The new home of! Musings about life, love, art, and friendship. My show schedule is updated here and I'll be sharing my new art and jewelry exclusively.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Ch-ch-ch-ch Changes

I am in the process of redesigning this blog for its new direction, which I shall talk about when it is all ready. For now, it looks a bit busy design-wise. Know that it is in transition and I'll be back, better than before, with a new focus. I'm still making jewelry and art, but not as much, as I move forward in another creative direction. See you soon!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


Hello everyone! We are all moved into our new house- the house with STUDIO SPACE! Of course, between moving and starting a new job, I haven't even begun to make anything. Now that most of the day to day living stuff is unpacked and put away, I can focus on getting my studio into shape. I'm looking forward to making some leather wrap bracelets with lead-free pewter, big, bold turquoise bracelets using antiqued-button closures, wrapped bracelets made from semi-precious gems, and most of these will be strung on waxed Irish linen. Stay tuned in the upcoming weeks for more updates, studio photos and jewelry.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Well howdy stranger!

This is the requisite "I've been so busy I forgot about this blog" post. In truth, I have been quite busy. Quite busy at work, quite busy getting a new job, and then quite busy trying to do both jobs while also preparing to move and to launch my own incredibly successful jewelry business.
Ok, so maybe I haven't been PHYSICALLY preparing to move. I've been MENTALLY preparing, mostly by pinning home decorating ideas to my boards and planning my housewarming party by pinning exciting food ideas to my boards on Pinterest. If you are anything like me, you'll go from a thoughtful, "Oh, what an interesting idea. I'll just repin a few of these things for later..." to:
( which is really a re-do of Hyperbole and a Half's Clean All The Things!
Making this post, is in fact, a packing avoidance tactic. A nap is next on the agenda. Am I the only person who, upon waking, thinks, "Well, I'll just drink this cup of coffee and check my email and then I'll take a nap"? Today started out just that way. After reading my coffee and drinking my email, I read Hyperbole and a Half from start to finish (yes the entire blog, minus the posts I had already read, my favorites of which you can find on the side bar- the dog ones are especially hilarious. There is this tenuous period between finishing my coffee and being in full-blown blood sugar crashing meltdown mode, and I like to try and time my nap in there somewhere closer to the coffee-finishing. However, this morning, like many mornings I suppose, I was kept from napping due to the seemingly purposeful nap-preventing strategies I am sure my neighbors employ due to their nap...ism from being energetic doers of...things. Things like mowing my lawn. Yes, MY lawn. And painting my house. Then, by the time they are finished, the hypoglycemic stomach gnawing has set in, and I am forced to find Something To Eat. Once that hurdle is overcome, and the lovely carb-induced relaxation starts to wash over me, the fire-whistle blows, reminding me that it is noon already and I have not yet packed a single item. So rather than actually PACKING, I ran around the house and took art off the walls and dusted it all and leaned it all in neat piles on the two chairs that we never ever sit in. (Chairs we will move to The New House and Never Ever Sit In.) Well, not ALL the art. Just the art from one room. We have a lot of art. I can see it from where I sit. Waiting expectantly, all unpacked. But now the noon-whistle has blown, the lawn has been...mown? and apparently the house-painter took a break...the only thing now preventing me from napping aside from my own slight sense of guilt, is that having taken down the art, but not the hooks, the cats are in a frenzy, convinced that the hooks and nails that were holding up the art are in fact bugs, waiting to be chased and eaten. And to get to them, the cats must, of course, scale towering piles of unopened mail, tables of antique pottery, and half-packed boxes of Things That Do Not Go Together. But the carb-drugs are strong and my will is weak and the nap doth come.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Quick weekend project

I just posted a new project over on the Talisman Beads blog.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

On the Road Again

My darling husband (who turns 41 today!) and I took another trip through MA to the bead show in Mansfield, MA. I scored some really great baskets there from the Africa Beads vendor. I am going to use them in our new house (if we ever get it.)
We also went to IKEA in Stoughton, MA, which is always a good time. And if you haven't yet, try the potato broccoli cakes in the cafe. Then you can get several boxes from the freezer downstairs and take them home like I did :)

I got to spend time with my dear friend Jane, who taught me how to do this awesome stitched leather bracelet. I haven't had any time to work on it since returning. My main job is really really busy and the bead blog and website is taking up some time. I need to do a project for this weekend. I am thinking something with the lucite flowers. I'll cross post it here so stay tuned.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Andrew Thornton

I just discovered the blog of jewelry artist Andrew Thornton. His work is exquisite. And today he posted a giveaway, and gave us permission to repost on our own blogs (never mind that doing that gives us extra brownie points for potentially WINNING the giveaway =D

Visit Andrew's Blog for details on how to win a class in Metal Fold Forming from Beaducation. They have free classes too! Special thanks to Andrew for pointing that out. I am going to start taking free classes as soon as I get back from the Mansfield, MA Divine Bead Festival this weekend.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Cat picture and Ring

Today I made a sweet little ring out of a piece of dyed magnesite and some coated wire.
The picture is a little blurry. You can see the dyed magnesite better via the above link.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

On my beading table

This is what I have right now on my coffee beading table. It's some chain, with this really pretty vintage german glass that looks clear and grey and blue all at the same time. Then some pinkish pearls, some greyish blue pearls and a ribbon. I'd like to attach this Czech glass flower where the pink pearls and the chain meet. You can't see it very well in the picture but I love those little vintage flowers. At the bottom, a faceted teardrop, rose quartz I think.

Project on Talisman Blog

Hi All! I posted my first-ever project for Talisman over on the Talisman Blog. Go check it out!

Here is the finished project:

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Procrastination, thy name is Tara.

Sorry for the bad lighting. Sigh. Such a beautiful jumble of beads and findings. I have so many ideas that I cannot seem to get started.

Gratuitious Cat Shot

This is my personal assistant, helping me sort pewter tubes. Isn't he beautiful?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Big weekend

Well! The Innovative Bead Show in Marlboro, MA was TONS of fun. We had SUCH a good time. I got to see my dear friend Jane, and her outstanding jewelry, and I got to meet so many nice people in the Talisman suite.
Since returning home, I've been busy going over my inventory so I can restock my kit for the Funky Stuff Bead Show in Mansfield, MA. It's a one day show and is sure to be very busy. I have a full kit of the pandora-style beads which I am in love with, and I have recently discovered FACETED PEARLS!
I missed the deadline for the 30 minute Bracelets book, but, given that I only found out about it a few days before the big show, I am not being too hard on myself. Now I only need to figure out what to submit to 500 Beaded Jewelry. I was mistaken earlier in what this book would be. I confused it with the 1000 series from Quarry. The Lark book requires high quality photography and is juried. I shall do my best. Note to self: read things over carefully.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Quickie bracelet

I made a quick bracelet from leather cord, Talisman "pandora-style" lampwork beads and some large hole goldtone pewter beads. I finished it off with a large goldtone pewter hook and a vintage brass heart as the closure. Oh, and a little heart milagro dangles from one side.
Click the photo to see the bracelet in detail.

I almost never wear gold, but this leather was a lighter color than I usually use, and it looked best with gold. And the large-holed lampwork beads had rich color as well. I'll wear this a the show this weekend.

Call for Jewelry

Hey friends, Lark Books has a call for beaded jewelry- click here to go to their site for details. Submitting jewelry for publication should not be scary- the worst they can say is no, and that doesn't mean your stuff isn't good. They get lots and lots of entries and they need to pick a diverse group. I'll be coming up with something in the next couple weeks to send. I won't be able to share it with you until the book comes out, if it is accepted. The books like to feature stuff that hasn't been widely seen yet. So go ahead, make something and send it in. Thanks to Barbe St. John for the head's up.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Project Design

It's Sunday evening here at the Finlay house and preparations for the Marlboro trip are in full swing. The house has been cleaned and the bead inventory counted. I am now prepping to make some projects to both wear at the show, and showcase on the Talisman Beads Blog. If you have not already signed up to be a follower of that blog, you should head on over and do so, because when we reach milestones (25, 50, 75, 100 followers etc) we are going to have fabulous giveaways! Feel free to pass this blog URL and the Talisman one along to anyone you know who is into jewelry making, mixed media art, and crafting using beads. The more followers, the more fabulous things I can do with you guys.
Anyway, I randomly grabbed thoughtfully selected beads and findings from my stash. I have some ideas about what I want to showcase- in my new job, I've been re-exposed to findings and bead types I haven't used in years- like toggles and crystals, and bead caps and cones. For now I am going to focus on using purchased beads and then later, when my studio is up and running, I'll start making my own beads in addition.
So for those of you who I haven't talked to in a long time, I've been talking studio since 2004. Still hasn't happened. However, this year, we are moving into a gorgeous house that has a sweet little room at the end, all in white, with two big windows and a wall of bookshelves. I cannot WAIT to get in there. And because the house we are buying is all set to go- no real work needed, I can literally move my stuff in and be up and running in no time. It's a long story why we are leaving this house Jon worked so hard on, but it is a good move and we are very happy about it.

What will become of these beauties???? Stay tuned....

Friday, April 22, 2011

Vintage Stampings and Castings

I am up to my elbows in vintage stampings and castings. Well, ok not right this second...but I just went through one of my two tubs and sorted it a little. I have one more lovely tub to go through.
I just love vintage jewelry parts. And they are so hot right now! These are so timely and yet so timeless. Here, let me see if we have them listed: These leaves are so beautiful. And these are really gorgeous. But I have a lot in my kit that are not available on the web. I'll try to get a picture up here before Marlboro. I have a lot on my plate right now, and that is good, because I am hungry ;)

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Where have you been all my life?

Ah, the first blush of love between a girl and her new job. Selling beads is fun. I really enjoyed the show in Albany and I am preparing for Marlboro by sorting and counting my inventory. And scouting sign solutions and booth accessories. In addition to all of this, my first job is very busy in a very good way and so All Sorts Of Things Are Happening. :)
I wanted to post a picture of my booth at the Albany show but I just never had the time to take the picture.
What I did learn is that the bead company I am working for really does have the lowest prices I have ever seen on lead-free pewter and it isn't that horrible dull grey. I'm going to whip up a bracelet soon so you can see what I mean.
For now, I must sleep.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Zen and the Art of Bead Storage...etc etc.

Five days until the Albany Bead Show, my first, and I got a wild hair to reorganize my beads (READ: Make room for all the fabulous beads I am going to earn.) I knew it was a Pandora's Box, but I just went for it. I have one large tackle box with four large flat divided clear bins inside and room for 8 of the small ones in the top but I use the top for wire, leather, Acculon and other stringing materials, plus I have a Santa Tin full of base metal chain, vintage and non. That part is all set and ready to go.
The bottom four flats have traditionally held the beads I have purchased by the each at bead stores (SHOUT OUT TATNUCK BEAD! WOOT!) and the occasional strand from shows or online. I have lugged around the same four flats of beads since 2004. I haven't set foot in a bead store since (I was making my own beads and doing other things.) I was doing a lot of mixed media for a while there as well. So these four flats of beads have got to go. I think I'll do a giveaway. Perhaps at the Marlboro, MA show. Stay tuned for details on that. I'm just rollin' with the flow here.
So what I am getting at is this: What is your method for organizing your beads? Do you keep all your gems in one container and your silver in another? Do you use ziplock bags or tackle boxes? Help me organize my stash. Because the subject line of the spam mail that inspired this post reads: "Hey You: Get It Together."

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Upcoming Bead Shows

I'll be in Albany, NY Saturday, April 16 - 10AM to 5PM and Sunday, April 17 - 10AM to 4PM. I'll update this as more shows are confirmed.

Hello! It's good to see you again!

Hello friends, it has been a while. Make a cup of tea, pull up a chair and let's chat. Where have I been? Oh that's a long, long story. I've been here, lurking, reading your posts, admiring your work and missing you. But I had some life stuff to deal with and now I am coming out on the other side. It seems appropriate that this transformation is coming about at springtime. I feel like I've been hibernating and I am starting to wake up, shake myself a bit and I am looking out of my den, hearing the birds singing and seeing the sun shine and thinking, "Wow. Look at that. Time to get up out of here and get some things done."

For the last year, I have insulated myself quite a bit from what has been going on in the magazines and I've stayed away from the craft stores, because I sort of felt... how did I feel... resentful that my creative juices weren't flowing? I passed Michael's (the craft store) like it was my ex-boyfriend's house and I was afraid to look and see who might be going in or out, who took my place. I averted my eyes when I drove past the bead store, pretending that part of me was gone for good.

And then one day, I saw a way to make a change, and I hopped on it. All I had to do was update my resume and send in some pictures of my work. Then I decided to let go and let it happen, or not. But it did. So, my friends, you are looking at the new NY/MA rep for a really great bead company. I'll be going to bead shows but I'll be on the other side of the table. What could possibly be more fun than talking to all of you about beads? How could that be work? I mean, I harbor no illusions that making a huge change like this is going to be without "work" but, it feels RIGHT. AND my husband is going to go to shows with me. For those of you who have not met my husband or heard of his awesomeness, let it henceforth be known that upon voicing some petty concern about going to shows myself, in his characteristic, unruffled manner, he said, "Oh. I'll just go with you. No big deal." <--- Right? Right??? Yeah! THAT is my husband. And him going with me makes anything possible.

So, that's what has been going on with me. I won't be at Artfest this year so I'll miss you there. But maybe we can meet up anyway and talk about beads!

If there is anything to be learned by me this spring it is, Everything Happens For a Reason. I might need you to remind me of that when I get scared, but I know it for a FACT. =)

[This blog is still very much under construction. I'll be working to get all the widgets going this week but I just HAD to share my news!]