Saturday, July 27, 2013

Sequintastic September!

Welcome to another Saturday at Saturday Sequins!

I have some exciting news for you today. I'm hosting another blog hop this year!

The challenge: 

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, will be to...

  • Create an original work of art using sequins. What you create, and how many sequins you use, will be up to you!
  • On the reveal date, share a photo of what you made.
  • Then, visit the other participants and drool over all the amazing work.

To sign up:

To sign up for Sequintastic September, leave a comment on this post between now and August 24th. Include your blog address and email address so I can link to you on the reveal date and so I can keep in touch with you in the weeks leading up to the hop. Because I'll have exciting things to share!

Alternatively, if you don't want to leave your email address in the comments, just send me an email. 

If you don't have a blog... 

You might be wondering... can you participate if you're not a blogger? Why, yes! Yes, you can. If you'd like to join in the fun but don't have a blog of your own, you can borrow mine on the reveal day. Just send me your photos and a description of your project, and I'll set everything up for you. 

Fun and useful stuff

Curious about Sequintastic September 2012? Here's last year's reveal!

Wondering where to get sequins? Here's a list of sequin sources.
Not sure what to make? Check out my Sequinspiration post.

Also check out more Sequinspiration, the next one in the series.

You can also follow my Sequintastic board on Pinterest.

And of course, you can read up on the amazing people who have been featured artists.

I hope you'll join me for some sequintastic fun! Whether you'll be a participant or an observer, I also hope you'll tell everyone you know about the hop. In fact, if you'd pin the banner to Pinterest, I would be so very happy. Happier than a flamingo on a trampoline, in fact.

Sequintastically yours,

Sarah J. Sequins

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Featured Artist: Merle Berelowitz

Welcome to another Saturday at Saturday Sequins...

I remember the first time I saw Merle Berelowitz's work. One of her collars was featured in the Your Work section of Bead and Button Magazine, and it absolutely knocked my socks off. The design, the colors, the sequins. Oh, the sequins!

(Another one of her collars -- just as stunning.)

Merle shared my love for sequins in bead embroidery, which thrilled me beyond belief. What really impressed me, though, was the way she incorporated them into her pieces. She did it so flawlessly, so elegantly. The sequins stood out without overwhelming the rest of the materials and showed that sequins and beads were meant to be together. I kept meaning to ask Merle to be a featured artist.

Merle passed away a few days ago, and I'm sad for the loss of such an amazing jewelry artist -- the beading world will seem a little darker and duller without her. More than anything, I'm sad for the people who knew her best. I seriously regret not getting to know her better, and I know what it's like to lose someone important.

Merle's passing reminds me of something important. Writing this out, it seems shallow, and it seems like a cliche, but I have to share it anyway. We need to tell the people in our lives how awesome they are and how much they mean to us. And we need to do it RIGHT NOW, because that's the only time we really have. 

It's so easy to get wrapped up in our own worlds, our own lives, our own problems. And of course, these things are important, and sometimes they're pretty darn serious. But as we go about our lives and face down our problems, I'm realizing that we need to take the time to look around and not just see, but acknowledge and appreciate other people.

As I write this, I'm stressed. I'm scared. I have a lot of stuff going on, and I'm not sure how I'm going to get through it all. But you know what? Right now I'm stopping. And I'm looking. And I see you. I see how awesome you are. I see how freaking lucky I am to have you in my life, whether I've only talked to you once or on a daily basis. I'm really glad you're here.

I'm glad Merle was here, too. I'm going to miss her.

Sequintastically yours,

Sarah J. Sequins

Saturday, July 13, 2013

My first e-book!

Welcome to another Saturday at Saturday Sequins!

I'm thrilled to introduce Run Screaming! My very first e-book.

What it's about
(Besides screaming.)

As you can see from the cover, it's all about when to give up on your creative work and when to stick with it. And as I mentioned in an earlier post, it's a continuation of two of my favorite blog posts, Don't Give Up and Instead of Giving Up. Like all of my advice, it's based on my own experience.

I'm super duper proud of this book, with extra glitter on top. When I started writing it, I promised myself I'd be completely honest, no matter how messy (or scary!) things got. And I stuck to that promise, writing certain sections over and over until they felt right. Even if it meant admitting to my worst behaviors and thought patterns. Even if it meant sharing parts of my life that were extremely stressful... or embarrassing.

(Including the fact that some insects make me run screaming like a little girl. Yes, it's relevant to the book.)

Fun little extras

It's also more than a book. When I think about it, it's more like an e-guide. You know how I couldn't stop adding cool things to it? Well, I did stop myself eventually, but not before I managed to sneak in...

  • A funny cover, conceptualized by me and created by Mr. Sequin. I do believe Eva Maria Keiser and her friend Bart unconsciously inspired me. Thanks, you two!
  • A summary of my main points, which you can come back to again and again for quick reference.
  • A list of resources that inspired, and helped me improve, this guide. Seriously, I know some awesome writers and bloggers. 
  • A special thank you section, where I include everyone who made suggestions.
  • A back cover that makes me laugh every time I look at it. Let's just say, a Certain Someone decided to make a guest appearance in the photo, and my little wooden guy wasn't too happy about it. 
Cover outtake

Speaking of the cover, I love how it turned out, but it wasn't the easiest photo for Mr. Sequin to take. You see, in addition to interference from A Certain Someone, my wooden model got a little silly during the photo shoot. He got into the Barbie clothes...

And I had to chase him all over the place before he gave the undies up. He's lucky I don't post the one where they're on his head!

And that, in a nutshell, is my e-book. It's 34 pages long including the front and back cover, and it's full of Sarah-style advice... and humor. Because a book can cover a serious topic and still have flamingo jokes.

I hope you enjoy it!

Sequintastically yours,


Saturday, July 6, 2013

Book delay! And punk rock dolls.

Welcome to another Saturday at Saturday Sequins!

I was hoping to have the e-book ready for sale today, but the dog ate it.

(Bad dog!!!)

No, that's not true. Cliffy is a very good boy -- and even if he wanted to, he couldn't chew a virtual book.

The truth is, it's just not done. I keep finding awesome things to add to it (a bonus section! A hilarious cover! And even some funny cover photo outtakes). So even though the writing part of it is finished, I have a little more tinkering to do.

Sorry for the delay! I won't let you leave empty-handed, though (or... empty-eyeballed?). Here's a photo of my growing collection of punk rock dolls. Each one is wearing an outfit I made, and a few of them have matching jewelry. 

All of them have dyed hair, thanks to acrylic paint, an old toothbrush, and a blow dryer. The doll on the far right has two-toned hair, and the one on the far left had a partial re-root to cover up a bad haircut I gave her years and years ago. I'm currently working on some sparkly costumes for all of them -- these might take awhile, but they'll be worth it.

Hair isn't the only thing I'm painting! I finally got around to sanding and painting some cute wooden shelves, which will be perfect to hold their books, shoes, and other odds and ends... and which will eventually go in their new house.

Because I'm making them a house out of an old bookshelf! There will be curtains and area rugs, decorative sequined pillows and funky modern paintings in itty bitty frames. I'm even going to paint the ceilings blue with white fluffy clouds. 

(Ken wants his own room. He promises to put his shirt back on if I deliver.)
It's a crazy project, but it won't be too expensive because everything will be made from recycled materials. This is part of my ongoing effort to bribe myself into doing the stuff that scares me, but more than anything, it's something I need to do. One of my new favorite bloggers, Nicole Antoinette, wrote an awesome post all about owning our obsessions, and it really left an impression on me.

So that's what's going on with me, the book, and the dolls. Now it's your turn: What are you obsessed with? Do you indulge in your obsessions, or do you try to keep them in check?

Thanks for commenting, and have a sequintastic day!