Thursday 31 March 2011

Art Bead Scene Blog: March Monthly Challenge Blog Tour

I was featured with my necklace and a picture of it, on Art Bead Scene, in this post summarizing about the March Monthly challenge.

This is what Erin Prais-Hintz of Tesori Trovati, one of the writers on the ABS blog, wrote:

"Miss Malin over in Sweden is conjuring up the summer sun with her beautiful necklace. It just so happens that she had a beaded ring lying around the suiting this just fine as a clasp to complement the focal. She even created a wardrobe for the person who would wear this on the beach!"

conjuring up = trollar fram (in Swedish)

And then she links back to my own post here about it.

Here is the full article on ABS: Art Bead Scene Blog: March Monthly Challenge Blog Tour

Did I say I am honoured? Well I am!

Wednesday 30 March 2011

New banner/header again

Ok, so this is the latest version.
And how do we feel about it?
Don't know yet how I feel about it. I am not fully convinced.
I need to digest it for a few days.

Tuesday 29 March 2011

New looks

So I have sort of settled for this new look on my blog. And I would be ever so grateful for some feedback. I am all for usabilty and for a style that mirrors my identity. It shall be pleasant and easy to look around on my blog. It shall be easy to find different features and gadgets. It shall be easy to identify links.

So what do you think about:
  • The head/banner - the image and how it is cropped
  • The head/banner - the way the title "Beading by Malin de Koning" is written. I am not totally happy with that myself. There seems to be a conflict between the image I want to use and the writing of my name. The sizing and the placement. I would like my name to be bigger really, but it also has to be placed so that ir is readable. Looks like the image is winning at the moment ... What do you think about it?
  • The text font in the posts. I want it to be easily readable and pleasant. Is it?
  • Is it easy enough to identify links, both in the post text and in the sidebar? I am not sure they are obvious enough in colour difference from the ordinary text. Visited links change their colour, again is it too similar to the ordinary text? People might wanna come back and find the link again.
  • Is there anything else you wanna mention, please do so. Do not hesitate to bring up things that are negative. I HAVE asked for feedback! You are my readers, it shall be good for you!

Now the column for the posting has become wider than before, and all previously posted images are still sized for the old layout (why don't they change automatically when you change the template? something for the designers of the system to think about for the next update). I am most likely not going to go back and change each of them. It was only recently I figured out that not all of them came up original size if you clicked to open them in a new window. It seamed to be some kind of randomness to which ones did and which ones didn't. Now I know how to make them all like that though.

There are still a few other small details which I am not 100% pleased with. For instance I don't know why the text in each post changes from the dark grey colour I have chosen for the template to black after a image. Isn't that weird! I'lll have to look further into that. I might even talk to some web designer about it.

All posts need an image I think. Here is one of me and Jonake when we had lunch at Byblos, Ekero C the other day. She is one of my assistants. Also works as a DJ. She is cool, dedicated and very funny.

All my best,

Monday 28 March 2011

Patience Please

I am playing around with the settings for the layout of my blog. It will look NOT nice, and probably somewhat strange until I am done. It will also make changes frequently as I am trying to learn, and I just try all the different things that I can alter myself to see what happens. Bare with me for one or two days.

Testing adding image and it's settings here:

I am playing around with the settings for the layout of my blog. It will look NOT nice, and probably somewhat strange until I am done. It will also make changes frequently as I am trying to learn, and I just try all the different things that I can alter myself to see what happens. Bare with me for one or two days.

Sunday 27 March 2011

Buttons, Ceasar and crazy Gaea

I was so lucky to just in time discover the ButtonSwap arranged by Michelle Mach. We shall send three buttons to our partner. Identical, similar, related or completely unrelated. At least one button should be somehow special. Handmade, vintage, sentimental or otherwise unique. Make at least one project with at least one of the buttons. It doesn't have to be jewelry. Reveal day including a blog hop will be April 21, 2011. I just love arrangements like this. I always get totally excited. Thanks Michelle for arranging this!

And Michelle also offered to be my swapping partner, since I was late with my application. Thanks again! She told me she kind of prefers medium sized buttons with a feminine touch. Boy you could say that is almost the opposite of what I have in my own small button collection. But luckily she also said she would be interested in a challenge. Phew! So this is what I sent, hope you like it Michelle, even though it is not exactly your style:
  • A rustic ceramics "Spokes and Dots" button by Tracee Dock of ClassicElements. It is rather big.
  • A vintage truly weird large plastic flower button with an obscure pattern in the middle. I would really like to have been around when that design was created. HOW on earth did they think?
  • A shank button I have another one of, but a smaller one (or did I send the smaller one?). I bought this last fall in an amazing button and trim shop in central Stockholm. I will take photos next time I go there just to show you heaven. Anyway I think these buttons look like fine quality fudge sweets. Yum!
  • And for the fun of it I added three buttons that came in a lot of vintage buttons I recently purchased, (the weird flower came in the same lot). The text says "Stroms Goteborg", which is a shop (tailor?) for men's clothing in the town of Gothenburg on the west coast of Sweden. The o's comes with two dots to add a touch of Scandinavian exotism to it all.

Gaea Cannaday has gone crazy. She has opened a new shop where she sells things she thinks didn't turn out perfect. She calls it GaeaExchange. I think it IS perfect. The prices are a bargain. I had to buy these four lots you see below.
I get upset with everyone presenting really tempting things all the time. I HAVE to cut down on my shopping for a period. Gaea is not the only one I tell you. (Barbara!)

Radka (my neighbour that I mentioned before) left for Czech republic yesterday. Carrying with her the eleven colour print-outs of my wishes. She'll be back in about two weeks. I hope with a heavy bag of goodies. Ooooohhhhhhh!

All my best,

Thursday 24 March 2011

Necklace Tahiti - ABS Challenge March

Art Bead Scene's inspiration piece for the March challenge is a colourful painting by Paul Gaugain, which he painted on Tahiti where he lived for many years. It is the colours that really struck me with this piece. They are so bright and ... well ... yes colourful. Everything in the picture is just bathing in strong sunlight. There is a calm and relaxing atmosphere also which I wanted to capture.
I was looking through my bead stash for suitable pieces and found this beautiful porcelain flower pendant by Tracee Dock of ClassicBeads and ClassicElements. And please look closely at the close-up picture further down at the absolutely gorgeous use of glaze. That is a master at work who has done that. Multi-dimensional perfection. Yes, the pink, the green and the yellow was colours I lusted for. Perfect! And the honeysuckle pink coral rondelle beads I bought almost two years ago, when I had just started to buy bead from Etsy. Listen, I have a secret to reveal. I have a weakness for pink. I have many many many many pink beads. But I do find it is kind of hard to use them though, without creating a too sweet piece. Musn't be too sweet I think.
Ivory seed beads I have had for about 25 years are strung on 2 strands of Superlon cord and in between the coral beads. The beaded toggle ring I made myself a couple of weeks ago whilst learning to do beaded rings. Turned out nice I think with the two colours of the seed beads. What a lucky coincidence it happened to fit so perfectly in this piece. I made a beaded toggle bar also, but I wasn't pleased with how it looked in this piece, so I decided to give it a try to make my first own handmade hammered brass wire toggle bar instead. That and the Superlon cord which I wrapped many laps around at the attachment points adds just an enough bit of a more rustic feeling to the sweet I think.
And here is the beautiful painting by Gaugain.
Go to ArtBeadScene's flickr group page to see more contributions for this challenge.

Friday 18 March 2011

Check Czech and Wishful

Oh the lustings, the cravings, the needs! The czech glass beads. I've taken pictures from all over the net and made some collages of the ones I particularly wish for.
Does anyone of you remember Radka? My neighbour, famous for being so wonderfully outrageous on several occasions.
Do you remember where she comes from? Oh yes! She is from the Czech Republic. And she has offered to get me beads next time she goes there. This is part of my wish list you see here.
Please Radka, go and see your family again soon!
If I can't stand waiting until then I will have to solve my urges in another way.

Online bead shops with a good selection of Czech beads:

On Etsy:
Arte Bella Surplus

Happy shopping all of you!

Thursday 17 March 2011

Hurray for Anita's Bead Soup reveal

WOW - my bead soup blog party partner Anita Denisova has posted about what she did with the beads I sent to her. I LOVE it! Such awesome pieces. Go to her blog and check it out more in depth. I copied the Russian text and took it to Google translate. It helps you to get a clue about what she is saying, even if you don't understand it completely.

Mr Owl of HumbleBeads has found a home. He looks very content now, doesn't he.

And look at those cool rings made from the fiber/yarn I sent. How did she make them?

And I am so happy Anita is OK after all. Happy happy happy about it all!
All my best,

Wednesday 9 March 2011

Bead Table Wednesday - And I'm back

Hi again, long time no see. I've recovered enough during my brake to be back here again, AND also my creative block has flown away, thank god. And I have made something I am dying to show you here. But I am not, not yet at least, coz I want to submit it to a magazine. That was my New Years resolution this year if you remember. To submit at least one of my pieces to a jewellery magazine.

So today I started looking into making something for this month's ABS challenge. I love the bright colour scheme of that Gaugain painting. And I couldn't resist putting together my own colour chart a few days ago. I've never done that before, but this time the chart is so beautiful in itself. I guess I'm not the only one longing for bright colours bathing in strong sunshine.
I have only come this far though, pulling out loads and loads of beads and components that I think would work. Within this soup I have ideas for at least one pair of earrings, one or two necklaces and two or three bracelets. Gotta pick one of them and get started. My weakest point that is. Staying on track. Yes, an ADD diagnosis I have aswell, apart from my MS. My goodness ... I have got the impression I am not the only one in our beading community, perhaps that's why I feel so at home here. :-)
And please take the oppurtunity to look at the two gorgeous links from Round Rabbit Extra, a tealish one and a wine red one both of them bumpy, sort of in the left side of the photo. They arrived in my mail box today. I was so happy they were still there to be purchased the day after the Friday. They were the ones I had picked out for buying from Nancy's sneek peak pictures. Can you believe my luck with that, everything just goes so quickly. Thank you Nancy, I loooooooooooove them.

At last a photo of my studio assistant Charlie, that I took a couple of days ago. See that wire bit sticking out by his belly. He is laying right on top of lots of rolled up wires of different gauges. I bet some of them are severely poking him. Anything to be in the center of the action. That's where you get the best naps, isn't it.

Now I also really want to thank everyone who has commented so kindly on my last post about taking a brake. Your words means so much to me. Thank you so much all of you!

All my best,

Tuesday 1 March 2011

I am taking a brake

Hi there everyone,
all you wonderful followers of my blog, and lovely commentators of my work. I am sorry I have not yet been around to check so many of the participants of the Bead Soup Blog Party out, or left comments on your work. I do intend to do so during the coming period. Slowly ... and I will most likely not leave a comment on everyone's work, even if I have looked at it.

The truth is I have not been feeling all that great lately, as some of you might have guessed, and I just pray I don't have another MS relapse coming. I don't believe my creative block has been caused by me not feeling so physically great (if anything I would guess it's the other way around.) Anyway I have decided to lay low for a while with my work and blogging and activity in the beading community. I have temporarily closed my shop on Etsy. And you can expect to not hear so much from me here or on other blogs. I will most likely not be completely quiet, sometimes I might get an energy burst and make myself noticed after all.

Please don't give up on me for good, this is hopefully just a temporary phase I am going through. I don't know if it will be for just a few days, a few weeks or even a few months. I'll do my best to keep you updated every now and then.

My memory is particularly bad at times like this, I keep forgetting important things, but I do know I have some things I need to take care of in the community. And my plan is to focus on taking care of them. Like sending things I should send to people, and some other things. Please don't hesitate to write me an e-mail if I have missed something, and you wonder what on earth is going on with that thing. I need reminders! I am not nonchalant. I don't intend to be anyway.

Take care, keep well, and let's stay in touch!

All my best,