Big changes all at once

There’s a lot going on in my life right now. Some I don’t really want to discuss for fear of jinxing it, and others, well this blog is a good example of one. As I mentioned earlier I’ve decided to go with a new business name, and tonight I made a bit of a switch. I’ve renamed the blog. Much as I loved “The Violet Hour” it was time to identify this blog more with where my work was headed. And I’ve changed the layout. Eventually I may opt to change the URL, so stay tuned for any directions, road maps, etc.

Now I’m tired and I’m going to bed. Tomorrow is a big day. I hope.



I had no idea that a place like this existed here in Chicago. Archeworks is dedicated to the idea that design can be socially relevant. The students come from all backgrounds and adult age groups, and work in teams to research a particular social issue and offer design solutions.

Their past projects include a number of designs which address the issues of health and disability from a carrying case for AIDS medication to modular kitchens for the disabled. Their community work has produced prototypes for an ideal community-based school, and redesign of detention facilities to facilitate rehabilitation and post-detention support. They have done a number of projects related to sustainability and eco-friendly design.

But for me, one of the most interesting projects is this report:

“Archeworks completed the final year of a three year project that investigated the withholding of good design from certain segments of society. The project, funded by the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in Fine Arts, explored the areas in which design was withheld. During the three year study, Archeworks students held focus groups, symposiums and did research that resulted in the book Design Denied: The Dynamics of Withholding Good Design and its Ethical Implications and a curricula for design schools surrounding the topic. The book was published by Archeworks and released in May 2005″

It’s interesting to note that the School of the Art Institute of Chicago has built a course around this report. The report itself is available in book form from the Prairie Avenue Bookshop Chicago’s architectural bookstore.

If you want to know more about Archeworks, visit their website, or check out Convention Challenged which documents a dozen years of the history of Archeworks, and the ideas behind it.

I finally got around to doing some photos

Not that these are great, but they’ll do. I’ve just been so busy with other things.

More bracelets

Things like this.

Gypsy bracelet Bracelets by Those Two Nice Girls Next Door

With this restrung gypsy bracelet. I think it’s much better. I restrung the Alma necklace, too but forgot to photograph it. It’s shorter now, but everything lies right without having to fight with it, which is the important thing. And then there are the beaded memory wire bracelets made by me and Glinda. She thinks people will know which is hers (presumably because it’s not nearly as good as mine *rolls eyes*) but I think they’re both really nice. And then there are the pins…

She who must be obeyed

This one is, aside from being a bit fuzzy, called “She Who Must Be Obeyed.” I love her.

Orange sherbet

And this, which is also too fuzzy (I fear I will never learn this new camera.) is called “Orange Sherbet.”


This one — “Mourning” — and the one called “Dragon’s Hoard” are both hard to photograph. This one because it’s a bit arched at the bottom, and Dragon’s Hoard because it’s large and rather detailed.

Dragon's hoarde cu

Even in close-up, Dragon’s Hoard is hard to figure out. That is a large snake or worm (dragon) coiled around a stash of very cool costume jewelry. Hip dragon, huh? Here’s a photo of the whole thing:

Dragon's Hoarde

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And finally, another key. I uncovered about 10 lbs of them the other day. I’ll be using a lot of keys in my work, I imagine.

I’m tired, but I really need a shower. However it looks as if we may get another wave of storms through here soon, so I may just put it off until morning. Night all.

Busy, busy, busy

I’ve started exercising again, and it’s given me a ton more energy each day. That’s one thing I wish I could remember when I try to convince myself that I really don’t need to get up on the treadmill every day. Anyway, I’ve been working on some jewelry for the con (and after) and have also made an executive decision to change the name of my business from Belle Epoque Designs (nice, but kind of unexciting, and definitely projecting an image that isn’t really accurate) to Persimmon Frost. I don’t know if I’ll be changing the name of my blog, or moving it or what, but for now it all stays the same. Thanks to Shari at Teenie Beads (Soon to become Rose Valley Glassworks.) for the brainstorming that produced the name from the long list of possibilities I was spouting.


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Here’s a pin made mostly from old buttons that I bought on eBay from Glitterati2 who is, btw, a wonderful vendor. And she has the most amazing stuff!

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My friend, Glinda, was over the other night and started playing with the little piece with the shoes on it. She ended up getting sidetracked by some of my books, and didn’t complete the piece so I stole the shoes from her and made this.

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Scavenged from my hoarde of buttons and old jewelry, and another scavenged piece that I made years ago. Some of these bits are really recycled!

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I think what really makes this pin is the purple and gold dichroic bead. This is another from Shari at Teenie Beads (see above) Doesn’t she do wonderful work??

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I never used to like working with green, but now I love it.

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And finally, the necklace I’ve been calling “Alma” because for some reason I think of Alma Mahler when I look at it. Unfortunately I think part of it will have to be restrung because it just isn’t hanging correctly. Oh well, huh?

Ugly Betty will be on soon. I think I’m going to go look at the fall clothing catalogs and have a glass of iced tea.

Getting carried away

I’ve been working like mad the last couple of days because I only have a few weeks left before ZebraCon, and I’d like to have a good stock together. I walked into the studio this evening, after running some errands and saw this:

Dargie gets carried away

Eek, I didn’t realize I’d pulled so much stuff out! Here’s a snap of the bead board:

Dargie gets carried away

And Penny with her new vintage button necklace:

Penny and her new necklace

Penny's new button necklace

And of course, Caddy and the parasol. If they can’t see you, clearly you cannot see them!

Caddy and the parasol

I’m thinking seriously about changing the name of my business. Belle Epoque Designs sounds increasingly stodgy to me, and I don’t want stodgy.

Ikea + The Great Indoors = Sore feet and no money

Thank goodness for Crocs is all I can say today. Yesterday’s trip to Ikea was wonderful, and the subsequent visit to The Great Indoors was something of a revelation for me as I’d never even heard of the place before Glinda North and Judy Moe started talking about it. But I’m paying for the six-and-a-half hours we spent walking around both stores going “Ooooooh, look at that!” and “Want, want, want…”

Ikea was jammed, of course, but still one of my favorite places. We started with a lunch of meatballs and lingonberries, and split the plate of pastries which included a mazarine, which is one of my favorite Swedish sweets. Not including lunch, it took us two hours to get from the third floor to the second. However we did discover a number of amazing sales including this “Sarita” fabric which is being discontinued (I don’t know if they mean the colors or the fabric itself.) and was marked down to 75 cents a yard. Judy and I bought three bolts of it in orange, bronze and dark blue for just under $50 a bolt. If you have a local Ikea and are a fan of this particular fabric, you might want to get over there to check the sale.

Also on clearance: Fanby table runners in aqua, hot pink, orange and lime green @ 99 cents each! Sets of Fanby placemats and napkins in the same colors were also available for the same price. There were unbelievable prices on glassware and I picked up a set of wine glasses for under $5 (I have a bad track record with wine glasses.) and a set of juice glasses for even less. I ended up spending just under $300, but I came home loaded down with so much stuff that it took several trips upstairs, even with the chair lift, which is only really good for carrying mail and merchandise these days.

The Great Indoors was rather different in terms of price, though that day there was a special 15% off everything in the store sale going on. And I did find some very reasonable prices on tableware. I collected samples and brochures, but only bought a bottle of cabernet sauvignon, a jar of peach amaretto jam and a bear’s head knob. I have no clue where I’ll use it, but it was on sale so I had to have it.

Mostly I collected ideas for my new place. (Knock wood and wish me luck that it actually happens.) One thing I’m determined to have is vitreous tile in the bath. I’ve loved that look for so long, and if I have the chance to have it, I’m going to jump at it.

Dinner was Indian, the dinnertime film was “Hot Fuzz” and a bonus was a bouquet of flowers from Judy’s husband who is the nicest man you can imagine. I had a damn good day.

It feels kind of nice to be able to say that.


I forgot to mention that the new Ikea catalog is ready. It’s not out yet, but it is online here. You really should take a peek. There are so many new things that my want list is bursting at the seams! The textiles are making me giddy and the colors! Be still my heart. *g*