Saturday, June 26, 2010

Make Something Beautiful - Day 60

It's about time I post something new! I've finally recovered from Bead&Button madness and returned to making things, searching out competitions and shows, and sending in entries, aside from making jewelry, keeping track of the books, and doing other business things. Everyone thinks that it's easy to be an artist. Hah! It's a business, but one I'm happy to do since I love making things more than just about anything else.

Meandering thoughts aside, I finally put together a ruched halter top and skirt made of this wonderful two-way stretch knit I picked up a few years ago. It's the perfect outfit for this hot weather that I find desperately hard to tolerate. There has to be a place that has temperatures in the 60-75 degree range, right? I would move there in a heartbeat.

Also, I am hard at work on my entry for the latest Fire Mountain Gems competition. It's a Swarovski elements design contest, and I think I may finish my piece right after the contest opens. I love being early for a deadline for once.

Vanessa Walilko
Aluminum chainmaille jewelry

Monday, June 21, 2010

Inspiration Monday: Fairy Wings Tutorial

I swear, not all of my inspirational posts will be about wings, but I saw this tutorial on and I had to share it. It gives you excellent instructions on creating wings out of Fantasy Film, perfect for fairies, mermaid fins, or (as I'm planning) dragon wings. You can check out the full tutorial here.

Vanessa Walilko
Aluminum chainmaille jewelry

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Art Diaries

I'm excited to report that one of my scale mail panels was accepted into the Art Diaries exhibit at 4Art Inc Gallery. It will be exhibited in their "RETREAT" exhibition from July 16-September 17 at the Zhou B Art Center in Chicago.

Aluminum chainmaille jewelry
Vanessa Walilko

Monday, June 14, 2010

Inspiration Monday: How to Make Moving Dragon Wings

Monday has got to be the hardest day of the week. Waking up to a morning full of fog isn't so great either. We could all use some inspiration. For example, someone posted an instructional video on Youtube for how to make your own moving dragon wings. You can bet that this is now on the to-do list.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Bead&Button Recap!

While the past few years have involved many work-filled days in Milwaukee due to the Bead&Button show, this year involved a tactical strike. I traveled to Milwaukee early Wednesday morning, stayed the night and then traveled back to Chicago on Thursday early evening. I somehow managed to get through two 18+ hour days on mostly adrenaline and homemade orange bread.

The Meet the Teachers reception was the wonderful whirlwind I expected. I met the editor of Step by Step Wire Jewelry, Denise Peck in person for the first time. Also, my beaded animals got a lot of great attention--it looks like I'll be developing instructions for the cat first, then the little purple dragon.

Thursday was wonderful, even though I started working at 8am. My class was fantastic! I had four wonderful students and taught them all Dragonscale. Honestly, I can't believe that I get paid to talk with and teach chainmaille to lovely people. I feel like I'm getting away with something sneaky. I really hope that the classes I submit for next year are accepted so that I have the opportunity to teach there again.

To top it all off, my chainmaille jacket won 2nd place in the Wirework category for the Bead Dreams competition. I'm excited to get that gift certificate from Beaducation.

Also, before I made my return journey to Chicago, I met a bunch of lovely wonderful people from Fire Mountain Gems! I've been buying supplies from them for the longest time--and been a finalist or winner in the past three of the last five competitions. (Someone even recognized my dragon!) In fact, if I manage to eke out some time, I have a project to finish for their upcoming Swarovski crystal competition. It's going to be a bust few months!

Vanessa Walilko
Aluminum chainmaille jewelry

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Bead&Button or bust and 18 Hands Gallery

I've determined that about a month before Bead&Button, anyone associated with the show develops Bead&Button brain. It's a condition that involves thinking only of the show and forgetting just about everything else. I am very excited about teaching at the show for the first time, seeing my chainmaille jacket in the on display with all the other finalists, and meeting all the lovely people who come out for Meet the Teachers, but I am also looking forward to the post-show recovery of my full brain power.

In other exciting news, two of my pieces were accepted into the Contemporary Beadwork II exhibition at 18 Hands Gallery in Houston, TX. Anyone in the area can check out my Dragon Mother beaded sculpture and my necklace inspired by David Bohm's theory of the implicate order. The exhibition will be on display during the month of July.

Unique aluminum chainmaille jewelry