Friday, November 28, 2008

Free shipping!

Friday through Monday, Dec. 1st I'm offering free shipping on all orders from my Etsy shop.  Enjoy!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Snow Queen

I finally listed my EBW December challenge piece!  It's been sitting around finished for quite some time now, but between school and trying to find a dark background for pictures, I didn't get it listed 'till just now.  

So here it is, in all its icy glory, a choker fit for a Snow Queen!  

I used a variety of clear, silver lined, and opaque white beads, along with three larger foil-lined clear glass beads as centerpieces for three netted icy flowers.  Hanging from each flower is a small section of tubular herringbone, with coraling beneath that to create icicles.  In between the flowers are strips of freeform netting.  All this was hung from memory wire strung with silver lined beads.  You can find this necklace listed here.

ps..  the black background is the cover of one of my sketchbooks.  

Also, this past week I was featured in a treasury created by Ileana of enchantedbeads.  I didn't manage to get a screenshot of it, but thanks to Ileana anyways!  Check out her shop for some beautiful beadwoven brooches and more!

Sunday, November 16, 2008


This has been a good week for me in the world of treasuries! Between the main Treasury and Treasury West, there are 3 currently running Treasuries featuring my work, and 2 created by me. That makes 5 currently running njema treasuries! Wow.

For your viewing pleasure:

Live here until 5:23 AM on Tuesday, FrancescasFancy curated this treasury, titled 'Peppermint Twist.'  She featured my Red and White Beaded 'Double Circle' Earrings (whoa, those could use a new name!)

Live here until 9:08 AM Tuesday morning, mamabetsy curated this treasury, titled 'f o n d memories.'  She featured my Offset Squares Herringbone Cuff.

Live here until 1:50 AM Tuesday morning, thebeadedlily curated this treasury titled 'A Room to Paint.'  She featured my Bright Stripes Peyote Cuff.

In Treasury West, you'll find this list of delightful items I curated. Live until 12:47 PM Monday, you can check out the artists of these 'Colors of the Earth.'

I don't know about your locale, but here in Indiana it's getting cold and gray, prompting me to curate this treasury titled 'Need me some SUNSHINE!' You can view it here until 7:08 AM Tuesday morning.
So go ahead, visit these treasuries and give them some comment and click loving! And be sure to check out all the wonderful Etsians who saw fit to feature me this weekend. I'm sure they wouldn't mind a sale or two...

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Christmas Ornaments!

Here's the ornaments I've finished so far, hooks and all!  I just got the wire this week, and formed it into some simple little hooks.  It took me a while to figure out how to do hooks.  I didn't want to use cheap craft store wire, but sterling silver was too expensive, both for my budget, and for the price I wanted to keep the ornaments at.  Finally, I settled on silver plated wire.  A nice compromise, I think, for this purpose!  So far, I've only gotten the blue and silver ornament listed, but look for the other ones soon!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

No Virginia, there is no Santa Claus.

(yes, my full name is Virginia, and no, I've never believed in Santa Claus.  And yes, I had a very fun filled childhood and have no interest in squelching anyone's joy!)

Here's a bit of a 'get to know me' blog post!

Warning:  A bit of an odd (maybe controversial?) topic today. :D
But lets have a little fun with this...

I don't really get the deal with telling kids that North-Pole living, Toy-making, Magic sleigh-riding Santa is real.  Maybe it has a bit to do with my upbringing regarding Christmas.  I grew up in the middle of the desert in Northern Kenya.  My neighbors were dirt poor semi-nomadic camel, cattle, and goat herders.  Being just a little north of the equator, December/January was dry season - the hottest time of the year.  Christmas time was all about church for our community - the Christmas play was performed by excited and animated adults, with a mean Herod, an angel with a booming voice and violently flapping arms (the words "fear not" seemed like a good introduction in this portrayal), and complete with live donkeys
 wandering across the front of the church.  On Christmas Eve, church went from about 7 or 8 until midnight, and Christmas morning everyone was back again for another 4 hours of singing.

In this context, it wouldn't have made sense for my parents to present us with the typical 'Santa' story that most Americans get.  After all, if he goes all around the world delivering toys to all children, why was it that my neighbors would get just one new outfit that they knew their parents had saved up for?  Why the discrepancy between what wealthy kids got and what poor kids got?

Santa wasn't totally out of the picture for my family, though.  We learned the historical story of St. Nicholas, and how that evolved into the present day story of Santa Claus.  And we DID 'play Santa.' We would label some gifts as being from Santa, but we all knew it was pretend.  We were good at playing pretend, though!  Aren't most kids?  Why do adults feel the need to convince kids that Santa is real when kids can have just as much fun knowing it's pretend?  I was in the US in 5th grade, and was surprised when I got in trouble for telling my 2nd grade cousin that Santa wasn't real.  First, I had no idea that people *actually* believed the Santa story.  And second, I was a big fan of knowing the truth.  I thought she would want to know what was true, and didn't expect to get in trouble for being honest!  

My biggest question today is this: Why can't we let the Santa story be a 'play pretend' story?  Would that *actually* take any of the joy out of Christmas for children?  Based on my own experience, and the wonderful ability of kids to make believe, I don't think it would.  So why is it important to adults to do so?  (Really - this is an invitation for discussion) :D

And what does this have to do with creativity?  Maybe imagination, the ability to create worlds and ideas, but still have a grounding in reality.  I think that's important for me as an artist and a scientist.  I had the best time making believe as a child, but was still very interested in what was real.  I still love having a mix of getting lost in creativity and learning fascinating information about how the world actually works.  

On another note, here's my newest cuff!  Bright Stripes Peyote Cuff.  This equatorial girl is NOT excited about the grayness this Indiana winter is already bringing.  Ah, for the sunshine and heat of the Kenyan desert this time of year...

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Time to vote!!

It's that time again.. Go to the EBW blog and vote for your favorite in this month's challenge, themed 'Ancestral Expressions.'

Friday, November 7, 2008

After a school-induced hiatus...

I've been neglecting my blog lately.  That's what happens when a student sets realistic priorities!  As well as being busy with school, my creative focus lately has been on Christmas presents.  As people on my list just might be able to find this blog, I'm not going to upload pictures of those until after the fact. :)

I *can* tell you that I've been working on the herringbone tapestry of my grandpa I showed you the pattern of in a previous blog post.  I know that he won't find this blog!  (Several years back, he wrote one or two emails, which I think is the extent of his internet experience.)

My exam this morning marked the end of one period of constant work, so I took time to day to do some much needed updates to some of my Etsy pictures.  

Though I listed all of these pieces ages ago, my photography skills have improved somewhat since then. I thought ya'll might enjoy the updated photos of these items!

I still have a number of pottery items that I have never added to my store.  Maybe I'll have time for that soon!