Sunday, October 31, 2010

Metal Jewelry - Old World Copper earrings featured on Cool2Craft

I was in quite a quandry over which project to feature on Monday's Cool2Craft show.  So, I put the call out to all my crafty and creative friends on Facebook to help me with the decision and it was unanimous - METAL JEWELRY!  Wow!  This is such a hot topic now! Metal  jewelry  is everywhere you go.

Have you noticed recent jewelry trends?  Im seeing pearls intertwined with lots of metal links and even some vintage looking chains. Im seeing more metal links and chain designs with less focus on  beads.   The looks are becoming much bigger and much bolder and it goes without saying FUNKY it! LOVE IT! LOVE IT!  My kinda style.  I love the old with the new...and the classy with the...okay...let's call it what it is..."classy trashy"...

This project is one that is featured in my book, but I'm going to put a little tweak on it and tell you a little story behind it and what make's this piece really fun and memorable to me.

I design because it makes me happy...and what I really love is designing with materials that have a special meaning or make me think of a memorable out what that story is tomorrow on Cool2Craft LIVE!

Since this is a People's choice project....I expect to see all the peoples who voted on Cool2Craft tomorrow!!!  It'll be a great crafty time!!

At showtime click this link:

Eastern:  Noon
Central:  11am
Pacific:  9am
UK (GMT 0:00) - 5PM
Austraila:  2am Tuesday morning - so hey if you can't sleep....join us!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Friendly Plastic Dichro featured on Today's Cool2Craft Live

Join us today at Noon eastern time for Cool2Craft Live.  Linda Peterson will be demonstrating how to create a dichroic effect in Friendly Plastic using her take on Liz Welch's Ooze technique.  You wont want to miss it!

Today's kit features 6 full strips of Friendly Plastic - colors will vary along with a variety pack of metallic mesh.  You'll have oodles and oozles of fun creating these effects.

Postage and handling is inluded to make it easier.

Click here to order

Friendly Plastic in strips and pellets can also be purchased via CrafTECH's Craft-E store.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Laughing out loud....

I received so many emails today's  post on laughter....I really do believe it is the best medicine.  It can also help us to rationalize and make sense of tense situations.

I pretty much take my computer with me everywhere I go, and that includes the hospital.  It's not often that I get a chance to play with photoshop but today afforded me the perfect opportunity for my mind to drift into creativeland. 

I recently went to Barnes and Noble and perused Stampington's Digital Art magazine...for some reason now the exact name of the magazine escapes me...and I do appologize for that...any how...the magazine inspired me.  I love computers.  I've grown up with them all my life.  When I was a junior and senior in High School - way back when - I took graphic arts because I loved computers, words...and anything with buttons. 

I had a few minutes to combine what I love...creating...with another love...computers...with another love ...graphic arts and when you mix all of them get this....

Hope you enjoy my photo collage.  With the help of some downloaded free brushes, I designed this collage using one of Mariah's senior pictures....

So....remember to SMILE ...and always  LAUGH OUT LOUD

Laughter is the best medicine.....

For me when the tension gets so high....I think crazy-silly  thoughts...random thoughts like..."if peter piper picked a peck of pickled peppers - how many peppers would peter piper pick?"....I know-silly, pointless and senseless ...But it was a thought....and so I googled it....

Lots of interesting answers that take up worthless time...but if you're's the website:

Random equivalents

I think I'm so tired Im slap-happy.  I laughed so hard.... In the Patch Adams movie - Robin Williams, who played Patch always said "Laughter is the BEST medicine".  I think that's true....Im in a much better mood, simply from laughing over silly worthless information....

Mom must have been given a dose -or two- of "sassy-cillin" last night, because for the first time a long time she was just full of it...making us laugh....

The conversations went something like this....

First, let me preface this story and tell you that any time Mom gets upset with Dad...she calls him Mr. Molden.  Now, Mr. Molden likes to keep up with Mom's food intake and so he always asks to see her food tray after she eats.  Which I think irritates mom to no end!  Generally, Mom will eat a few bits and then say "take it away before Mr. Molden see's it".  or sometimes if she's just not hungry at all, she will say "Hide it before Mr. Molden gets here".  Mr. Molden is also been called the Food Gestapo too.....just sayin...

So...when Dad came back to the hospital from work, his first question to me was.... How did she eat?  And I said "pretty good".....

Dad then looks at Mom and says, "I didnt get to see your food tray" to which Mom replied  "I didn't get to see your food tray either...and I ain't complainin..."....I looked at Dad and said..."Nuf said"....

I was cracking up....guess she has a point....

Mom has an aid LaToya...who Mom has affectionately named "Lotion Nurse".  This lotion nurse happens to call Mom 'Princess Barbie" and when she's walkin the halls she's called "workout barbie"...

LaToya is best known to Mom for two things....Turning her...and lotioning her up so she smells like baby lotion...(don'tcha just love that smell so good.." - but Mom hates it.  Mom has recognized Toya's footsteps and before she even makes eye contact, she will say "OH BOY...what are you going to do to me now..."

So here's the story....Im packing up my computer and getting ready to head home for the night, when Mom says "come'ere"....I bend down...Then she says "Will you come get in bed tomorrow before Toya comes...Im gonna hide..."...Ooh the onryness is making it's appearance...

Bein that Mom was gettin sassy...I turned to her and said...."I'm goin now, but I'll be back you behave yourself."  I swear she sat up in bed and a rather loud voice... "ME?!?!? behave myself.... YOU behave yourself...You're the one goin out!"...guess she had a point and guess the MOM came out...  but no partyin for this girl...I was goin HOME! .....

Im sure bein' in bed for 10 days will bring out the sass in anyone...but that's a good thing and there's great humor in it.....And if you see beyond the negative...and look for the humor, you might be able to get a dose of the best medicine in the world....LAUGHTER!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Creative Life Stuff ....Not just how to make stuff

Maybe you've noticed I've changed my blog banner.  It's just my name, but it encompasses everything I am and do.  I live a Creative Life - sometimes that encompasses creating art and design and other times it's just a creative way to solve life's problems... I appreciate that this online journal is a way that I can share my creative moments, my family moments and sometimes just some plain raw emotion.  It's an inside look at me.  I hope you can find some inspiration and relate to my experiences.

So from now on...that's what I'll be sharing me, what inspires me, what depresses me, what I enjoy...what I could live without...just creative life stuff.... not just how to make stuff....

If anything will give you a swift kick in the batooky, it's an illness of a family member.  I've written the last few posts about my Mother's recent and current illness.  I can tell you that I "hate" cancer with everything that I am...It's not just a blow to the person who suffers, it's a blow to the entire family.  It's a reality check.

I think if you want to pick the "positive" out of this situation, that would be it really makes you sit back and think what's important....who's important...and it helps you figure out what is and what isn't worth fighting over.  I've thought alot about that.  I've felt every emotion I could possibly feel in the last two weeks, from happiness over progress, to deep despair over the thought of losing someone so precious to me...someone who gave me the opportunites I have. 

Outside of thinking about my family, I've thought about all the friends that I have - I mean go look at my Facebook page and just look at the outpouring of support from people who I've only met online...WOW! That is powerful!  I tell Mom every day about those posts and what you all have said and she says..."That's wonderful" and for a split second you can see her face glow and you know she is smiling inside...That's powerful!  Words really can not express what your expressions of caring's priceless...

An update to PINK CUPCAKES....We took the pink cupcakes up to my mom.  It' been a particularly hard day for her.  She was having some problems breathing...some anxiety...and was refusing to eat.  I told her that the girls had made her cupcakes and asked her if she would like to try a bite. To my surprize she said YES!  We gave her one of the mini donuts...she took two bites..looked at the girls and said...THESE ARE GREAT! and smiled!  The girls were thrilled.!

And as I've's not how BIG or SMALL the's the thought that counts...simple words that say "I care".....You're in my thoughts...or I love you....

Which brings me to this....
After working really hard on my book....long hours...intense creative moments...and intense creative blocks...I go to my computer to find this on the screen from my son Alex...

while I wasn't looking...he pulled up the paint program and wrote me this note... Couldnt peel the smile off my face if you tried.............................

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Pink Cupcakes

Nineteen years ago tomorrow, Mariah woke up screaming, she was only 10 weeks old. After a rush to the hospital and several tests we discovered her tumor.  She's 19 now and in remission. Taking care of critically ill family is something I never would have guessed I'd have so much experience in.  But, along the way, I learned alot about myself and made some wonderful and dear friends - extended family....

It's funny how an illness in the family can bring you closer to the ones you love, remind you of the importance of family and  really put things into perspective as to what's really important. Things that might have irritated  the livin' daylights out of you before, don't seem to matter much in the big scheme of things. That's what I'm experiencing now....

While I would have rather chosen a much different route to make me reflect on the important things in life...I'm glad that this is a positive result of something really negative - still could have done with out the tragedy...both for Mariah and my Mom. 

I brought the girls home some silicone baking molds from France, dunno why exactly, I think ostly because I thought they looked like fun shapes to make cupcakes in and I knew the girls would enjoy baking.  Today, they decided that they wanted to make those cupcakes.  So Dana and Julia went to the grocery store to buy the mix.  I was hoping for chocolate - my feel good, comfy flavor - but when they got home, I discovered they bought confetti flavor and pink icing.  I wasn't suprized, I could totally see Jujie pick out something fun like this and it never struck me that it was "confetti and PINK icing" with a hidden meaning until Julia said.....

"I picked this out for Grandma Jane, because it's Pink and she has cancer...I hope it makes her feel better.".

Wow! I was so touched by Julia's fore thought  of PINK CUPCAKES...and what they meant to her...
So after dinner, all the girls- Mariah, Elise and Julia worked together to create these cupcakes for my mom.- Dana and I never stepped foot in the kitchen and we never heard an ounce of bickering like sisters tend to do....

Who knew PINK CUPCAKES could do so much?

Friday, October 15, 2010

Hug your Momma! Today - Tomorrow and Always!

So kind of a personal blog today....

My Mom is in the hospital suffering the effects of cancer and an infection.  She did really well for the past two years, but recently had a setback.  Today though, we received a bit of bright news, that the setback is from an infection - not the spread of tumor.  In fact, the new therapy she is on is working well and doing it's job! 

My Dad was grinning ear to ear, as were we all when the Doctor told us the news.

Of course I had to blast this great news to all my facebook friends and one of them responded with this - which I thought I would share with you:

Everyone should hold their mommies close, hug them, kiss them and tell them how wonderful life is with them in the world !!!

Thanks Kelly!!! Those words are soooo true and I'm so blessed that I still have my mom close to hug and tell her how much she means to me and to thank her for all the sacrafices she has made throughout her life to give me the best.  I LOVE HER!

 Have you hugged your Momma today? 

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Coming soon to a blog near you! The Sizzix Blog Hop

Im so excited and honored to be part of the upcoming Sizzix Blog Hop featuring 62 of the top designers in the Arts and Craft's industry.
If you've not seen a blog hop before, here's how it goes:

Each week, each designer will post a photograph and article based on that weeks featured die. It will be so much fun to see how each designer interprets the design. You'll can begin hoppin' at any one of the featured blogs. From there, you'll be directed to the and and so on....

The Hop begins November 4th and will feature these amazing designers:

See ya then!!!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

I Can't get off the Train DUCK! - A travel story

Before I get on with the story...I thought you might like a few pictures of the Tour Eifel. Why take just one picture, when you can take several?

As you can see the weather was just gorgeous the day we went to Paris, beautiful blue skies and a slight breeze.  Yes, there was a travel watch for US citizens, but I have to tell you, there was so much security visible, I felt much more comfortable with the heightened security, than if there were none.

Okay...Im sure you're wondering about the title of this's my crazy blonde story.

It's now Monday, we've come back to the UK from Paris and I am due to get on Virgin Trains to visit my friends Gill in Stoke-on-Trent and Liz in Nottingham.

Getting on the train is a simply just watch the monitor and when they post your rail number you make a mad dash down to the rail, hop on, sling your luggage into a rack and enjoy a nice comfortable ride on a quiet coach that leans on the curves.......

Typically when you are on airplanes, you're engrained with the phrase "Please keep your seatbelts fastened until we have come to a complete stop and the captain has turned off the seatbelt sign".  So...why should the train be any different right?  - Except you'd expect the announcement to come from the conductor.  Which it does, and it goes something like "We are now approaching Stoke On Trent". (which is also code for get up outta your seat, collect your luggage and make a mad dash for the door).

As the train was coming to a stop, I jumped up, collected my luggage and proceed to the door when I hear "ding ding ding ding" as the door closes......and I press the "open door" button...nothing happens...(can't believe this is happening) and again I push the button, but nothing,  and again and again and the door clicks and it locks and slowly we pull away from the station....and on to the next......and I'm about to all I could think of is.."I dont want to go to Manchester"...and I gotta phone Gill...and ....and...and....thousands of thoughts are going thru my head.....

I ring my friend Gill in panic "Gill, Gill, I missed the stop, I cant get off the train, I'm still here..."....and she is laughing she says "don't worry duck, I'll find out what to do and ring you back" 

In the meantime, I go to the Train Master..and he says... Well I announced it and I gave you a minute!"  A minute? I thought...what the heck is up with just a minute??   I promise it did not take an entire minute for me to get to the door....and off we went still cruising down the rail at an alarming rate of speed...

He looked at his schedule and then handed me this ticket and told me to get off at the next stop.

So I took a not so lovely ride to Macclesfield...the next stop up the line.  Looking closer at the fine print it reads:

"Linda should have been at the door when the train came to a stop, but she was not, so we left, Bad Linda, Linda is blonde..."

Needless to say, when I got OFF the train in Macclesfield...and back ON the train to Stoke, well....I'll give you one  guess where I stood the entire ride back.  Yep you guessed it - right in front of the door with my luggage.  I did not dare move away from the front of the door, in fact I was so close my luggage was touching it.  There was no way I would miss my stop again. As the door opened, I plunged out.... at my destination, panic relieved and with my friend Gill and her husband John.

That whole fiasco only lasted 30 minutes...and it is funny now...and I haven't lived it down since Ive arrived...but I can tell you that was one of the longest 30 minutes of my life!.......

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Metalwork Jewelry shoot - Rest of the week

I've been feeling totally knackered as they say in London  for us we'd describe it as utterly exhausted.  Late nights, long intense days and the jetlag are all catching with me, but then again I wouldn't have it any other way.
I still look out the window or walk down the street and with every tap of my foot I hear the words ringing in my head... "IM IN LONDON...IM IN LONDON...can't believe Im in London!" This is great! (Insert *pinch* here) Life is good.

So my time in London is coming to a close, we finished the last of the photography today - but not before a took some time to visit the marketplace on Whitecross Street which is filled with FOOD...loads and loads of scrumptious, delicious, mouthwatering

I thought you might like a look at inside the studio this week.

There's so much that goes into a book, that you might not realize.  It's not just a matter of making jewelry and putting the instructions into words and compiling them into a book.  There's a lot of brain energy that is involved in designing projects that not only fit a wide range of skill levels, but also those that will appeal to a wide variety of tastes.  Then there are the material lists.  I personally have a very well equipped studio, but someone just starting out may not.  Careful thought into the cost of each project needs to be considered, because, let's face it, if you love the project, but you can't afford to buy the tools or the materials to make it, then what's the point in buying the book right? And what if you the cost of the materials isn't the challenge, but the availability is?  If you can't find the materials, all you are left with after you have purchased the book is frustration, right?  Who wants that?
So, those are just a few things that are constantly swimming inside my brain as I compile my thoughts, ideas and my scrapbook on the types of projects that will make the final book - and even those change...

The first thing in designing is to completely and utterly make a mess and drag everything you own out....then sit and stare at it for hours taking in all the creative vibes that the tools are sending your way.......oh...and a mason jar of sweet southern ice tea doesn't hurt either.  You must make a messy space - it's a sign of a hard days work. Unfortunately it got worse from here and I did spend a day or two cleaning up just to make a brand new mess. 

Between the time I sign the contract and I go for photography, I have several emails back and forth from my publisher.  The first 10 projects are crucial because I send these ahead for style photography, along with kits and instructions.  These are then shot by a professional photographer and stylist and a Blad is made, which is essentially a jacket cover of the book (front and back) with an inside peek at a couple projects.  These are useful to the sales team to pre-sell the book to the big book stores and book clubs.

The deadline for the book projects is approximately 3-4 months from the contract date.
Now it's time to make sure that I have all the components ready for the book which includes, of course, the projects, a materials kit for each project, materials list and instruction, tools and loads of product in packaging.  Generally for jewelry books, it's not the weight of the tools...but all the bits and pieces that need to be accounted for.  Then the big day comes......Im off to London for the photoshoot.!

Generally I work with the same team - which is great. We've been working together for 4 years now and I think we have things down to a science...a tedious science, but non the less we work very well together. Geoff and Marc begin by setting up the photography space and lights. Lighting is so important and I can tell you that many times we feel like we are playing "twister" bouncing light off all kinds of reflectors just to get the right shot.

Photographs are a MAJOR part of the book. As you know, pictures are worth a thousand words and that's exactly what we strive to do in each shot is to tell the "story" on how to make these projects come to life.

Off in the background is my editor, who is also a very accomplished author, Marie Clayton.  She is in charge of creating a flat plan so that we know how the projects will be arranged, making sure that the instructions fit the photos and she even graciously types my instructions for me too!  Tedious work comparing materials lists to those I use in the real project.  We do our very very best to dot our "i"s and cross our "t"'s.  She is also the one who keeps us on the move and has a schedule for us to complete each day. 

Each photo taken is carefully checked on the computer to make sure the lighting is PERFECT!  Interestingly enough all the white space in the photo's are set to a grade and are compared with other photos taken for the book so that they are all uniform in color and shade.  Lots of precision in this.  Here Geoff and Marc are having a look at a particularly difficult project we just shot using the flame from a butane torch.

Bright flash on photography is a definate NO NO in the work of photographs.  Here Marc is assisting Geoff in bouncing light as one of the finished projects are shot. 

Each project has anywhere from 5 to 13 photographs and depending on the complexity and techniques that I want to tell, they can each take up to an hour to shoot the photography.

The words "BE STILL" and "HOLD IT RIGHT" there are sometimes easier said than done........

After the projects are shot, each and every material that goes into the book gets photographed.  When the tools and materials are large, the photography is quick, but when they are small and dainty such as beads, it takes alot of time to set up the shot...sometimes as much as 30 minutes.  

After all the pictures are finished, I get a lo-res version of them which I compare to the text.  Now it is time for me to scrutinize over the text to make sure they tell the story of how to create the piece as easily as possible.  I also check the photos against the text, the materials list and add any "fluff" wording such as tips and tricks.  

The text is then passed on to my editor who does her run-thru and passes the text to the publisher.  

The book designer takes it now and places all the photos with the text.  He then produces a copy for me in pdf format.  This is my last shot to look over and make any corrections before it goes to press.    By now we are several months into the process.  

The book is then turned over to the printer...and magically appears!!!  It is exciting to see your name in print I must admit - a very special moment!!  Lots of hard work...but soooo well worth the effort.

As I've said before, it's a team effort.  I might be the author and have my name on the front cover but there are so many more people who help to produce this book besides just me and I thank them all for their hardwork, talent and commitment they bring to creating a variety of wonderful books!

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