Saturday, December 31, 2011

Bead&Button Show time zone difference

So, I'm double-checking the time opening for Bead&Button Show Class Registration, and I can never remember the time difference between here and Milwaukee, so I google to find a time zone page, and this is what comes up: http://www.americantimezones.com/ . Turn on your speakers for a real treat. Just let it talk. Do not do this at work, or if you're easily offended! Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy.....with Wine Glasses!

A friend of mine posted a video of this guy on Facebook playing another song, and when I viewed it, the Dance of the SugarPlum Fairy came up!  It's the perfect time of the year for this too don't you think?  Enjoy!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Magellan

This year for the holiday season, my husband and I decided to spread some cheer by fostering a dog that would have otherwise been put to sleep.  We named him Magellan, and call him Gelly.  He's only been with us a short while, but he's warmed up quickly, and we're helping to train him so that he can find a forever home.  Here are a few pics of his first few days as he was getting accustomed to our family (and our Delica was getting accustomed to him ;)  Please consider fostering, adopting, or volunteering to help the furry ones who cannot help themselves. Visit pPaws Forward Denver to see how you can help in the Denver metro area :)  Enjoy!

 Gelly in my bead shop.  He had literally been there for 10 minutes at this point.  Delica didn't know what to think of him as you can see by the look on her face!
 We bought this huge dog bed for Gelly, and her royal highness Delica took it over immediately.  She figures that, as the alpha dog of the house, she should have her pick...he didn't seem to mind.
Gelly seemed to never have played with toys before, so we bought him a few for 'big dogs', and instead he took over all of Delica's little plushy toys!  We call this the Gelly Dragon Hoard.  He literally collected all of the toys he could find and brought them to this futon to keep an eye on ;) 

Monday, December 19, 2011

A little holiday crafting....

If you follow me at all, you already know that I own a bead shop and, contrary to popular belief, I don't only make jewelry there!   I create everything from wearable art, to car ornaments, to home decor, and will crystallize just about anything if given half a chance.  The past few weeks have been filled with customer requests that simply MUST be done before Christmas.  In turn, I have managed to churn out quite a few unexpected pleasures lately.  Sometimes I even amaze myself ;)  Here are a few of the many that will inevitably make it onto this blog.....Enjoy!

 Mini Crystal Chandelier.  Commissioned for a customer's friends' Christmas tree, but I want one for my car in a bad way.  At least I know where to get one ;)
 A vintage lucite flower with Crystal-studded ball, chain, and Antiqued Silver pewter wing on a pre-existing chain.
Simple, but sweet, this little finding was personalized with the family's birthstones in Swarovski Crystal, then added to a simple noodle chain.  I'm kind of in love with it ;)


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Carol of the Bellydancer....

My friend, and fellow bellydancer Naima Sultana performing an improv Isis Wings interpretation of Carol of the Bells....Enjoy!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Update on THE BAG

It's been a while since I've been able to sit down and work on THE BAG.  The back is within 10 or so hours of being finished, then I will move on to the bottom and underflap.  This one has been a long time in the making, and I hope to finish it within the next year.  We'll see ;)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Holiday Swing at Denver International Airport


This is a great video of a flash mob that performed at the Denver International Airport on November 22nd.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Another month goes by...

As I woke up this morning, I realized that tomorrow is December, and I have little in my blog to show for the month of November.  It has been a hectic month, filled with instruction writing for magazines, an unexpected re-vamp of my website, and a somewhat poor attempt to bring my Etsy sales back from the grave.  At least I'm trying right?  So, I end this month with some inspiration pictures.  I made all of these during the month of November for various customers in my shop.  I hope you like them ;)  Enjoy!

 A bracelet honoring all of the survivors of cancers by their color.
 A festive pair of earrings for a holiday party.

A fun pair of earrings crafted with Turkey Lampwork Beads by Lois Oster of Wolfsong Designs

Saturday, November 26, 2011

The True Cost of Handmade

I stumbled upon this post by Somer Sherwood that I just had to share on Small Business Saturday.  I've also had these same snide comments made, and totally feel her pain.  Get the word out everyone!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Happy Happy Turkey Day

Before I start all of the Christmas Holiday Hoopla, let me pay homage to Thanksgiving, one of my favorite times of the year, where I get to eat stuff that's bad for me without feeling remorseful. Enjoy!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Enhancing the Hot Dog (or how to make a store-bought costume Sparkle!)

This year was my first Halloween with my tiny dog Delica, so I wanted to make sure she was decked out.  I simply didn't have the time to make her a costume in time, so I went in search of a store-bought one.  I wasn't as impressed as I had hoped.  I wanted a Tinkerbell costume that didn't have Angel wings instead of fairy wings, and I thought I could put together a Peter Pan outfit to match.  I never found one.  I saw a Headless Horseman costume that looked like it was 'riding' the dog, but no one had one in her size.....then I went in to a Petco, and saw the Hot Dog.  I know it's a cliche', but when she's bad I tell her that I'm going to eat her on a bun with mustard, and this costume had mustard, so I was forced right?  The only problem was that the only one they had left in her size had the velcro practically ripped off of it...or at least it would have been a problem if I wasn't the 'crafty' type ;).

















So I took the broken item up to the counter, told them the issue, and asked for a discount (I rarely do this, but I wanted the damn thing so bad).  To my surprise they offered me a 50% discount, so I got the base for $10....SCORE!

















I decided that I needed to 'chick' up my hotdog a bit by first glittering the mustard squiggle:





Then covering the 'seeds' on the bun with Swarovski Crystal flatbacks just for good measure:



And what I ended up with was a cute, relatively inexpensive costume that was comfortable for her to wear, and warm to boot!  Plus, it put a smile on my face, and everyone else who saw her that day.  Happy Halloweener everyone ;)


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Halloween, and other things...

Many of you may remember that I got married on Halloween a few years ago.  Why?  Because I love Halloween!  That, and my husband will never, ever forget our anniversary.  Usually this is the time of year that I dress up as whatever wild thing, and post pics of the party I wore it to, but this year I'm not even going to a party.  In fact, my husband and I will spend the Saturday night before Halloween at a casino likely wearing jeans and a t-shirt, and comfortable shoes.  I can't leave you without a Costume fix, however, so head over to my friend Vanessa's Blog to see her numberous costumes featured in her Fated to Pretend contest which she mostly put together out of her own closet!  So stop by, leave a comment or two, and tell her that Megan sent you ;)

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Inspiration


My recent trip to North Carolina to teach at the famous Beadlush brought me a little inspiration.  My friend Michelle was making the Spirograph Pendants a'la Lisa Niven Kelly for the bridesmaids at her sister's wedding and, last minute of course, her sister wanted one for her hair.  This posed a dilemma because of the weight, but Michelle tried to glue it with WeldBond, and several other things.  In the end, I attached it to Lacy's Stiff Stuff, and inserted the hairpin (with glue pad) in between the Lacy's and the Microsuede backing, then beaded around the edge to secure it.  I topped it off with a 'serrated' edge to match the cogs in the base of the pendant, and Voila!  She eeez done!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Candy Corn is bad for your teeth!


I made these Candy Corn Pendants out of Polymer Clay, but had to fashion my own 'cookie cutter' because all the commercial ones I found were waaayyyy too big for what I wanted them for.  I used Diamond Glaze to make the glitter stripes (which was a bit of a PITA), and then used several coats of Ice Resin to top it off.  I am very pleased with the outcome I must say, what do you think?

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

I am home by Sirona's Lark


An original song by a sweet friend of mine.  May her talent take her far!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Great Movies to Bead by....


Aristocrats
Description: With characters, drama, and romance vivid enough for a masterwork of fiction, this story is all the more fascinating because it is true. Based on Stella Tillyard's acclaimed biography that "made history sexy again" (London Sunday Times), it paints an intimate portrait of 18th-century upper-class life in England and Ireland through the eyes of four beautiful high-born sisters. Caroline, Emily, Louisa, and Sarah Lennox were great-granddaughters of a king, daughters of a cabinet minister, and wives of politicians and peers. Well-educated, strong-minded, and distinctly individual, they take charge of their own lives, tempting scandal with their unconventional ideas about love, marriage, education, and fidelity.

What I like:  You all know my weakness for period dramas, and this one is no exception.  It centers around the infamous Lennox sisters who were 5 daughters of Charles Lenox, 2nd Duke of Richmond, who live a charmed life with not only  plenty of money, but with parents who actually love eachother, which was an oddity at the time. The gowns and jewels outshine even the sumptuous scenery in this story of intrigue and scandal. It's one of the longer Masterpiece Classics, running nearly 5 hours in 3 parts, but I found the whole storyline enjoyable, with little 'down time'.

Favorite Quote: 
Lady Emily: Is not the act of love... strange? Jimmy says that its frequent use is necessary to a woman's health and happiness.
Caroline : That's abominably indelicate. 
Lady Emily: He says what he thinks.  
Caroline: I'm sure one sees many mighty comfortable old virgins.  
Lady Emily: Perhaps that is so. But one is awfully glad not to be among them... 

Take the Lead
Description:  Inspired by a true story, Antonio Banderas stars as internationally acclaimed ballroom dancer Pierre Dulane in the energetic and moving film Take The Lead. When Dulane volunteers to teach dance in the New York public school system, his background first clashes with his students' tastes...but together they create a completely new style of dance.

What I like:  Alright, I'll admit it:  I love Antonio Banderas.  Oh you do too?  I probably could have guessed that. ;)  He does  a great job of playing a shy, yet talented ballroom dance instructor, and the scene where he 'shows' the students the tango is not to be missed.  Don't we all wish we could dance like that?  I admit, that the actual background stories of the kids could have almost been completely cut out in favor of more dancing, but there are plenty of dance scenes present, so we'll forgive them trying to add in more 'plot'.

Favorite Quote:

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Throwing a Beading Party

Beading Daily had some great tips on how to throw your very own beading party, so I thought I'd share it with you. Beading Daily Bead Party Advice.  This is a great time of the year to begin planning one so that everyone can make a From: Me ,To: Me gift!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Frolic and Vamp Recap

We had a great time at Frolic and Vamp last Saturday night!  We got to dress up and hobnob with other dames and their gents for the evening. There was so much going on that I didn't get a chance to take as many pictures as I would have liked, but here are some of the highlights:

A view of our table complete with our Womannequin featuring three of the necklaces that we made especially for the evening (one is already up on our Etsy site ;)



A stylized view of our display (yep, that's me and Tara in the background!), taken by Anne James of Anne James Photography who was super cute and had a fabulous vintage Swarovski Crystal brooch that belonged to her grandmother on.  Sorry, I didn't get a pic of that :(


 The incomparable Vivienne Vavoom, Denver's Premier Burlesque Dancer who was the hostess of this wonderful evening.  You can take classes in everything from the art of the striptease to tassel twirling at her school Vivienne Vavoom's School of Burlesque
 My assistant Tara Walton whose work you're probably familiar with by now went as a lady gangster and rocked it!

 Julianna Aberle-McClellan of Julianna's Wardrobe donated these fabulous Gentleman's Spats to the Best Dressed Contest.  The Gentleman who won them was ecstatic to have them.  She makes custom spats too, so you should contact her!


This couple was just too adorable to miss!  These are their wedding clothes.  They got married on Friday the 13th so that they would remember the date!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Tara's Newest Creation

My Assistant Tara Walton finished this beautiful creation, and I thought I would share it with you!  She takes custom orders if you're interested ;)

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Frolic and Vamp

The Peacock Shop will be vending at the Frolic and Vamp:  a night of 1920's and 30's entertainment on Saturday, August 13th from 7pm-midnight.  It will be held at the historic Oriental theater in Denver. For more information, you can contact me, or visit www.theorientaltheater.com.

 We have tons of fabulous new stuff to show, so I hope you'll stop by ;)

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

First Annual Denver County Fair

I am pleased to announce that my Butterfly Garden Necklace won the First Place Blue Ribbon for Jewelry Design in the Fashion Pavilion at the Denver County Fair!
While I'm both humbled and ecstatic about the win, I didn't win nearly as many ribbons as my friend Julianna of Julianna's Wardrobe who won the Third Place Ribbon in the Jewelry Design Category, as well as both First and Third Place Ribbons in the Costume Design section!  Go team!


Monday, July 25, 2011

Off the grid

Sorry I've been scarce everyone!  I've had a ton on my plate lately, trying to finish a couple of designs for Bead Unique Magazine, getting my stuff together to apply to teach at Bead&Button next year, and dealing with the Groupon-type thing I sold in my shop a couple of months ago (but which buyers have a chance to use until November...geesh!).  So here's a little creative tidbit for you.  I stumbled across this on some random site, and loved this line of photography by artist Heather Landis, and thought you might too!  You can purchase prints of her work (as well as phone covers...no kidding) at Society Six.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

A little something SHINY!

Just a little something I've been working on lately.  Finally finished it Monday night.  It is a gift for my friend Julianna of Julianna's Wardrobe.  She will wear it with her fabulous Day of the Dead skull belly dance costume in Fuchsia and Lime, and it will look fabulous!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Ever feel like you're herding cats?


I have no clue what EDS is, but this commercial is hilarious!  I hereby dedicate this video to all the women (and men) out there who wrangle it all by owning and running their own creative business.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Great B&B Finds

I finally got some pictures of my favorite things that I brought back from B&B for the shop!  Sorry it took so long...

 Jewel Beetle Wings....no really.  Laura McCabe used these a few years ago in a necklace, and I've been in love with them ever since.  Tara and I are working out ways to use them now.  We know that we can put holes in them, but we're also thinking about encasing them in resin.
 Bullet Casings.  Can you say Steampunk?  These little beauties have been everywhere from belts to bangles, and everything in between since Steampunk became popular.  I want to tumble them to a high shine, and add Swarovski for a Steampunk Glam look.
 Sparkle Balls!  I admit that I avoided these like the plague for a while.  Why?  I guess I didn't want to appear too cliche' in the way of sparkle.  I already make some sparkle balls myself and didn't know if buying them ready made made me look lazy.  Methinks I'll be able to get away with it ;)
Pearls in fabulous shapes, colors, and sizes.  I love pearls.  Adore them.  Some of these colors just spoke to me, and I even ended up with really small and really big in the name of equality.  What will I do with them?  Likely stare at them until something jumps out at me like I usually do.  I kind of hoard them really....

Saturday, June 18, 2011

B&B The Shopping Commences....

Last year I didn't get a chance to really shop much, so this year I left open the whole weekend for it!  I still didn't get through all of it, but I feel I did alright.  The first thing I did was open a store account for Ice Resin.  I can't say enough good things about this product. It's easy to use, you can encase high near anything in it, and it dries to a glassy finish.  Me and the girls can't wait to get it into the shop to make fabulous stuff.  
Next, I found the Crystal Clay booth which was manned (or womanned) by Kellie DeFries aka the Crystal Ninja, and Swarovski Ambassador Stephanie Dixon, not to mention the wonderful owner Debra Saucier. 
 I bought the clay, the crystals, and the bezels, and even got a picture of their Crystallized cash register.  Yeah, I've gotta make me one of these. 
Should it be plain Crystal, or Crystal AB?  Decisions, decisions.....

Friday, June 10, 2011

B&B Day Two...

Thursday dawned bright and ridiculously early for those taking classes at Bead&Button.  The weather had dropped 30 degrees by the morning to settle somewhere in the low 50's, with an impressive wind that only served to tangle ones hair.  I was set to take my first metal-working class where I would learn how to cut out a skeleton key shape from a sterling silver sheet with a saw boasting a blade so small that it would take you ten minutes to hack through a stick of warm butter with it.  On practically no sleep, I set to the task.

I glued, I sawed, I patina'd, and even learned to make my own headpins with a little ball on the end with a torch (yeah, they gave me sharp objects AND a torch....they don't know me very well do they?).  And what did I have to show for it at the end?  A skeleton key....no really.  I actually made one.  It ain't perfect, but it's passable, and was great for a start.  I even finished the project 3 hours early, and stopped by the hotel for a little nap before the big shopping preview that evening.  How's that for resourcefulness?


Bead&Button the first day...

Shannon and I got in very late on Tuesday, and it was still 80 degrees and extremely humid.  That didn't change on Wednesday, our first full day at the show.  The humidity was high, and the temperature was near 90, not to mention the extreme wind.  That evening, we took Melissa Grakowski's Sinusoidal Necklace, and this is about how far we got:
Melissa is an extremely talented beadworker who was super fun to be in class with.  I highly recommend that you take from her if you get a chance.

That evening was the Meet the Teachers reception.  It's basically the place that all the teachers show off their classes, and sell their newest kits.  This year there was a swag bag sponsored by Swarovski that had a lot of the following in it:

Don't know yet what I'm going to do with these sparkling beauties, but I'll think of something ;)

Sunday, June 5, 2011

B&B Preparations

Preparations for the Bead&Button Show in Milwaukee start for me today (okay, they sort of started yesterday, but you get the point).  All my  most fabulous jewelry is being packed, clothes are being washed and sorted (yes, this is coming with me, no this is not), and I'm gathering my arsenal of beading tools to accompany me.  What's in the bag?  Mainly beading needles, fireline, medical tape, bead mats, a triangle tray, and more than one Ott Light.

As I learned my first year, if you want to bead at The Gathering Place (a pretty much 24 hour a day beading area) you need to bring a project or two....A PROJECT OR TWO ladies, otherwise, you'll never get anything done.  This year I'm debating between taking THE Bag, and a cuff bracelet that I've almost finished, and a pair of sort of 'secret' earrings that I've been working on that came up missing, but I'm sure I could begin again, and THE Bag.  Still not sure.

I've promised myself that I will try to treat this as a 'real' vacation this year, so I'm not really helping out at friend's booths or anything.  Just me, the beads, and maybe a massage or two ;)  Wish me luck!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Bead&Button Show 2011

Those of you who follow my Facebook page are probably sick of hearing about it, but I'm heading to the Bead&Button Show in Milwaukee,WI next Tuesday for 5 days where I do nothing but eat, drink, sleep, and bead.  I'll be taking two classes there:  The Sinusodial Necklace with Melissa Grakowski,


and Multilayered Skeleton Key with Robyn Cornelius, Andrea Haukedal. 


The rest of my time will be spent beading in the 24-hour gathering place in the Hyatt, and hanging out with my bead friends from all over the world.  I'll keep you posted as neat things arise, so make sure to check back often :)

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Do You Wanna Date My Avatar




For all of you gamer nerds out there...you know who you are ;)

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Sense of Fashion

Alright, so most of you who know me are aware of my serious lack of fashionable clothing.  Most days I roll out of bed 45 minutes before I have to be at work, take the dog out, shower, throw on whatever clothing that looks reasonably un-wrinkled, put on some half-assed make-up and I'm out the door (often 5 minutes late).  That being said, I love to look at fashionable people.  One of my guilty pleasures is watching Project Runway, and America's Next Top Model....never the current shows, but still. 

I stumbled across  SenseoFashion.com wandering around the other day, and I can't stop looking at it.  They have more skirts and dresses that I want (and would buy, and would never wear, and would feel bad for buying), not to mention shoes, accessories, and the like.  A lot of it is vintage, or is made by smaller designers. Some of the items are one-offs, or only come in sample sizes (which I can't fit into), but I've loved looking around it.

                          http://www.senseofashion.com/Inshel/items/32001/Peacock

I have fallen in love with this completely impractical dress madeof Peacock Blue Dupioni Silk with a stand-up ruffle collar.  You know how much I love Peacock Blue right?   And I really dig the collar, although everyone I know would likely laugh at me.  Anyways, here it is, along with a link.  It's made to order right here in the U.S.A.  If you buy it, tell them Megan from The Peacock Shop sent you, and you really must send me a picture of you wearing it in some fashionable way that I can only dream of  ;)

Monday, May 9, 2011

Bead Unique Feature...times 2!

So, one day a couple months ago, I get this email.  It's from Joanna Feller (the Managing Editor of Bead Unique Magazine), and she's asking me to be part of their Bead Challenge feature.  This is a cool feature. The idea is that they send you and 3 other people the same or very similar item, and you use your own bead stash to create something out of it, and send it back within a few weeks. You can't turn something like that down, so I say yes, and a couple weeks later, I get a package in the mail containing a HUGE clear acrylic cabochon with a decal of a butterfly on it.  Those of you who know me know that I don't usually work with acrylic.  If plastic even comes into play in my work, it's Vintage Lucite, or Bakelite.  The color of the butterfly was blue and black, but the blue was unlike anything I had in my private collection, let alone my bead shop, so I set out to order beads to match online....easier said than done since computer monitors can vary color so much.

I decided on a white background for my cab, and gilt-lined white opal seed beads for the main necklace color.  There was a bright gold flourish on either side of the butterfly, so I thought that a brassy victorian gold might work, and it did.  I fleshed out the pallette with a few blue Delica beads, and a discontinued Swarovski color named White Opal Sky Blue which is a milky blue on one side, and the equivalent of Swarovski Jetnut on the other.  I had the beads, now what was I going to do with them?

The cab was so large, that it pretty much ruled out a bracelet, or barrett, so I had to choose between a necklace, or an impressive belt buckle...I decided on necklace.  I surrounded the cab with Peyote Stich, edged it with Brick Stitch, and added a Picot edging to create a lacy look.  It needed some substance, so I chose to add a heavily embellished Peyote strip on either side, connected to the cab with several rows of Right Angle Weave to add a feminine touch.  I realized pretty immediately that I couldn't make the whole necklace with the embellishment (it would look WAY too heavy), so I opted for 4 strips of the heavily embellished Peyote linked with triple strung strands to lighten the load.

After the necklace was done, I realized that the cab needed something because it wasn't drawing my eye down.  After a little debate (and a little confirmation by my husband), I added the fringe.  I was amazingly happy with the results.  I'm considering kitting this one eventually (you know, when I have a moment of spare time ;).


The Butterfly Garden Necklace is pictured in the June 2011 issue of Bead Unique Magazine on page 34.  By some miracle, my Hammered Teardop Earrings also appear in this issue on page 38.  Thanks to everyone who has given their opinions, and support to me to make it possible for me to continue to be published in a national magazine; I appreciate it more than you could know.  And where do I go from here?  The skies' the limit baby!