Saturday, March 31, 2012

Winners of the Scott David Plumlee Jewelry DVDs are....


 "Make Wire-Wrapped Jewelry!" goes to 

Ginger of  "lilmummy likes..."



"Make Chain Maille Jewelry!" goes to




"Make Chain Maille Jewelry 2" goes to 


Congratulations!


And I can't stress enough --
if you don't fill in your email on your blog profile
or leave me an email in the comments,
you lose out.

I had to redraw twice to replace people without a way to contact them.



Call for Photos for my eBook!





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Lori Anderson creates jewelry for her web site, Lori Anderson Designs, and wrote the blog An Artist's Year Off.  She is the creator of the Bead Soup Blog Party.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Call for Photos!



Last post, I wrote that my eBook for blog prompts and creative writing is almost done.  However, I thought it would be fun to honor some of the amazing bloggers who have great photo skills!


I don't need photos of jewelry, but if you have other photos -- nature, things that inspire you, family, etc -- and would like to submit, just click here to email me. with the photo as an attachment.  Make sure you own the rights to the photo, as I'll be listing your name, shop name, and blog name for full credit.

I'm overwhelmed by the response -- 
I have enough photos for now, 
but will send out another call 
should I write another eBook!  THANK YOU!



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Lori Anderson creates jewelry for her web site, Lori Anderson Designs, and wrote the blog An Artist's Year Off.  She is the creator of the Bead Soup Blog Party.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

A New eBook is Coming -- "Follow the Path: Ideas and Inspiration for the Creative Blogger"


One of the things I've had planned for this year of metamorphosis is to write at least one eBook.  Making some drastic changes to my business plan is on this year.  I've written hundreds of blog posts, guest blogged, typed up a lot of jewelry tutorials, and wrote a jewelry design book.  Now, I'm taking the next step!



This eBook, "Follow the Path: Ideas and Inspiration for the Creative Blogger" is nearly finished.  The eBook will give you topics, thought streams, and inspirations for your blog posts, and I'll be selling it on Etsy for a very affordable price.


I'm really excited about this new venture -- the first milestone I'll be able to check off my "make changes this year" list. 


It will be ready in approximately two weeks, so stay tuned!  
I'll be offering one as a free giveaway!



What would a blog be without outstanding photos?
Brandi Hussey has a NEW eClass
on how to use PhotoShop Elements.




(About the photos -- I took those of Zack's marble run when he was a toddler.  It's amazing what you find in your photo archives!)




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Lori Anderson creates jewelry for her web site, Lori Anderson Designs, and wrote the blog An Artist's Year Off.  She is the creator of the Bead Soup Blog Party.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

INCREDIBLE Chain Maille Tutorial Giveaway -- Scott David Plumlee DVDs

Scott David Plumlee is an AMAZING chain maille and wire artist.  I've had the pleasure of reviewing several of his books and they've always impressed me not only with how beautiful the designs are, but how clear the directions are.  I've owned a number of chain maille books, but often they miss showing the "how-to" part.  David doesn't.

I reviewed THREE of David's amazing how-to DVDs.  Two are on chain maille and one is on wire work.  And guess what?



So let's talk about the DVDs, m'k?



I personally would really, really like to keep this DVD for myself, because it's right up my alley, but it's someone's lucky day!  This DVD is 71 minutes long and chock full of unique wire designs that you can easily adapt to your own style.  There are seven segments and David goes over not only how to make the designs, but how to use the right gauge and other important tips.



This is a great DVD for the beginner.  Byzantine is the first chain maille weave I learned, and it's VERY versatile.  There are just so many things you can do with it!   He also shows simpler single and double chains, and ups the ante by showing you how to embellish your chains with beads and making your own clasps.  

The DVD is 87 minutes -- and it's a GREAT way to learn chain maille for the first time.




This DVD is for those that have a little more experience with chain maille.  There are nine lessons, and David continues his love for embellishing chain with beads, but REALLY cool -- he'll show you how to make your own magnetic clasps!

The DVD is 87 minutes long.


All of the DVDs retail for $24.95 in the Interweave Store. 
Click the title below each photo to buy one if you just can't wait!


Here's how you can win

1.  Comment with a way to get in touch with you --
if you don't have your email on your blog profile
or don't provide it in your comment, I can't count you.
(mention which one you would prefer)


2.  Post about this giveaway on your blog.
(This was generous of David to give $75 of DVDs, 
so let's give him some love!


3.  One extra point each for Twitter or Facebook
(please leave me the link).

Non-US people are welcome to enter!


Winners will be announced March 31st.



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Lori Anderson creates jewelry for her web site, Lori Anderson Designs, and wrote the blog An Artist's Year Off.  She is the creator of the Bead Soup Blog Party.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Pink Hair -- One Year Later

It's been a year ago today that I had part of my hair dyed pink.  I wrote a blog post about it called "The Cure for Pain is Pink Hair" and it got a lot more comments than I ever dreamed of.


Reading back over the post, I had to laugh in that way you laugh when you're laughing at yourself.  I'm still very much that same girl from a year ago.  Overweight (check, but I've lost some pounds recently), in almost constant and varied pain (check, dammit), and occasionally frustrated (check).  It would seem I haven't learned a darned thing prancing around with pink in my hair.


But I have.  




When I originally got my hair done, I had only the barest ends done.  I was afraid what people would say when they saw me.  For someone not fond of my face, why in the world was I bringing attention to it?  Now, the pink is slowly becoming more obvious as my hair grows longer.  I have the tiniest beginnings of gray, but I kind of like that dichotomy, the pink of youth and the gray of well-fought-for age.


One of the things that still sticks with me from last year's post is what a stylist said as I sat in the chair.
 

"Everyone is pretty, they just don't always know it."


And they are!  There's external beauty, internal beauty, beauty of a spring day, beauty of a child's hug, beauty of a card in the mail you weren't expecting.  Beauty doesn't have to be skin deep because it really is all about perspective.
This is what I gave as my reason a year ago for dying my hair pink...


Because life's too short to wish for things we can actually do.



This still holds true.  I still fight the same demons of pain but I've come to term with feelings of inadequacy.  I've come to terms with my jewelry design and am striving forward, exploring more, and not wallowing in "you're not as good as X".  Such silliness.


In the past year I've written a book (with major help from lots of contributors), explored beaches and woods and museums and hidden up in Zack's loft reading books.  I've gotten entranced in antique malls, taken a ton of pictures, made a heck-ton of jewelry, and read a million books.


Not too shabby for someone who did this hair thing because she was ticked off at pain.


I don't always have good days, but my good days are spectacular days.  All I have to do is watch Zack, play card games at dinner with him and Rick, plan Adventure Days when he's out of school, and watch my OWN self start to try to break out of the vicious cycle my pain has put me in.  I'd like to get off that Ferris wheel and I'm working at it, and I hope you'll forgive me when I wallow in self-pity.


To that end -- I am who I am.  I'm a work in progress.  I've spent almost all my life trying to please every single person who comes into my life, no matter how peripherally, and that's fine, but when they are disparaging or discouraging or just not good for me ---


 



That is NOT to say that gentle criticism, help, and concern from friends isn't a good thing -- it is!  But bad vibes aren't good vibes and a pink vibe is a happy vibe.


I wear my hair as a banner, and it's become part of me.  It's my way of thumbing my nose (politely) at convention and telling myself it's fine to be who I am, nearly 42 with completely unconventional hair.  If I get sneered at (I have), if I get laughed at (I have), and if people think I should grow up already (puh-lease), I no longer care.  The woman last year who was nervous about walking down the halls of the school now often forgets she sports pink until someone points it out.


I wonder what my next metamorphosis will be?  (Remember, that's my word for the year).  I know at age 50 I'm getting another tattoo, although what it will BE, I have no idea.  I think that following metamorphoses will come in the change of invisible but tangible mind changes -- things that will help me become the woman I strive to be.



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Lori Anderson creates jewelry for her web site, Lori Anderson Designs, and wrote the blog An Artist's Year Off.  She is the creator of the Bead Soup Blog Party.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Zack in a Bucket -- A Short Film

Can we get enough of Zack?

I say not!

I walked into his play room to his cries of,
"HELP!  I'm stuck!"



And this is what I found.




Two Book Reviews



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Lori Anderson creates jewelry for her web site, Lori Anderson Designs, and wrote the blog An Artist's Year Off.  She is the creator of the Bead Soup Blog Party.

Beadluv, you won the caption contest!



Beadluv won with the caption:

"I think I ate too may Pop Rocks."

(Remember those?)

Now there's the issue:
if you enter a contest, PLEASE
either have your email in your blog profile
or leave it in your comment.

I hope BeadLuv sees this
because Zack picked a good prize!


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Lori Anderson creates jewelry for her web site, Lori Anderson Designs, and wrote the blog An Artist's Year Off.  She is the creator of the Bead Soup Blog Party.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Jumping Off the High Dive

.
 .
I come to you live from the depths of my bed.

I know some of you roll your eyes at my posts about feeling lousy but if you'll give me the benefit of the doubt and keep reading, you might be surprised.


I don't know what's wrong, but I'm weak as a newborn kitten.   To say it's been aggravating is to put it mildly.  For the first time in my career as a jewelry artist, I had to cancel a huge show this weekend.  Huge in that it pays about half of Zack's tuition, so you know the decision my husband and I made didn't come lightly.


Lying here moping is not what I like to do.  I may be a homebody, preferring playing games with Zack and Rick or making jewelry or writing or just luxuriating in the fact that for a while, the dust can stay on the shelves for a while longer.  But moping is for the birds.


And then I thought, this change in my life, whatever it may bring, isn't necessarily a bad thing.  It takes an enormous leap of faith to believe that, to truly believe it, but why not?  The alternative sucks.

That's a picture of Zack in 2007.  He overcame his fear of heights to jump -- and boy did he ever jump.  He landed in a full-scale belly flop, so massively awesome a belly flop that all the lifeguards jumped in the water, expecting Zack to emerge either crying, in pain, or both.


What happened is he came up laughing.  And wanting to do it again.


I strive to be like Zack -- willing to take the plunge, and come up laughing as often as I can.


I've shared that I've not been particularly happy churning out "Lori Jewelry" and instead have wanted to explore to the very boundaries of my skill -- boundaries I can't see yet.  Maybe having to cancel this show is the first step -- not something to be upset about, but the first step to change.

Zack, Christmas 2007


Building a new business model, changing directions, exploring with no preconceived notion of what I'm doing or where it's going, should be fun.  Like Zack with his Tinker Toys, sometimes things fall down go boom.  Sometimes I'll burn up things or have molten glass plop off a mandrel to lie mocking me on the table.  And sometimes I'll turn out something that makes me go, "WOW.  I didn't know I could DO that".


I'll be at my next show with the same promoters this fall.  I hope my customers will like the new things they'll see.  I hope that as I grow, as I learn to accept the days in bed and treasure the days I'm not, life will be more fulfilling. 


So hey, I'm sorry I've been moping and sick.  Can't help that.  But don't think for a SECOND that while I'm lying here, I'm not planning.  Even propped against pillows, I'm a multitasker.  Anyone who truly knows me, knows that!


Will you jump off the high board?


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Lori Anderson creates jewelry for her web site, Lori Anderson Designs, and wrote the blog An Artist's Year Off.  She is the creator of the Bead Soup Blog Party.



Sunday, March 18, 2012

You Supply the Caption!

And now for something fun -- You Supply the Caption!  Once again, Zack and I will pick the caption we like the best and award a little nifty giftie.

Winner announced March 21st!


What is Zack thinking?


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Lori Anderson creates jewelry for her web site, Lori Anderson Designs, and wrote the blog An Artist's Year Off.  She is the creator of the Bead Soup Blog Party.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Zack in Washington, DC

The other day Zack and I made a trek to Washington, DC.  He's on spring break this week, and I'd bought this very cool City Walks with Kids box and Zack drew a card and decided he wanted to feed the ducks at the back of the Capitol Building.  Armed with a camera, a Metro map, and our City Walk card, we drove the 50 minutes or so to Greenbelt and took the Metro.


via http://www.dcmetromap.net/

Here's where things took a wrong turn.  Literally.


Now, if I'd bothered to look at my Metro map, I would have realized that Greenbelt is the very end of the Green Line.  The. END.  Zack and I ran up the steps just as a train arrived, hopped on, and away we went.


The next stop was University of Maryland.  Now in my addled mind, I thought, that can't BE.  We *PASSED* UMD in the car on the way to the Metro station.  So Zack and I jumped off the train.


Only to realize we were on the right train after all.


So we jumped on the next train.  Which promptly took us BACK to Greenbelt.


Two wrong trains in five minutes has to be a record.


We finally got going in the right direction and arrived at Federal Center and headed towards the duck pond near the US Botanic Garden.





Right away, we saw the huge duck pond, and right away, I saw no ducks.  Noooo ducks.  


Oh dear. 


Zack kept a chipper attitude and we walked the entire length of the pond only to find two ducks in a corner.  And that's when things got crazy fun.  Because there weren't just ducks at the pond -- oh no!  There were seagulls and pigeons, too.  And they wanted their share of the loot.


One sea gull detected something interesting in a nine-year old boy.



Then the feeding commenced.



Bread in mid-air, pigeon in mid-stare.



Zack belly-laughed the entire time.  He also shared his bread with a little girl and then we all hoped we wouldn't get pooped on from all the seagulls in the air!


Bread scattered, we wandered up towards Capitol Hill to enjoy the annual cherry blossoms.





We also took in some of the architecture.





Then for some reason we took a picture of our shoes.



The next thing we decided to do was find a street vendor.  Zack has never experienced the fun of ordering a cherry ice on the street, and this was on his "must do" list.  We bought the ice, then found a cool area out of the sun to rest and take more pictures.







Then I let Zack take the camera, and this is what he wanted to shoot.


(Please excuse the windswept hair!)


Now to head home.  All was well when I turned my head to talk to to Zack and WHOOMP!  Where did Mommy go?  Why, down on the sidewalk, sprawled out like an idiot.  When I turned my head to talk to Zack, we happened to be passing a construction site, and I failed to notice a small piece of rubble in my way.  Having broken my ankles three times total, I have weak ankles to begin with and often stumble when my ankle twists.  But this was an all out theatrical gasp-from-the-crowd-inducing arse over tea kettle. Zack was freaked but I had to laugh, and honestly was just embarrassed.  No torn pants, no blood.  But oh man, the next morning?  Quite another story!


Back to the Metro.  Once again, I got directionally challenged but at least this time we didn't get ON the train before I realized it was the wrong one.  While we waited, I took a shot of the tunnel.


For some reason it spooks me.  Don't ask me why, because I just couldn't tell you.  I've got no clue.


An uneventful train ride back to the parking lot, where we had parked in Egypt.  Our tired feet were so glad to find the car (with the help of my constantly hitting the beep button on my key.)


I couldn't have asked for a better day, a better kid, or more fun.  Even getting lost on the train was fun because we knew we were safe and had all the time in the world together.  Even the fall-down-go-boom was a funny spot in the day because it showed Zack that grown-ups are klutzes, too. 






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Lori Anderson creates jewelry for her web site, Lori Anderson Designs, and wrote the blog An Artist's Year Off.  She is the creator of the Bead Soup Blog Party.