Friday, January 1, 2010

Today Starts a New Adventure

Today starts a new adventure! I've decided to chronicle my New Year's Resolution of taking time off from my usual killer craft show schedule and spend this year exploring new jewelry techniques and new art forms. I'm still doing some shows, but I chose carefully and completely avoided the brutally hot and logistically nasty summer shows.

I'm pretty much a self-taught jewelry designer and have only taken a couple of classes in the past six years. This year, though, I've already signed up for four classes. Sure, I have a ton of books bought and ready to be read, but signing my name and pulling out the credit card commits me to the task in a way that a stack of books doesn't.

In April, I'm attending BeadFest in King of Prussia, PA, and I'll be taking two metalsmithing classes with Tracy Stanley. One is her "Riveted Pendant" class, where I'll learn to make this:

and her "Riveted Links and Rings" class, where I'll learn to make this:

I'm really excited, because while I know how to solder and cut things with a saw, I don't know much about cold connections or stamping, and there are so many applications I have in mind for these techniques. Check out for the other BeadFest shows and classes!

I've also decided that this is the year I'm REALLY going to jump out of my creative box and try an art form that I've always admired but have NO background in -- altered art. I got over my fears of inadequacy, bit the bullet, and signed up for two artistic journaling classes at the Art and Soul Retreat in Hampton, VA in May.

First, "Journal Spilling Watercolor" with Diana Trout....

And "Inspired Journaling: Every Single Day!" by Melanie Testa.

Both classes use watercolors, pen and ink, ephemera, gesso, and imagination to create journal pages that are works of expressive art. My hope is to find a voice within so I can create art on a smaller scale, drawing and painting little bitty pieces that can be soldered behind glass for pendants.

So that's the very beginning of my journey. I'm excited to see where this all leads me.

If you'd like to stretch your creative wings,
join my Bead Soup Blog Party at my other blog
by clicking here.


  1. I think your resolution to take jewelry classes is fantastic, Lori! It's always wonderful to keep on top of our trade :)

    Enjoy the new year!


  2. You will love Tracey Stanley. She is an awesome teacher! I took her Frame It class at Bead & Button show in June last year. She is so giving of her time and talents. I would gladly take more classes from her. And riveting is much fun! Enjoy the day! You have a new follower in me! Erin

  3. Happy New Year, Lori! And Happy New Blog, too! I can't wait to see what you do in the coming months.


  4. How exciting! Sounds like you have put your plans in motion. It will be fun to see what you do.

  5. Oh! Here you are! I guess I really do need a compass and canteen!

  6. Oh I'm excited for you especially with the altered art. The metal classes look way cool too. I have the metal letters to stamp in the words on metal for my altered art or Jewelery...As well as other metal texturing tools. I have yet to set aside time to do it though. I say good for you!
    Today was fun I made a mini book using flattened toilet tissue paper rolls. Whoda thunk it..right.
    I was able to recyle some of the trim samples I get from drapery trim books that get dropped.
    Deb Abel (it's all good) saw it on youtube and told me about it.
    I'll post about it when I get it close to being done.
    Chow for now.

  7. What a great adventure! It looks like you are getting started very nicely on your journey!

  8. Lori, Congrats on the start of your brand new blog and "Artist Year Off" adventure!!! Can you believe it's finally here? Seems like so long ago when you first mentioned it. I'd love to join you at Art and Soul but the dates didn't work for me this year. I too would love to learn more about altered art and journaling. The classes looks so interesting! You're well on your way.....

  9. I love a woman with a plan - lookout!

    Count me in for a virtual adventure! Thanks for taking the time to share it with others.

  10. What a grand idea...a whole year just for your growth!!!

    I wish you health, happiness and prosperity in the coming year!

  11. You'll do great of that I'm certain but I wish you every success nonetheless. The "altered art" looks intricate and beautiful. I'm rooting for you and will call here often to see how you are progressing.
    All the very best to you and your family.
    Warmest regards, a happy 2010 and a BIG hug,

  12. Oh, your plans sound wonderful! I'm going to follow your lead and commit to finding some classes, too!

  13. Aw, man! I know Hampton makes sense for you in terms of distance, but how I wish we could see each other at Art and Soul in Portland! I just got the confirmation that I'll be teaching three classes there!

  14. I hope this year is full of fun times learning new projects and trying a bit of everything!

  15. Tracy Stanley is awesome. Took 4 classes when she came to Chicago. My head was spinning with sooo many new possibilities to try.
    Take notes...

  16. Oh wow, Lori, the "Riveted..." pieces are very cool--what fun classes!
    And "Art and Soul"!! I've always thought that would be the most incredible retreat--I can't wait to hear all about it!


Thanks so much for commenting!