Who Needs a Color Wheel, Anyway?

February 21st, 2012 § Comments Off § permalink

As a jewelry designer, I am always looking for new and interesting color combinations.  While I have never taken a color theory class, I am vaguely aware of the color wheel and complimentary and contrasting color schemes.  However, I rarely put any of that knowledge to good use and instead just grab a bunch of beads that “look good together” and then go for it.

Well, those days could soon be over.  Two websites I have run across are making creative color selection a whole lot easier.

Color Scheme Designer 3 is a web-based program designed to help website creators choose effective color schemes for their sites.  It offers the user several choices as to types of color schemes along the color wheel.  For example, here is an screen shot of one of the triad schemes it can offer.  All I did was click on the aqua color, and up came the combination you see here.   Loads of possibilities, no?


Another useful color selection tool I have found is the Design Seeds blog.  Every day, the blog’s creator, Jessica, posts several photographs attached to the palette of colors contained therein.  The blog is even searchable by color, season, and category.  I have found some of the most beautiful and surprising color combinations here, and I have subscribed to the RSS feed so that I automatically receive posts on my Google Reader.  Love it!



Artist Marketplace at the Purple Door on Young

February 7th, 2012 § Comments Off § permalink

Several months ago, my precious friend and talented Louisiana artist Chere Doiron opened her art gallery/studio The Purple Door on Young, right down the street from me in my beloved Cooper-Young neighborhood.  Her creative spirit quite simply infuses the entire space and everything she does.  Innovative art classes at the Purple Door include creative mapping, sustainable living, painting, color theory, and bioplastic materials.

Her partner, Sharon Pavelda, is an expressive artist and performing teacher who hosts events such as The Purple Tea Ceremony and mortality parties. These unique experiences celebrate community and offer opportunities for participants to play from the heart.

You can see why I was so flattered when she asked me to be a part of the holiday marketplace they held for the entire month of December.  The store opened every Thursday, Friday and Saturday and featured seven artists who specialize in jewelry, painting, photography, and other bits and bobs.

Luckily for all of us, Sharon and Chere have expanded the gift market and decided to make it a permanent part of The Purple Door on Young.  Last week, they hosted an open house for Cooper-Young Night Out, which is held the first Thursday of every month.  On those days, businesses in the neighborhood keep the doors open from 6-9 p.m. and provide goodies for passersby and shoppers.

This week, shoppers will be able to purchase custom Valentines created on the spot by artists and poets.  They can simply come in for a quick consult and take away a unique love gift for their Valentine that is suitable for framing. The cost for each custom Valentine is $10, and the hours and dates are as follows:  Thursday and Friday, Feb. 9 &10 from 10-5 and Saturday, Feb. 11, from 2-5.

While providing shoppers with the opportunity to purchase unique, locally made art,  Chere and Sharon also host numerous creative workshops.  This Saturday, Feb. 11, they will have the Valentines for the Brokenhearted Workshop from 10AM-1PM.  They describe the workshop as “a time to reflect on honoring our broken hearts and what breaks them open and to create tributes to them with paper, color, verse and cool stuff.”  The cost for the workshop is $30 plus a $5 materials fee.

ChaChaCharly's Display at the Purple Door

For the expanded market, I have added several pieces featuring Kazuri beads and others made of rose quartz and garnet gemstones which are supposed to encourage emotional healing.

So take some time this weekend to shop for your Valentine or for yourself, or both.  What a terrific day out you could have!  Grab a couple of friends and head down to Cooper-Young for a day of shopping and lunch at one of the many locally owned restaurants here.  The gift shop is open every Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.


Fall Festival Season

November 22nd, 2010 § 2 comments § permalink

The past few months have been a flurry of activity, when I could drag myself off of the couch, that is.  I slow down every year once colder temps hit, and recent health problems have sidelined me much of the time; however, I managed to take part in a few art/craft shows.  Go me!

The Cooper-Young Festival on Sept. 17 was a fantastic success.  My friend Mara Loeb (Ravenworks Jewelry in Monroe, Louisiana) and I shared a booth right at the beginning of the festival on Cooper near Elzey, where we both sold a ton of jewelry and had a great time meeting new people. The only downside was that after the show I did not have enough inventory to participate in the next week’s Trolley Night. Here are some pics from Cooper-Young.

The Cha Cha booth at Cooper-Young

The setup is quite simple, keeping the focus on the jewelry.  I am looking for any suggestions for spicing it up, though, so comment away!

At the end of October, I participated in the River Arts Fest in downtown Memphis.

The Booth Before the Storm

I was actually part of a local artists’ market produced by J&B Childress Portrait Art and Beignet Cafe.  Because we were situated a little off of the beaten track, the traffic was quite slow the first day, and then the next day the weather pummeled the tent, causing us to close up early.  I found the whole situation particularly frustrating because my parents had driven up from Louisiana to bring me some of my mother’s paintings to include in the show.  In the downpour nothing was damaged, though.  Whew!

Well, I simply was not satisfied that enough people had been exposed to Mom’s lovely art, especially since she no longer paints.  In Oct. 2008, she was diagnosed with brain cancer and suffered a stroke that left her paralyzed on her left side.  As a result, she has met numerous obstacles with grace, perseverance, and fortitude.  I would not be surprised if she didn’t restore her talent to its former glory in days to come.  We are all hoping that she will.

After talking to a couple of friends–one a jewelry designer (Margie Hart) and the other an artist (Chere Doiron)–I decided to host a “Holiday Shopping Open House.”  From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, we opened the Young Avenue house to invited friends.  Chere, who hails from South Louisiana, brought a huge pot of turkey gumbo, and we all sold a little and laughed a lot.

Really, it was a treat to see some of the people come by–so much so, that we decided to have another one on Saturday, December 11.  Same time, same place.  Make sure to sign up for the mailing list if you would like an invite.

Goodbye, Dear Gabi

July 1st, 2010 § Comments Off § permalink

Gabi Rambin, 1996-2010

On a sad note, I have to include a farewell to my beloved Sheltie, Gabi. Fourteen years ago, she was born in my home and has been with me ever since. She saw me through some pretty tough times, and I will always be grateful to have had her in my life. Unfortunately, she had a few tough times of her own, including being hit by a car two different times. During her extremely difficult recoveries, I heard her cry only once, a real trouper. I am afraid all that damage robbed her of her mobility in these last several months, so we had to make the impossible decision to have her put to sleep.

Rest well, dear one.

Visit My New Etsy Store!

June 29th, 2010 § Comments Off § permalink

Mosaic Turquoise and Freshwater Pearl Necklace

Check out the new listings on my Etsy store: www.etsy.com/shop/chachacharlys! I have only listed three items so far, but I am really excited to have finally gotten it done. Accomplishing anything at all seems to take forever these days. I love all of the necklaces I have posted, and I certainly welcome new ideas. I would love some feedback, folks!

Stocking Up at the Turquoise Coyote

June 22nd, 2010 § Comments Off § permalink

Turquoise Coyote

Last week, I had the incredibly good fortune to go on a cruise to Mexico with most of my family. In celebration of my parents’ 50th anniversary, my mom, dad, aunt, brother, sister-in-law, sister, brother-in-law, boyfriend and I all spent five days on a Carnival cruise that left from New Orleans. So much fun!

What does this have to do with jewelry/beading, you ask? Well, one of the highlights of the trip actually occurred on the trip home. On our way from New Orleans to Memphis, we stopped off in Ponchatoula at my favorite bead store, the Turquoise Coyote. Talk about awesome selection and terrific prices! And the service is out of this world. I was in heaven.

I only make it there once a year or so, and only if I am on my way somewhere else since the five-hour drive negates the savings. However, when I do get to go, woohoo! I spend all I can. And that is super easy in this place.

They do not have a website, but they do have a Facebook page; you can find it here.

Here are some pics from my latest haul. Enjoy.

Czech Fire Polish

More Czech Fire Polish

Assorted Faceted Agates

Red Coral and Turquoise

Even More Czech Fire Polish

Autumn Turquoise, Mosaic Turquoise, Stabilized Turquoise, and Chrysocolla

Agate Slabs

Agate, Rutilated Quartz (graduated!), Pediasite

Success at Trolley Night!

June 5th, 2010 § Comments Off § permalink

What a terrific Trolley Night we had Friday night! The weather finally cooperated, and the crowd was plentiful. We set up the tent outside, and I showed most of my new pieces to great success.

Much of the traffic can largely be attributed to my gorgeous new banner that John Childress of J & B Childress Portrait Art made for the booth. I arrived and started setting up, and before I knew it–poof!–he was hanging a gorgeous black and white banner he had just made for me! Doesn’t it look fantastic?

The night was a fantastic success, not just because I made a few sales, but also because I met some terrific and interesting people.

Chief among them was Caroline, a young lady who is visiting Memphis from Kenya. I was talking to another customer about the Kazuri beads my mother brought me back from Nairobi a few years ago when Caroline piped up that she is from that town! In fact, the Kazuri beads are hand made by women from her tribe, the Kukui. They work on Karen Blixen’s estate, made famous by the movie Out of Africa, one of my favorite movies of all time. Delighted to see a connection to her hometown, Caroline bubbled over with enthusiasm. Meeting people like her and having them admire my work provide such a great feeling!

I will be out there again next month, on the last Friday in June, and I hope to have enough pieces to set out two full tables. Y’all come out to see me!

Trolley Night
Friday, June 25
6:00 to 9:00 p.m.

Rain, Rain, Go Away!

April 23rd, 2010 § Comments Off § permalink

Because storms are predicted for tonight, I have decided to cancel the show. While I love everything I have created, I just don’t think people want to stand out in the rain to look at it. Next week, however, it’s on! Friday night, April 30, we’ll be out in front of the gallery, so look for us!


April 21st, 2010 § 2 comments § permalink

Hello all! I am so excited to finally be starting this blog. It’s been in the works (ok, in my head) for quite some time, and I have to thank John Childress of J & B Childress Portrait Art for finally getting me off my duff. John has been so kind as to invite me to show my jewelry at his gallery–Gallery 136–on Trolley Night.

For those of you who are not familiar with Trolley Night here in Memphis, it happens the last Friday of every month. The shops, galleries and restaurants of the South Main Arts District open their doors from 6 to 9 p.m., offering beverages, food, and, of course, their wares for sale. The trolley ride is free! This month, due to the Memphis in May mayhem, Trolley Night will happen twice. That’s right–both this Friday, April 23rd and next Friday, April 30, you will find me and my creations at Gallery 136 (136 East G.E. Patterson). Come on by and check it out!

Well, when John mentioned the show, I knew I needed to get my business cards going, and then if I was going to hand out business cards, I had better have my blog and new email address set up. Et, voila!

It really was that easy! Voila!

Well, at least it was for me. My terrific web developer boyfriend, Jeremy, however, put in a not-so-minimal amount of time setting it all up. Thanks, sweetie!

Keep your eyes peeled for my Etsy shop. I will be setting it up in the next week and placing a link here, of course.

Ok, enough for now. I have to get back to the beads. Thanks for stopping by, and come by the gallery if you get a chance.