Second Studio Syndrome

Looking for the Bead Soup Book Tour giveaway? Scroll down or Click here Perhaps you have heard me mention we were building a lake house...several times....Anyway, it's done. Finally. Now onto the important stuff like what we need at the lake. And I'm not talking boats or furniture. I'm talking about studio space and how to outfit it. The girl child and I spent last weekend at the lake. I needed to finish my design challenge piece for component of the month so I grabbed a few bead boxes, some tools and wire, and called it good. It kind of wasn't, but it was enough for me to get the job done. The mess I made on the dining table in the process:

Already taking over the kitchen table

So I am trying to come up with a method of dealing with my jewelry making needs for the days I'm at the lake. Do I buy 2 of everything? One for the lake and one for home? That doesn't seem very economical.

Do I pack up the studio every time we head to the lake? I could, but the suitcase gets very heavy and it would be so time consuming to have to do that every single time.

This is what it looked like when I packed up the studio for a trip to Colorado.

Have Beads, Will Travel

What's a girl to do?

So I started thinking. Which can be dangerous at times...

I have a beading bag similar to this one

which was GREAT when all my beads and few tools fit into this bag. And yes, I do remember a time when that was the case. Not so much any more (understatement of the year). Plus it's a very uninspiring bag and I tend to throw my tools and wire and other flotsam into it. It also doesn't help me with the issue of WHICH trays of beads do I take? And having to pack them before each and every lake house stay. I'm sure by now you all think I'm a bit whiny. Or neurotic. Or probably both. I don't disagree.

Then I remembered an article I read in...maybe Cloth Paper Scissors? Or one of the Stampington magazines...I wish I could remember where I saw it.... About an artist mom who, like the rest of us artist moms spend countless hours waiting for kids to finish their activities in parked cars, on bleachers, in lobbies, etc. And she showed off her DARLING and ORGANIZED craft suitcase.

So I started googling craft suitcases and started a "Have Beads Will Travel" Pinterest board specifically for my finds.

Only one case was specifically for jewelry/beading, but the blog post is full of great info (the following photos are all clickable and will take you directly to original souce):

Jewelry crafting suitcase

 Here's a case showcased on the Better Homes and Gardens website

BHG craft suitcase

The following one is all over the internet if you do a google search. It's absolutely adorable and so organized from Amy Powers Inspire Co. blog

craft suitcase inspire co amy powers

Another case Amy Powers did for an article in Stitch Craft Create

Inspire co craft suitcase

Lots of inspiration and ideas to create my own traveling bead studio. I may double up on a few tools so that I don't have to pack/unpack/repack. However, I can take a few beads here and there from the stash. And perhaps working within the parameters of the suitcase will enhance creativity. Or it could make me really frustrated and want to rip my hair out. It could go either way.

It just so happens I bought a vintage suitcase a couple weeks ago.

Vintage suitcase

I haggled the price and got a great deal. After I bought it, I noticed a previous owner had scratched their initials and last name. I don't know if you can read it, but the last name is Stout. People, that is my maiden name. And it's not a common one. I keep meaning to ask my dad about the initials because I don't recognize them. But we have a very large family.

I wonder if it's like the ring story...when I was a child, my dad donated a ring he wasn't fond of and would never wear, to the church garage sale to raise money for something (don't remember what). I, of course, had never seen the ring.

We lived within walking distance of our church, so I went to the garage sale. With my own money. And no parental supervision. I was maybe 7.

Guess what I bought as a gift for my dad? The ring he donated. I hope he didn't throw out this suitcase just for me to buy it back...

If you got through this very long post and have any ideas for how to deal with 2nd studio syndrome, I would love to hear them. I will keep you updated if and when I decide to outfit this case as a traveling studio.

And TGIF! Have a great weekend everyone.

AJE Component of the month Reveal and Blog Hop

Please bear with me as I try to blog from my iPad. It really is a's my own fault for not being more organized though. Diana hosted the AJE component of the month for September. It looks like a leather button: Button pendant from Diana P It reminded me so much of a tweed jacket my maternal grandfather "Bopper" had with those type of buttons, that I couldn't get past it while trying to design around it. So this became an ode to my grandparents. Unfortunately I have no memories of my maternal grandmother, just the things she left behind and the stories my mom told me. She died when I was about a year old and Bopper died when I was about six, so my memories of him are pretty sketchy too. So here's what I made: Necklace Necklace The pendant from Diana represents my grandfather, his tweed jacket, his favorite leather chair. The clock hand represents the cuckoo clock we had in the house (we moved in with him when I was a baby to take care of him while my dad was in the Army). my grandmother's name was Harriet, but many people called her Heart. Thus the heart charm. Necklace She used to make very blingy Christmas ornaments with sequins, ribbon, upcycled costume jewelry, etc. My mom continued to put those ornaments on the tree along with our creations year after year. The rhinestones represent the Christmas ornaments. The leather again makes me think of Bopper's chair, but the avocado color reminds me of the whole house being carpeted in avocado carpet. I think the appliances matched the carpet....on a related note, my mom hates the color green. Necklace My grandfather did lapidary work and made jewelry. I have a few things he made me. Can you imagine what it would have been like if he had been around when I started making beads and jewelry? My husband is very lucky to still have his grandma alive and feisty as ever. Because I was so unorganized about getting this finished, I had to make it at the lake house where I have no supplies yet and no Internet except via phone or tablet. Fun. I grabbed some basic supplies to take to the lake, not really knowing what I was going to do yet. Luckily I grabbed the right things. I only wish I had brought a bench block and a couple hammers. Oh, and my butane torch. and maybe a camera. All photos were taken with my iPhone. Here's a photo from this morning showing how we've only had furniture in this place for 3 days and I've already taken over the table Already taking over the kitchen table Make sure you see what everyone else made. The list is here at AJE.

State of the Studio

I've been avoiding the jewelry making area of my studio. Because it looked like this

The state of the studio

The above photo would probably be more effective if I had shot it from the perspective of standing there trying to actually create jewelry. My bead containers were stacked on the floor to get to things (and yes, I sit on the floor to use my drill press. Doesn't everybody?)

The state of the studio

Last night, at about 8pm, I suddenly couldn't take it another minute. I lost track of time until I suddenly felt so tired I didn't think I could lift another bead. It was 1:30am. Now it looks like this:

State of the studio part II

The bead containers are still spread all over the floor, but that's because I am painstakingly putting every bead that was piled on the bench, or thrown into a baggie or bowl, back where it belongs. So I can find them all again to pile them up somewhere else. One of the pitfalls of cleaning is finding unfinished projects you want to finish, or special beads you want to use immediately. It took a great deal of focus to avoid making new things. While making beads yesterday afternoon, I picked up my phone and shot a quick pic of what I see when the bead is in the flame. Of course, the difference is I am wearing special glasses that gets rid of the huge yellow flare you see in the photo.

My point of view at the torch

And while I would love to show you the final bead, it turned out very very ugly and would break the camera. Plus I would just be embarrassed that I made something so hideous.

Random Instagram

In no particular order... I snagged these gorgeous beads from Heather Powers. Not only are these the first I've owned, but it's the first time I've held her beads (gosh, that sounds kind of dirty...)

First time to see Humblebeads in person. And they're mine.

Gorgeous flowers hubs bought for our daughter after her final performance in a Spoof play of Harry Potter in which she played Moaning Myrtle, then also took on the role of Ginny Weasley for the final performance when "Ginny" couldn't make it. She had never practiced or learned the part and it involved her changing costume and hair 5 times. She earned these flowers

Flowers given to the actress after the final performance @livetodance2001

Pendant lights finally installed in the lake house kitchen

Island pendant lights

Sunrise the morning after our very first night staying at the lake house. No furniture. Yes, we slept on the floor. Because we like to "rough it" haha!

1st Morning at the Lake

The morning sun

Morning sun

How about a sunset too?

Amazing sunset at the lake tonight

The nail biter Colts game yesterday:

Go colts

Daughter volunteering at the Johnny Appleseed Festival for Windsong Pictures

Volunteering for Windsong pictures at the Johnny Appleseed Festival

I think of these as Amish action figures. But they are made of something like iron, are very heavy for their tiny size, and have zero articulating joints. I don't know why, but these make me kind of giggle a little bit.

Amish figures

I spent most of the time at Johnny Appleseed perusing the antique section of the festival. One of the booths had not one, but TWO of these buckets that look "vintage". What's wrong with this picture?

Brid bucket

I had to triple check to make sure I remembered how to spell bird correctly, because I was seriously thinking I had lost my mind. Knowing this was not an "antique," I looked at the bottom of the bucket...

Brid bucket tag

Hmmm..... I did buy a couple things at Johnny Appleseed, but will save those for another day. I've got big plans for them. Have a great Monday! I have jewelry and beads to make today.

Kalmbach Bead Soup Party Mix

Look what came in the mail.

Bead soup

  I wasn't sure if I would be lucky enough to get a bead soup sent from Kalmbach, but it appears I was. It was super exciting to get an envelope with the big sunburst sticker.

Bead soup

Ironically, my bead soup came from a bead shop called Heirloom Classics in Indianapolis. While I had never heard of the shop, I recognized the address as a place I had shopped at and taken lampworking classes from JC Herrell and Jari Sheese (the previous bead shop owner) before. The Fountain Square area is a very interesting place with very good food nearby. The building itself is gorgeous and bright.

Bead soup

Here's a close-up of the focal and clasp I received. I LOVE that clasp so much! And I love how the shape of the focal and clasp are rounded off triangles...or fans? I don't think I've ever used that shape before.

Focal and clasp

I already have a few ideas of what I want to do to play off the shapes of the focal and clasp.

Customer Gallery

You guys, there is nothing I would love more than to share what you've made with my beads, link to your blogs, shops and social media. Send me photos! Send me links to photos! I will share all with the world! Back a few weeks ago, Jeannie Dukic emailed me so I didn't miss her bead soup reveal. Her partner Jenna had purchased the focal for Jeannie's bead soup from me during one of the flash auctions for the blog pj party back in June. Here's what Jeannie came up with: Jeannie Dukic 1 bead soup blog party with glass addictions bead   Jeannie Dukic 2 bead soup blog party with glass addictions bead   Isn't it wonderful? Love it! I can't find it for sale on her jewelry website, but if you love it, make her an offer she can't refuse... Last night I got a message from Traci Zeller with photos attached. She won the bead I gave away as part of a fun day of flash giveaways on the Creative Bead Chat facebook group (join! It's a great group!), which happened to fall on the same day we dropped my kid off at his boarding school. So it was a nice distraction from being sad and moping. Anyway, she wanted to show me the bracelet she made with the bead. Here's the bead I sent her:

Glass Addictions Jennifer Cameron lampwork glass bead

Here's the bracelet she made: Traci Zeller bracelet with Glass Addictions bead If you love this bracelet, you can purchase it for yourself on Etsy. I love the name she gave it...Lunar Pools . You can also find Traci doing updates on her facebook page. Reminder...send me pics of your creations using my beads! Please. I'm not above begging, you know...

Random Instagram

My brain is fried. My time has not been my own the last couple weeks. As soon as we (FINALLY) close on the lake house (delayed twice so far...) and we get settled in, things will settle down and I'll have time to show you some new work. In the meantime, here are a few random Instagram'd photos I've taken the last week or so. This might become a regular post because I am having so much fun with it. Sitting on the back "patio" at the lake house

Lake James Indiana

The girl child sitting on the patio, playing with her favorite toy (iPod)

Girl child by Jennifer Cameron

Moonrise over the lake

Moon over Lake James Indiana by Jennifer Cameron

Dinner made by awesome husband (filet mignon with excellent spice rub, coconut crusted shrimp with ginger sauce, asparagus, and potatoes.


New bridge that just opened. The construction of this bridge caused mega hassle to get downtown.

MLK Bridge fort wayne Indiana by Jennifer Cameron


Fog near Avilla Indiana by Jennifer Cameron

  Since downloading Instagram, I have found and used a couple Instagram related apps that I just love. The first is Postagram. You use it to create a post card with one of your Instagram photos. You add a short message, who you want it sent to, pay 99 cents, and voila! The recipient receives a postcard within a week. I've been using it to send postcards to hubby's grandparents in Florida. It's so much easier than getting a card, printing a photo, addressing and putting a stamp on it. Once my account was set up, it literally took 1-2 minutes to make a postcard and hit send. The grandparents are thrilled to get 1 or 2 photo postcards a week, and it is exactly zero hassle. If you use this link to Postagram, you can try one postcard free (and in full disclosure, I will get to send one free too, so we both win). It works with iPhone, Android, or even just do it on the computer if that's where all your photos are. The other Instagram app I'm loving is Postal Pix. Sign up for an account, upload the instagrams (or regular photos) you want to have printed, pay, then they are delivered to your mailbox. I placed an order for somewhere around 22 prints and paid $8.23, which included shipping. The prints are gorgeous. I will definitely order again.

If Time Equaled Currency

(You can sign up for the Charm Swap until Aug 28th, theme is laughter, you get charms from other artists and also get to help Beads of Courage so everyone wins!) Last week hubs was channel surfing and came across a movie he had been wanting to watch called In Time, which I had never heard of. So he goes to the On Demand feature of our cable service, finds the movie, and starts watching it. I was sitting with him, not particularly interested. In fact, when I saw Justin Timberlake was the lead character of this movie, I made fun of hubs for wanting to watch a Justin Timberlake movie. He responds with "who's Justin Timberlake?" Sigh. Never mind. Even though I had no interest in watching the movie and was actually reading, the opening sequence caught my attention and I was hooked. The people of Earth did not use money. Rather they all had a countdown clock installed in their arms that measured how much time they had left. Once the clock runs out, they die. And the time on each person's clock is used as currency. It's how they pay their bills, buy groceries, cars and clothes. They can earn time through working, stealing, gambling, being gifted with it. People say things like "she comes from time" rather than "she comes from money". There were ghettos where people literally lived day to day...sometimes hour to hour and didn't make it because they ran out of time. The entire concept just blew my mind for so many reasons that I am still thinking about it a week later. When people spout off the cliche "time equals money," yes, it is true. Sort of. I prefer to think in terms of "opportunity cost". Broken down to its most basic definition, opportunity cost is the "cost" of making a choice over the next best thing....whether that cost is money, time, happiness, etc. Even that isn't quite as concrete as the idea of time=currency (I loved my Microeconomics class in college so much I almost majored in Economics.) If time was our form of currency, would you be doing what you are doing? How would your priorities change? I will be exploring this topic in more depth. I would love to hear what you have to say about it. Leave a comment if you want to express your views.    

How is it even possible August is almost over?

(You can sign up for the Charm Swap until Aug 28th, theme is laughter, you get charms from other artists and also get to help Beads of Courage so everyone wins!)   Can you say WHIRLWIND? Wow... The month started with me in Las Vegas. Where the only jewelry besides my wedding ring was this bracelet I made for the Bead Soup Blog Party reveal:

Bracelet by Jennifer Cameron glass addictions

Oh, and right before we left for Vegas I FINALLY got an iPhone...probably I was almost the last person on Earth to not have one. My husband still has his DroidX (same phone I had) and is still resisting the overwhelming urge to get the iPhone. But I feel his resistance is breaking down as he watches how giddy and delighted my phone makes me. Why is this information important? Well. Because I got Instagram, which means while we were in Vegas I took pictures like this:

Dragon by Jennifer Cameron

Airplane by Jennifer Cameron

Palazzo by Jennifer Cameron

Sugar factory Las Vegas Jennifer Cameron

Crystals Palazzo Las Vegas Jennifer Cameron

Chandelier Venetian Las Vegas

Postrio at the Venetian Jennifer Cameron

The Venetian gondola ride Jennifer Cameron

The Beatles in Vegas Jennifer Cameron

Chandelier Venetian Las Vegas Jennifer Cameron

The best part was that I didn't carry a big honkin' camera around. I could share my photos without hooking up a card to a computer. The photos are great, but made even more awesome by grunging them up and discoloring them like the film was exposed or like using a circa 1972 camera. Awesome. I have almost completely stopped taking pics with my Canon Eos Rebel xti. Sad, but true. Right after we got back from Vegas and the kids home from camp, the crazy started. What does this mean? Well...we tried to cram about 10 appointments/rehearsals/lessons/parties/activities into every single day before the school year started and we had to take our kid to boarding school for high school. The kids bought their own guitars at Sweetwater and got a free lesson. Let me tell you...if for some unknown reason you are in the Ft Wayne area, you NEED to visit Sweetwater. It's pretty freakin awesome. Not only do they have a cafe with free wifi, but also a free arcade and putting green for parents and siblings waiting for lessons to be over. They also have windows overlooking the warehouse:

Part of Sweetwater warehouse Jennifer Cameron

We also did the walk-thru of the lake house on a dreary gray day. We are supposed to close next week, but based on conversations I had with people yesterday, I'm not holding my breath all the ducks will be in a row by then. Sigh. After the walk through, we drove to an area across the bay to take a photo of the house:

View of the side of Lake house from across bay

We celebrated my turning 29 (again!) at Paula's with some of the best seafood I've ever had, and some yummy wine (yes, this is a technical term for wine connoisseurs everywhere)

Birthday wine selection Jennifer Cameron

The kids even dressed up for the occasion, even though they did NOT get any yummy wine.

Birthday dinner at Paula's with the monsters jennifer Cameron

We also had a going away party so we could all cry that my kid was going to boarding school. Except no one cried. Mostly we just laughed and ate. Then the neighbors (good friends of ours) stayed much later and we drank all the wine we had in the house. Which really wasn't that much, but makes us sound like total party-ers. We spent an entire afternoon at a paint your own pottery place because it was one of the things on our summer "to do list," which we hardly made a dent in.

Bisque it Jennifer Cameron

Bisque it Jennifer Cameron

Did I ever tell you about my First Time?

I don't generally like to share this kind of lurid information about myself...let alone show pictures. However, I am taking this very scary step so that others do not feel ashamed of their first time. Today we're covering the topic of first beads. What did you think I was talking about? After having a conversation with a fellow Etsian about her desire to make lampwork beads, and the fear that she might not ever get to the same level of experience and skill as other lampworkers, I decided it would be fun to have a blog hop of experienced component (bead, clasp, etc) makers and jewelry designers hosted at Art Jewelry Elements. I took a few quick photos. My camera is not really behaving itself lately, so these aren't the best. However, they are better than photos I was taking when I first started making beads... First up is my very first lampwork bead ever, wire wrapped into my first piece of jewelry ever. I made it into a ring that I still have to this day. No, I don't wear it. But since digging it out of the jewelry box to take a pic, I'm wearing it now. I had forgotten about it.

First lampwork bead and first ring

It's not the best made ring and not particularly stable. I'm not sure if I followed a tutorial or saw a photo and tried to replicate it, or if I made it up myself. I made this in 2005. I've slept since then so the details are fuzzy. First lampwork bead and first ring Next up is an ugly on the left made at about the same time. You can tell by my use of black, white and periwinkle. Also I encased it. Probably the first encased bead I ever made. Fancy! On the right is a very large, very wonky and off center round bead that I totally scorched. Some first lampwork beads In my first few weeks of lampworking, I tried florals.

one of my first lampwork beads

  one of my first lampwork beads Also, leopard print. some of my first lampwork beads I love my use of color on this one, but it's a very ugly shape. And chunky. Not very nice. one of my first lampwork beads Here are a few more recent beads (all made this year)

Lampwork Glass focal bead jennifer cameron glass addictions

Lampwork Glass focal bead jennifer cameron glass addictions

Lampwork Glass vintage upcycled skeleton key jennifer cameron glass addictions

Lampwork Glass nightmare insomnia series focal jennifer cameron glass addictions

Necklace by Jennifer Cameron

Big hole copper focal challenge and blog hop

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