my Etsy or ArtFire shops too, I totally wouldn't mind either! ;-D

Friday, January 21, 2011

Friday Find: Precision Knife Set

Those of you who know me well, know that I am one of those quirky women who love shopping in a hardware store more than a fancy department store! LOL One of my favorite places to explore is my local Harbor Freight Store, where I always discover at least one new gizmo or gadget that I *must* take home with me every time I visit. During a recent trip, I totally fell in love with this great set of craft knives with 13 different blade shapes:

Precision Knife Set - Item #32099

Harking back to my professional graphic designer days, I have always preferred using a craft knife for a variety of duties. Some people like using the swiveling blade type, but I don't feel that I have as much control, so I prefer the stationary type. When I took up scrapbooking, I was one of the few designers who used one to cut all my papers, title letters, and custom shapes instead of scissors. For metal clay work, I use it to "drill" and refine holes, engrave, and carve out details. For mixed media work, it's handy for things like scraping away dried resin or paint, poking holes in paper and fabric, or applying glue into a tiny, precise area.

I usually use a No. 11 X-acto blade with a very sharp tip, but think the variety in this set will be very helpful for other things like carving rubber stamps or shaping hot glass and sculptural work. I love the magnetic strip that holds all the blades in place when you're not using them, and the thick plastic grip will be nice for big projects to help prevent hand cramps. Best of all, the price is under $6, so this is a steal! Just keep in mind that all blades will eventually dull—especially on materials like paper or wood—so be sure to replace them as soon as you notice that your cuts aren't as clean or easy to make anymore. For things like glass sculptural work, you probably don't have to worry about that though. I can't wait to use these on some fun projects! *Ü*

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Leavenworth Weekend

Leavenworth, WA is a neat little mountain town with a Bavarian theme that I have been dreaming to visit for years, especially during Christmastime. We still didn't make it over Christmas this year, but I was excited to hear that they leave all their lights and decorations up through Martin Luther King Jr. weekend, which is their annual Ice Festival. So we arranged for a neighbor to dog-sit the boys, piled the girls and all our snow gear into the car, and off we went on our new adventure!

That first day, the weather was poor and it was raining quite a bit, so we didn't get to try any of the outdoor activities like snowmobiling or dog sledding that we had planned. But we did enjoy a delicious brunch at a local lodge, explored the quaint little shops that lined the Main Street, and watched the fireworks later that night from our hotel window.

Even the Starbucks and McDonald's have a Bavarian vibe!
The view from our hotel window overlooking the Main Square—pretty sweet, eh?

The next morning, we awoke to the warm rays of sunshine and immediately headed over to the snowmobile tour company before it started raining again. It was the first time any of us had tried riding a snowmobile and it was a little scary for me, but so much fun! We rode for an hour through gorgeous private land in the mountains, with the sun streaming through the trees and no one else around. Next time, I'm letting someone else drive, so I can take more time enjoying the scenery and taking pictures! ;-D


One last quick 15-minute run through a few more shops, then we piled back into the car for the drive back home. We're already planning a few more day-trips back so we can try the dog sledding and then maybe some horseback riding in the summer. On the way out, we saw a lovely rainbow—the perfect way to say good-bye to such a charming place! *Ü*

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Pantone Spring 2011 Forecast

Look at all the beautiful colors that will be coming to stores and fashion houses for this Spring! Definitely something to look forward to after the long, gray months of Winter have passed.


I love all the strong, but muted pastels and already have some great color combos mixing together in my head. I'll be showcasing these soon, so stayed tuned, folks! *Ü*

Friday, January 7, 2011

Friday Find: Leather Welding Apron

Here's a "find" that I use almost every day—a thick leather welder's apron that I found at my local Harbor Freight Tools store for under $15 (and right now it's on sale for under $7 too!)

http://www.harborfreight.com/split-leather-welding-apron-45193.html

This tough guy has saved my hide more than once from flying bits of sharp, molten glass (pun intended! ;-D). I love how it has pockets on the bottom where I can put handy items like lip gloss and tissues. And the top pocket is perfect for holding my iPod while I rock out to tunes as I work.

The only things I don't like about it is:
1) It's dyed orange and makes me look like I work at Home Depot, plus I'm a "Winter" not an "Autumn" and orange definitely doesn't suit my skin tone,
2) The dye tends to rub off onto my clothes, and
3) Whenever hot glass lands on it, I smell like a freshly branded cow.

Imagine if this had landed directly on my lap? EEK!


But I guess those are small things to complain about, since I wear old work clothes anyway whenever I'm working at the torch (no need to accessorize my good ones with tiny burn holes, right?) and I'd rather smell funny than get an odd looking tattoo on my skin! LOL I'm going to also try sealing the backside with a suede/leather spray and see if that helps with the dye transfer problem?

Safety is my Number One priority while playing with any of my creative stuff—so protection while working with potentially dangerous items is always a good thing. I've only had hot glass land on me a few times over the past 3 years, but it only takes that one scary accident to learn this valuable lesson! If you work with anything like glass (hot or cold), chemicals, metal solder, sharp tools, etc., wearing something like this could save you from harm and make your "play time" a lot more fun. And you'd be so stylish at the same time too! *Ü*

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Flow: 5th Annual Women of Glass

Woohooo! For those of you who love to make beads like I do, you're probably familiar with The Flow magazine and get a lot of inspiration from it. I've been a subscriber for two years and can still remember how my jaw dropped the first time I ever saw their special "Women in Glass" issue. So many gorgeous beads to drool over! I was a "newbie" back then and dreamed of the day that I might be good enough to be included in this issue too. This year, I finally took the plunge and submitted two of my beads—and they both made it!!  


(insert wild Happy Dance) 

I've known this wonderful news for several weeks, but had to keep it a secret until the issue hit the stands (a terrible burden to bear! LOL). This was the first year the entries were juried, so I feel doubly honored that I was accepted. And I was excited to see so many familiar names in there with me, including several of my fellow Fire Divas! 

(insert more Happy Dancing) 

I'd love to introduce you to these wonderful artists/friends, so even if you don't get a chance to see this magazine, you can check out their work and see why they were also featured: 

My good friend Judith Billig of Icarus Beads, has her gorgeous beads shown right next to mine on the same page—how fun is that?! She's a master at working with silver glass:

Swept Away by Judith Billig

Laurie Ament of Isinglass Design creates cool organic designs—I love her colorful fish:


Large Pink Fish Ornament by Laurie Ament

Holly Dare of Holly's Folly Glass makes unusual whimsical beads, including some yummy looking treats:

Giant Red Velvet Cupcake by Holly Dare

Janel Dudley of Janel Dudley Beads specializes in nature-based organic designs, and does some amazing things with glow powders:

Glowing Eyeballs by Janel Dudley

and Kathleen Robinson-Young of Ugly Duckling Beads is a whiz with realistic floral sculpture and mixed media. She was also one of my Etsy Boot Camp Buddies and I had so much fun getting to know her better during Boot Camp:

What Grows in My Garden by Kathleen Young

So if you're looking for some great new beads to add to your collection (perhaps to use for the Fire Diva Jewelry Challenge?), please be sure and check out the shops run by all these talented ladies. Congratulations to all 150 women who are featured in this issue too! *Ü*

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Fire Divas Quarterly Jewelry Challenge

Another great way to start off the year is by entering your jewelry designs into Fire Divas Quarterly Jewelry Challenge! The theme is That Special Bead. It is entirely open to your own interpretation and we hope you have fun with it! Since Valentine's Day is right around the corner, I decided to donate one of my favorite designs—a Winged Heart bead—as one of the prizes. For some added inspiration, check out the Fire Divas' Flickr page. You could win some of these amazing goodies:

A Winged Heart bead like this one from me! *Ü*
$20 Gift Certificate to janeldudleybeads.etsy.com
$40 Gift Certificate to hollysfolly.com

$25 Gift Certificate to http://www.arensea.etsy.com or http://www.arensea.artfire.com
A bead donated by Lara from www.lutrick.etsy.com and www.lutrick.artfire.com
A fish like this one by Laurie from www.glassbead.etsy.com
$20 Gift Certificate to http://www.artfire.com/users/BabsBeadsandDesign

Here's how you can join in the fun:
All submissions must feature Fire Divas' lampwork. We require the name of the Fire Diva who made the beads used in the submitted piece, so if you submit something, please be ready to provide that information.

We will allow one submission per person per contest, and a maximum of two photos per submission. Entries may be submitted here (http://www.flickr.com/groups/firedivachallenge/) for approval, no later than February 10, 2011. No Flickr account? No problem. You can also email your submissions to firedivas @ gmail . com (no spaces). Please include, in the comments section or in your email, the following:

Information about the beads:
Description of the piece:
Inspiration for the piece:

Submissions will not be approved without all of this information, so make sure you include everything with your entry. I hope you have fun with this Challenge and good luck to everyone who enters—I can't wait to see what you come up with! *Ü*

Monday, January 3, 2011

A Fresh New Year


I haven't posted in a while, as I've been busy trying to relax and enjoy the holidays! LOL It has been so nice, taking a few days off to spend time with my family and soaking up the last vestiges of the Christmas season before we took down our tree and decorations this weekend. I wish there was a way to justify keeping them up all year round?

But even as we bid a fond "good-bye" to 2010, it's time to look forward to all the new and exciting things 2011 will bring! I usually make a long list of resolutions, but this year, I'm going to try sticking to just one and see how it goes… 

"You've gotta dance like there's nobody watching,
Love like you'll never be hurt,
Sing like there's nobody listening,
And live like it's heaven on earth."
William W. Purkey

Isn't that a wonderful philosophy?!? I'm not going to dwell on the disappointments and "failures" of 2010 or in the past, but focus on making a new start with a fresh and joyful attitude. (Although I'd still like to sneak in losing a few pounds somewhere in there too—maybe all that dancing will help?) I also have several new and exciting things planned for my creative work, which I will be posting about in the next few days.

How about you? What kind of things are you looking to accomplish this year? I know some of you may have had a hard year and faced difficulties such as illness, job loss, economic uncertainty, and/or family dramas. Believe me, I've been there myself and know how hard that can be. But no matter how harsh the "winter" of your life may be right now, I pray that you will take hope in the fact that "spring" never fails to arrive after that—full of new life and beauty. Hang in there… it's coming… I promise! *Ü*

Trust in the LORD and do good. Then you will live safely in the land and prosper. Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you your heart's desires. Commit everything you do to the LORD. Trust him, and he will help you.— Psalms 37:3-5

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