Archive | April 2016

I’m Conducting a Contest!

It’s Contest Time at Miss Poppy’s Boutique!

Everything is going very well with both my design and bead supply businesses. I want to share my happiness of these successes by holding a contest to win this pretty necklace I hand beaded from a design by Renee Kovnesky.

If you would like to win this necklace, all you need to do is like my Facebook page, and comment on the post that announces my contest. The contest ends at midnight Pacific Standard Time (PST) on Saturday, April 30, 2016. I will randomly pick a winner and announce it on my Facebook page, Miss Poppy’s Boutique — Designs by Susan Marie Molloy, on Sunday, May 1, 2016.

This is a simply elegant necklace. I used black and white Japanese and Czech glass beads to give this necklace the classy style of Art Deco jewelry that can be worn year ’round. A silver trailer hitch clasp with wire guards keeps this piece securely on your neck. It sits just below or at the collar bone; it’s total length is approximately 18 inches. This is a Renee Kovnesky design beaded by me, Susan Marie Molloy, for Miss Poppy’s Boutique.

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©Designs by Susan Marie Molloy, Miss Poppy’s B outique, and all works within.

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Keeping It Simple and Festive

©Designs by Susan Marie Molloy for Miss Poppy’s Boutique

©Designs by Susan Marie Molloy for Miss Poppy’s Boutique

In this week’s class, I taught the art of crocheting around a ring. This was a simple technique of single and half double crocheting around a bone ring and adding beads to a crocheted “drop-ribbon” that comes off the ruffled ring. I designed this pattern to help teach this “crocheting in rounds” technique and how to incorporate beads in crocheting. For myself, I made a lot of these, and I use them as “markers” on my clothes hangers, just to dress up an otherwise boring closet. Besides, it’s a good way to use up some leftover crochet thread and miscellaneous beads you don’t know what else to do with.

We had a lot of fun, and because I supplied the beads and bone rings gratis, my students only had to bring their crochet thread and a crochet hook – and their appetites. We had homemade hors d’oeuvre that I made and fresh brewed tea to make this afternoon class more festive.

In setting up and organizing my classes, I look for projects that appeal to a wide range of artists, beaders, and crafters. I look for – and I design my own – projects that will be, in the end, useful as a day-to-day item, or pretty things, such as home décor or jewelry. I tend to not focus solely on jewelry, because that gets “boring” as my students mentioned to me. I agree. After all, there is much more to creating than bracelets and earrings.

This weekend I am looking forward to teaching another class, this time, it’s wire working of a different sort. The class is full, but I’ll offer it again in the future.

©Designs by Susan Marie Molloy, Miss Poppy’s Boutique, and all works within.

An Occupational Hazard

There it is! The dangerous weapon.

There it is! The dangerous weapon.

As designers and artists, as with other callings and our day-to-day living that requires the use of hands, we have experienced that occupational hazard:  The broken fingernail.

A fingernail breaks, and so what?  It will grow back.  If you wear nail polish, your manicure will look uneven and not ready for hand modeling.  Even if you don’t wear polish, it is unsightly.  And unless you chew your nails and they look ragged, and that another story for another type of blog.

My nails break.  Often.  I have dozens of emery boards in my bathroom, in my office, in my studio, in my bookcase, and maybe in my car’s glove compartment (it’s neat and well-kept, but I haven’t checked lately if there are any nail files there).  I also have a couple of nail clippers hanging out in drawers.

But – do you think I’d ensure that one – at least one – would be in my purse or carrying case when I’m at art shows?  Nope.  Not really.  No siree. 

Last weekend, as with the last three art shows in which I participated (this one was at the Sacred Heart Cathedral Art Fair), one of my fingernails broke.  I waved my hand as I was talking (I do that – I’m very expressive), and the tip of my fingers hit the table.  One fingernail chipped, and by the time I was finished with the transaction with my customer, the nail fully broke off and left a dangerous weapon.

That nail was pointy and sharp on the one end.  Yow!  I could’ve delivered a mortal blow to an unsuspecting passerby.

So – there I was, sporting a sharp fingernail, playing with it with the opposing thumb.  It was hours of debating whether I should bite it off or live with it.

I lived with it.  Badly.

When I got home, the first thing I did after schlepping my carrying cases and displays back into my studio was to grab the fingernail clipper and trim that nail.

Then I made sure I had emery boards in my car’s glove compartment and in my wallet.

Now watch – I won’t break a nail again at a show.

That’s all right. At least I might be able to share an emery board with a fellow artist at the next shows:  someone who also has a hundred emery boards everywhere – except on his or her person.

©Designs by Susan Marie Molloy for Miss Poppy’s Boutique

A Small Art Fair

Last weekend, Handsome and I participated in a small art fair at the cathedral in the town in which we live.  This was our first of this type, and we learned a lot from our experience.

We met fellow artists and collectors, shop owners from out of town, parishioners, people from town, and the parish priest.

The art fair was a conglomeration of handcrafted items and vintage collectables. There was something for everyone.

I invite you to enjoy the following pictures I took of the event.  We may even meet one day, but if you can’t make it to one of our shows, please visit my shop, Miss Poppy’s Boutique, or if you’re a beader, our bead shop, Poppy and Gene’s Beadery.

Enjoy!

Here's Gene from Poppy and Gene's Beadery: my husband and fellow artist.

Here’s Gene from Poppy and Gene’s Beadery: my husband and fellow artist.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My view that weekend.

My view that weekend.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The busiest part of the side of my table.

The busiest part of the side of my table.

The show was held in the school gymnasium.

The show was held in the school gymnasium.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our booth sign.

Our booth sign.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

©Designs by Susan Marie Molloy for Miss Poppy’s Boutique

Heartfelt Art Show

You never know how an artist will touch the lives of others.

Sure, an artist might create art with someone particular in mind.  The artist might do it, with the hopes that someone will like the creation enough to buy it.  And then the artist might create the work for the love of art and not give a second thought as to the who or why.

My latest passion, as it were, is designing and creating rosaries.  For years, I wanted to learn how to make them but was intimidated by wire wrapping.  The closest I ever came to making devotional prayer beads was sacrifice beads.  In fact, when I was teaching at my parish school, one of the art classes I taught in conjunction with religious education was showing my students how to make a string of sacrifice beads with cord, pony beads, and a religious medal.  (My inspiration came from one of my favorite saints, Saint Thérèse of Lisieux, who used such beads to count off her sacrifices and good deeds.)

Here's a sample of sacrifice beads I taught my students how to make.

Here’s a sample of sacrifice beads I taught my students how to make.

Then, after all these years, something dawned on me.  My confidence with wire wrapping came, I had a lot of beautiful and unique beads, and why not?

I created a couple of rosaries and showed them to my friends.  Before I knew it, I was taking custom orders.  This portion of my studio and shop was taking off, and it still is going like gang busters.

This past weekend, I was in an art show held at The Sacred Heart Cathedral in Pensacola, Florida.  I was happy to sell some of my beaded/sewn jewelry and wire key chains.  What I didn’t expect – but was thrilled nonetheless – was the popularity and selling strength of my rosaries and chaplets.

What touched me greatly were two sales in particular.  One became a gift for a little girl who is making her First Holy Communion this spring.  Her aunt told me, “You can never have enough rosaries, and this one will be her first.”

A young married couple with a several-months-old baby girl bought a rosary for their baby for her christening, which is being celebrated today at the Cathedral.  They were happy to find just what they wanted to present to her.

I felt happy, and frankly, sentimental about those particular sales.  I have every rosary I ever received – from my first plastic glow-in-the-dark one to a real silver one Handsome bought for me in Mexico.  I can only hope that the two little girls who will receive the ones I made will treasure them and remember for what occasion they received them. And I hope they will use them.

And you never know how a buyer will touch the life of an artist.

©Designs by Susan Marie Molloy for Miss Poppy’s Boutique

Creating Anew

Since February 2016, I have been creating something a little out of the ordinary in my studio:  rosaries.

This is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time and finally got around to doing.  The whole idea intimidated me and sometimes overwhelmed me, but one day, I just said, “Do it!”

One of the things I discovered is that it’s not as difficult as I imagined.  Sure, it takes concentration, a good understanding of counting beads, and patience.  These rosaries take hours to create.

I sold a good number of them so far.  Being the flexible artist, I accommodated about half of those sales and created rosaries according to my customers’ wishes.  One of the requests was to use 6mm bicones for the Hail Mary beads, and 8mm round Czech pressed beads for the Our Fathers.  I didn’t think the size, nor the color combination, would result in an attractive piece.  Yes, I was unconvinced, but as the old adage goes, the customer is always right.

I went ahead and made the rosary.  Starting off, I had a lot – a lot – of trepidation.  Yet, as each decade of beads grew, I started to like what my customer wanted.  He had some good foresight as to what the final product would look like.  Even his choice of a centerpiece – a fleur de lis – was the pièce de résistance.  I couldn’t have guessed how beautiful this rosary turned out.

I like it.

SWRosary53

That is the conundrum of artistry:  order and balance is good, quirkiness is in the eye of the beholder, and create what you feel that expresses your soul.

©Miss Poppy’s Boutique, Designs by Susan Marie Molloy, The Rosary Shoppe, and all works within.

Contest Promotion

It really was a busy week.  I taught two classes in my studio – basic peyote stitch and three-drop peyote stitch –and I found time to create a few more rosaries for a church art show this coming weekend.  I’m banking on being able to start a Marcia Balonis piece next week.  I like her designs, and I’m anxious to show you my versions of her lovely designs!

 I also need to organize some new beads I acquired through Poppy and Gene’s Beadery. 

Speaking of beads, Poppy and Gene’s Beadery is hosting a bead giveaway.  The shop is giving away 50 grams of Dragon® Scale beads – that’s approximately 1,600 beads – in metallic olivine.  All you need to do is Like, Comment, and Share their Facebook page.  Do it HERE by following this LINK to their page. 

Olivine Dragon Scales

The contest is open until April 14; the drawing will be held on April 15.   

This is a fabulous promotion:  Who would love to get some  Dragon® Scale beads for just liking, commenting, and sharing their page?

Well, I need to get back to my studio.  I have to prepare for one class this week and get ready for the art show this coming weekend.

Good luck on the contest!

©Miss Poppy’s Boutique, Designs by Susan Marie Molloy, The Rosary Shoppe, and all works within.