Here Comes 2013

It's amazing to me how fast time can fly! 
So much has happened this year. I have met so many new people and I have learned so much. It has really been a roller coaster ride from start to finish. I am so grateful for all of the magical things that keep happening. I cannot wait to see what 2013 has in store! I know one thing for sure, I am going to be a busy girl next year! 

    My first show of the year is a boutique show at Hilary's Vanity. I was lucky enough to met Hilary at a show I did in Long Beach in early December. She designs Steampunk and Gothic clothing. She thought some of my jewelry designs would be a perfect fit, so I am heading to Chatsworth, CA on January 5th! 

   A few short weeks later I will be selling supplies along with my jewelry and art at the Pasadena Bead and Design Show. I am super excited for Pasadena! My table is twice the size of last time and it's a good thing because I have so much new product! I am busy working on some new kits and I was lucky enough to meet a gentleman with vintage 1940's Swarovski rhinestone components new old stock! I bought it all! I have been listing a few pieces on Etsy but the pictures do them no justice. Everything is just gorgeous and sparkles like crazy!

I also just came into a HUGE stash of vintage pocket watch parts. 

I hope you all can come on out and see what's new! The Pasadena show starts on Jan 17 and runs through Jan 20th 10AM-6PM daily. 

   I am super excited that I am going to get to do some traveling in 2013! I will be heading to Tuscon, AZ for the Tucson Bead Show at the Windmill in February and and Concord, CA in March. I have a few other places in the works too as well as some of my regular local trunk shows! I am amazed daily by all of the incredibly creative people I get to meet and am truly grateful for all of my customers and friends for their support and inspiration! I feel so very lucky I get to spend my days doing what I love! Let's make 2013 one to remember!

Sparkle On!

Handmade for the Holidays

   As much as I don't want to admit it, the holiday season is upon us! I would like to say I am taking some time off after Glitterfest, but it simply isn't true. I have several shows coming up between now and the end of the year, so it's been back to work for me! I recently went down to Beadology in Huntington Beach  for a special one day show honoring my dear friend Melanie Doerman. Her husband, Asbjorn, came down in the afternoon to help us do a book signing for her amazing book "The Art of Forgotten Things." 
Asbjorn & Erin
At Erin, Beadology's Owner's request, I brought down all of my vintage and mixed media pieces and parts so that her customers can create their own versions of Melanie's incredible designs. We had a blast :)
Me & Erin with lots of treasure!
   I will be back to Beadology the weekend after Thanksgiving for a 3 day trunk show Friday-Sunday. I love showing everyone what to do with all of my vintage pieces. Erin is having a fabulous Black Friday Sale and it's Small Business Saturday, so it's going to be a fun & busy weekend! I have a bunch of new design and ideas to share, so come on down to Beadology and play! 
   I really think that one good thing that has come out of these hard economic times is realizing we still have choices and power. Shop your neighbor! There are amazing artists and craftsmen in your community! Get out there are support small local businesses! How about making your gifts this year? It's so much more meaningful when you put your positive energy into what you are giving this holiday season.
  I am involved in a few shows this season supporting the handmade community. First up in this Friday and Saturday The 2012 Christmas Art, Craft, Vintage Festival. Local Artist Donna Gunn is opening up her home for this small gathering of local artists. Friday is a preview for friends and family, then Saturday is open 10-5 to the public! Donna makes incredible purses and is an amazing metal smith. Dana Primavera is another local artist with gorgeous handmade journals & art. Julie Hart will be there with handmade aprons for the chefs & bakers on your list.  Starla Howard will have her hand crocheted snowflakes and Pamela Wright will be there with her handmade ornaments as well! Glorious Treasure will be there with some fabulous vintage decorations and pieces and I will be there of course with some new re-purposed creations...
New pendants I have been working on :)

 Come on down and get started on your holiday shopping! 

Then this Dec 7th & 8th I will be participating in a show in Long Beach supporting this same idea of shopping handmade for the holidays, the Uptown Village Market. 
Bixby Knolls is this darling little area nestled in a quaint residential area in Long Beach. Friday coincides with their art walk and we will continue the fun on Saturday. Over 65 Artists at this event including my good friends Robin Dudley-Howes and Lisa Loria. More details to come! Hope to see you soon!

Best Wishes!

It's that time again!

 It's finally Fall, my favorite time of year. The weather has finally cooled down and there is that crispness in the air. That means it's time for Glitterfest again! I've kept busy with so many trunk shows in September, this time Glitterfest seemed to sneak up on me! I have been locked in my studio for the last few weeks creating all sort of new goodies for this Saturday. I have kept busy with several new art pieces. This little creepy guy is coming...

and I have loads of new jewelry designs to share...

If you have been to Glitterfest before, then you know what an amazing day it is, but for those that don't be prepared to be amazed! 50 different artists from doll makers to paper artists to jewelry designers to assemblage artists and everything in between. The ladies of Whimzy in Tustin put on one fabulous  event. They carefully select each artist to ensure a wide variety which means a feast for the eyes! The event is held in a ballroom at the Elks lodge of Santa Ana, CA which we fill with more creativity than one room should be able to hold. I know I can't wait to see what everyone else has made! Hope to see you this weekend! For more all the details check out...

Best Wishes!

Shows, shows and more shows!

September is jam packed with trunk shows! It's also Bead Shop Hop month! I was at Brea Bead Works last weekend. Tara and I had a ball as usual with Scott and Wendy.  Lots of new faces doing the Shop Hop this year!

This weekend I will be closer to home at Garden of Beaden in Upland, CA on Friday and Saturday from 10-7 and Sunday 10-5PM. I just scored some amazing vintage brass. Come on down and check it out! The Bead Association has come up with a movie theme for the Shop Hop this year. Each store has picked a movie and are decorating accordingly. I am really looking forward to the Garden of Beaden show because she has picked "Across the Universe." Anyone that knows me knows my other love is music and I LOVE the Beatles. Shop owner & my friend, Irene Sanchez, has amazingly talented children. They have a band called Groovesession. So many good things are happening for them! They have been on tour all summer but they are back in town and I hear a rumor that Sarven may stop in with his keyboard to play some Beatles tunes for us. I may have to sing a few with him. I honestly cannot think of a better combination ... Music and Beads :) My idea of heaven! Be sure to stop by if you are in the area and check out Groovesession's facebook page to see where they will be next!

Next weekend I will be heading South to Bead Gallery in San Diego! Fri & Sat 10-7PM and Sunday Sept 23rd from 10-5. Their theme is Twilight. I have something in mind with a mixed media vampire twist ;) Come on down and play! 

Well, back to working on new creations for Glitterfest for now! October 13th is just around the corner! Really? Only 30 days until Glitterfest! Where does the time go? Hope to see you soon!

Sparkle on!

P.S. Can't make it to a show? Check out my Etsy Shop...

New Adventures...New Inspirations

This crazy year is flying by! I have so much to share, but pictures are more fun :) I recently participated in the Pasadena Bead and Design Show at the end of July. I had so much fun! My neighbor Mavis Leahy was a blast and so sweet to me. She kept giving me little bits of treasure as gifts. Check out what have been busy making with these amazing antique steel cut itty bitty seed beads she bestowed upon me...

Here are the amazing French brass charlottes courtesy of Mavis :)

Look how tiny they are! The black beads at the bottom
are size 15's. They are more than 1/2 the size of them!!!
These tiny little treasures have put me over the top in love with this project!  I am loving the mix vintage Turn of the Century finds among the landscape of glass seed beads! It's almost done. I will post a photo of the completed bracelet soon :)
   I was SO grateful to be next to Mavis. Not only was she my first official customer purchasing a lovely pair of earrings, but she had tons of advice and encouragement. She also has a similar affinity for the slightly creepy and naturally we got along swimmingly! I am saving some of the other creepier treasure she gave me for a project for Glitterfest.  At one point during the show, Mavis commented that it was destiny that placed us next to each other and I couldn't have agreed more :) She is yet another inspiration in my life and I am thankful for the renewed spark she lit within me. 

Be sure to check out Mavis' amazing creations on her website...

I LOVE her bone assemblages and her beautiful handmade tapestries. She uses her incredible collection of antique textiles and weaves forgotten pieces and parts into stunning works of art. 

For those of you that missed it this time, here are some photos of my table at Pasadena...

$1 Tray Steals!!!

Cameos & Settings

Soldered Rings 

Vintage Chain, Baroque Pearls, and Kits for sale!
Cool shot of my table courtesy of
Dolores Marquez of Bead Gallery

and another...
And another....
Last one!
   Pasadena was an amazing adventure and learning experience. I met so many new people and shared so many ideas. Big thank yous to all of my helpers and to all of the friends & customers that came out to support me! You have no idea how much I appreciate it.
   I am very excited to announce I will be back in January for the Pasadena Show! Mark your calendars... I will also be selling my wares in Tuscon, AZ in February and in Northern California this Spring! Check out my schedule on the side of my blog for all the details. I have lots of shows booked in California through the end of this year, as well as trunk shows that are being mailed all over the country. The Southern CA Bead Shop Hop is coming up too! I will be at Brea Bead Works, followed by Garden of Beaden, and Bead Gallery for the final weekend. Hopefully I will see you at one of these fantastic stores this September! I have so much more to report, but I have talked your ear off long enough for now! I will do another blog post soon :) Back to the studio...

Sparkle on!

Go Big or Go Home!

I am so excited about all of the new developments in my life both personal and professional! As usual, I have neglected my blog because there has been so much happening! I know I keep saying that, but it's true! Some of you know, but for those that don't I am preparing for the Pasadena Bead and Design Show! By a bizarre and magical twist of fate I will be there with all of my vintage and mixed media pieces and parts, as well as, some of my Art and Jewelry Designs! I was completely honored when I found out that I would be able to participate in this event. The show is in 10 days...July 26-July 29, 2012 from 10-6 daily.
Pasadena Bead and Design Show
July 26-29 2012 10AM-6PM Daily
So this is it! I am so grateful to be given this huge opportunity to reach such a large audience. I have never participated in an event this large and I am not going to lie- I have some butterflies! It's a combination of excitement and nerves :) I think every artist goes through it when a show approaches. I am usually on the other side of the coin at this show shopping for all kinds of unusual things to incorporate into my work. If you have never been to this show, it is a must see! This is not your typical run of the mill repetitive bead will find artists from the well known to the up and coming, small specialized companies that make one of a kind components (which I love to use), hand dyed ribbons and fibers, imported pieces and so much more! My table is located in the center of the largest ballroom near Karen Nan and Iris from Beadology of Huntington Beach. I'm so glad I get to share this moment with some familiar faces! I am pulling out all of the stops making components and tons of new made pieces to get everyone's creative juices flowing. 
Steampunk Cuff by Crystal Basica
I have been hunting for new unusual vintage pieces to add to my collection. Those of you that made it out to Garden of Beaden's Trunk Show got to see a little sneak peak of some of my new finds...don't worry there is more! I have stocked up all of my trays sticking with the one rule that has got me this far..only buy what you love. I plan to bring a few items that I have secretly been hoarding for myself too. 
The gals that put on this event have been fantastic! I can't wait to meet them in person.  I feel super lucky and honored to be vending in my dear friend Melanie Doerman's old spot. I know she will be there in spirit and I hope I can make her proud! I just got some more pieces of hers that I will be made available through my Etsy shop in the next day or so...

I am also teaching a technique that I learned from her at the Garden of Beaden this Saturday. My friend Rico who is studying to be a Landscape Architect helped me dub this class "Beadscaping." I love this technique because it forces you to use your own creativity. Each piece comes out looking exactly like the person that made it.
A Beadscape by Crystal Basica
I have been working on a new piece with a steampunk twist, I decided I am leaving it half done so I can demo on it during class, but here is a peek at what I have so far...
Steampunk Beadscape
I think Rico would call this one a "Steamscape." lol :) I will put up a better picture when it is complete. I am truly  looking forward to teaching for the first time in a long time. 
So needless to say I have a few things on my plate, or my platter as my friend Sue calls it :)  I have had so many crazy ideas over the last month. I can't seem to find enough hours in the day. I keep writing thoughts down and sketching in a journal so I can make some of these ideas a reality for Glitterfest this fall. I usually pick a theme when I am doing an art show, it helps me focus. This time I decided on Magic. I'm going with a Steampunk Houdini kind of vibe. It's kind of an apropos theme consistent with all of the good things that have been happening lately. If I can choose one word to describe my life lately is it definitely magical. Stay tuned for more new developments and I hope to see you at Pasadena!

More info...  

Melanie Doerman

  I have been trying to write this post for a few weeks now. So much has changed in such a short period of time, it is kind of overwhelming. I keep writing and rewriting because when I put down on paper what has actually seems impossible and unbelievable.
  I have been fortunate enough to be surrounded by some of the most creative, knowledgeable, and supportive friends anyone could wish for. On May 11, 2012, my life was forever changed...

 I was notified my dear friend and mentor, Melanie Doerman had left us.  She inspired me from the moment I met her. I have always been drawn to small details. I didn't know at the time I had met my match! Melanie's jewelry and art was so meticulous, haunting, and beautiful. She weaved a little bit of her soul into each piece that she  crafted.

Alien Star Garden

I remember when we 1st met, I took a class from her at Garden of Beaden. The owner and my good friend, Irene, warned me I was going to fall in love with her work. I was floored by what I was taught and the beautiful pieces she shared with me. She told me to go to her website and I could see more. I was stunned by what I saw...
"Fortune" by Melanie Doerman
 from her Tarot Tribute Vessel Series

A few years later, when I saw her vessels in person, my jaw dropped again. Looks are deceiving, this chalice is about a foot tall! Not only did she encrust the entire piece with jewels and itty bitty beads, she informed me she also sculpted all of the bases for her vessels. She was a true artist that had her hands in many different mediums.
   Melanie always supported me in my art and wanted me to succeed in making a living on my talents. We shared a creative bond. She spoke my strange language, sense of humor, my color pallet and some of her pieces like mine were... well... a little bit twisted :) I have always been drawn to things with double meanings, the odd and unusual. Bits and parts with character and history. I will never forget one of our more recent outings where we found ourselves giggling and brainstorming in the middle of a local model train store. I bought a miniature cemetery gate...she bought a miniature nun. Here's is what she ended up making out of a tiny vintage watch tin she purchased from me...

La Petit Soeur ( the little nun) by Melanie Doerman
Detail of  "La Petit Soeur" by Melanie Doerman
   I was so happy we recently got to do a show together in Spring of 2011. Our tables were back to back at Glitterfest. She was working on her book at this point and every time I saw her she had something new and incredible to show me. She was using many pieces she had picked up from one of my trunk shows. It was a privilege to get a sneak peak at everything she was up to creatively.

  I feel so fortunate for the extra time we got to spend together sitting in her studio going through her vast collection pieces and parts and seeing what projects she was working on. I often found myself just staring at her bead work thinking how does she come up with this?! I could look at a piece and know beyond a shadow of a doubt it was hers. The beads looked like her, smelled like her, it was like her fingerprints were all over them. I remember thinking to myself, I aspire to someday have that same originality. I was honored that she shared each piece she made for her book with me. I am so happy she is leaving us with this final gorgeous piece of her soul. I can't wait for everyone to see it...

Melanie's Book set to release 09/18/2012
You can pre-order her book here

I am so thankful for all of the people that Melanie has brought into my life...Danielle, Forrest, Erin, Kelly, Anna...the list keeps growing daily even since she has been gone. She touched so many lives...
Melanie and Danielle

Music, Beads and favorite combo :)

   I have had the privilege since her passing to spend some time with her dear husband, Asbjorn. I remember spending hours in her studio and he always gave her space and I always admired him for being so supportive and allowing her to spread her wings. 

   Asbjorn has been kind enough to share some of the work that Melanie has left behind with us. I am honored he has asked me to list some of her pieces in my Etsy shop, so be sure to stop by and check out what is available. I will be listing them often...

If you are looking for Kits and Instructions, please contact Irene Sanchez at the Garden of Beaden 909-949-7107.
Melanie was a, grace and power all in the same breath. I love her and miss her. She lives on through her amazing body of work and all those who's lives she has touched. She is still weaving magic into my life and I am forever grateful for her.
Melanie Doerman

Please check out Melanie's adventures on her blog

A Change Will Do You Good

So much is going on! I didn't know how appropriate my last post about my Transformation Angel would be to what is going on now. Change. So much has changed in just a few short days. Most people don't like change. Comfortable seems to be preferred to the unknown. I understand that. The unknown is well... unknown. You really don't know where you will end up, but I have found most change is usually for the better even if it doesn't seem like it in the moment. So many things have happened so quickly, it's hard to know where to begin. I will do another post soon regarding some of these other changes and developments. A good friend of mine, Donnette, had not seen me for 2 days last week. When I finally caught up with her she said "I have only been gone two days and your whole life has changed!"  It's kind of overwhelming and crazy. So to start, I did my 1st show this weekend on my own at Whimzy. Tara and I have decided to go our own paths. Everyone that hears this news says "what happened!" The next thing out of my mouth has been "it's not a bad thing!" It is interesting to me how everyone is so quick to assume something awful has happened. What happened is simple. We are at different places in our lives and have different goals we need to accomplish. We had a grand time together starting Serendipity Salvage and learned so much! The experience was invaluable. We will continue our friendship as well as to hunt for hidden treasures! 
  We could both feel the change coming, but we didn't know exactly how to handle it. We were sad on some level we had to part, but life happened! Things changed in a years time. Once we admitted to each other that we both felt we were being pulled in different paths, it was easy. Doors are opening left and right for both of us and a new phase has begun. In a weeks time I booked 3 shows, including Pasadena Bead and Design Show this July, and I have more in the works! People are crawling out of the woodwork asking for me to make them jewelry,a piece of art, or to find the perfect vintage piece to complete their project. All it took was  letting go and going with the flow.
And so a new adventure begins!...

I had the most fun this weekend at Whimzy's very 1st Artist's Junque Trunk! We were asked to clean out our studios so we could make room for the new! Perfect timing!

The gals from Whimzy hosted this fabulous treasure hunting adventure in the same lot they do Jamestown Flea last Sunday. I met so many cool Artists and fantastic patrons!

 I was telling stories about the history of some of my pieces and parts I was destashing and people were genuinely interested in what I had to share! So, the coolest thing happened! I met 3 different people from Glitterfest who had purchased something of mine. It is so crazy the day of Glitterfest there is no time to talk! I got to chat with these kind folks about what I made and hear what they thought. It was really too much fun! I had a ball and I got to unload a bunch of stuff I am no longer using and pass my finds on to other creators who will put them to good use! 

I have to say that the highlight of the day was talking to two different teenage girls. I was showing them a few different ideas for using the pieces they were interested in. They both had the same reaction. Light. It was just like someone had flipped a switch and given the permission to ignore all of the rules. Nothing is as it seems. The options are endless. I hope some day I will see them selling their creations at Glitterfest. Dianne said they plan to do another Junque Trunk in the Winter. Be sure not to miss the next one!
Until we meet again!
Crystal :)

P.S. I am going back to my old supply name Vintage Fairy Finds if you are looking for me!

Have you seen this Angel?

Transformer by Crystal Basica Fall 2011
Things never go as planned. I learned this lesson a long time ago and I try my very best to roll with the punches. Our lives can change directions in an instant. When I made this piece last Fall I started out with just the soldered wings made of gears. For once I loved how they turned out on the 1st try! The various patinas I used actually were reacting the way I intended them to. I knew I wanted to attach them to something, so I decided on soldering them to a figure... A Steampunk Angel. I wanted the piece to make a statement about technology and how everything changes so quickly now, but somewhere in the midst of all of the chaos it seems there is someone still guiding us. I finished the Angel and kept staring at it. It wasn't done. I couldn't figure out what it needed so it just sat on my work table as I continued to make new pieces for Glitterfest. One day I took a creating break and headed with a friend to my favorite Antique store Treasures and Junk for a little change of scenery. That's when we found this little vintage train was perfect! The perfect size, weight, not to mention it said the word transformer which went along exactly with what I was trying to convey AND then the dial that read off low med high.This was it! That just made the piece for me and I could stop obsessing over what else it needed! I took my angel to Glitterfest Fall and after the show I brought my angel and a few other pieces to Whimzy, so they could be available for sale.

Skip ahead 6 months. Glitterfest Spring has come and gone. I needed to get into Whimzy and bring them some new pieces from the Spring show. I headed in to see Dianne and was given some unexpected news. The Angel had vanished. Her whereabouts are unknown.

First off let me say that I 100% believe in Karma. What goes around comes around without a doubt!
I know my initial reaction should have probably been anger but it was laughter. I wish Dianne could have been in my head because I know she was thinking this crazy artist is nuts! But all I could see was a old image of a cartoon cat burglar with the black mask with two eye holes cut out tip-toeing through Whimzy and running out the door with the Transformer! lol 
I was also kind of flattered in a weird kind of way. Someone liked my art so much they felt the need to steal it! I'm not saying it was a good thing, I'm just taking it as a compliment :) So now what I want to know is who steals an angel? It's just weird. Not that any stealing is right but it's not a shirt or a purse or something you can use or that you need, so you just have a stolen piece of art sitting on your mantle or bookcase as a reminder of what you took? It's just odd to me. The only thing that makes me a little sad is I didn't get a better picture of it, but at least I have these few :)

My Sister Melissa at my Table Glitterfest Fall
Some more good that came out of the theft was that it got me writing on my blog which I am so bad about! There is so much going on I need to make a point to check in and tell you all what is new! I plan to put up some more posts very soon about what inspired me to make some of my other pieces. If anyone happens upon my Angel or if the culprit would like to rid their house of the Angel that is causing all the havoc in their life and anonymously return her, please contact me or Whimzy. No questions asked :)

Stay Tuned!

It's time for Glitterfest Spring 2012!

It seems like ever since I made my Steampunk Time Machine last Spring, time has been flying like crazy! Really! February is over! It's just crazy! Fellow Artist and Business Partner Tara Wilson and I have been busy hunting for vintage treasure for our joint venture Serendipity Salvage. Now for those of you that don't know, Serendipity Salvage was born out of necessity. We were both spending hours hunting for vintage gems to use in our own jewelry and art creations, so we decided to share the "extra" finds with fellow creators! Don't get me wrong -Serendipity Salvage has tons of fantastic rare vintage finds, but I'm not gonna lie- we typically cherry pick the rare finds we are dying over to use in our own work. You don't want to miss Glitterfest this Spring! All of these one of a kind focal pieces and parts have made it into my creations! My soldering iron and micro torch have been working overtime :) I have been test wearing my jewelry items and well, I'm kinda forming attachments to most of them! It will be hard to see them go, but I know they are getting a good home with Glitterfest Patrons. It's only 10 more days until this fabulous event! If you have never been to Glitterfest, it is a sight to see! I am so excited to share what I have come up with and see what all of my fellow artist have come up with. They never cease to amaze me!

This time around I drew inspiration from Art Nouveau Artist Alphonse Mucha. I love the intricate designs and layering. His attention to small details is just amazing!

La Primavera and La Plume by Alphonse Mucha

I LOVE the small details! I like to put all kinds of small twists and turns or layers in my pieces that you may not notice at 1st glance. I have noticed when have shown some of my new creations to my friends that they miss some of the little things I have hidden with in my work. I tend to get bored easily, so I like when a piece of art has something different to offer when I look at it over time. There was also recently a scrapbook paper line that altered some of Mucha's art. This paper is beautiful and it got my wheels turning. My goal was to translate these ideas into a more 3D interpretation. It's all about the layers!
So this time for Glitterfest Spring I have run with this Mucha meets Industry theme in my art and jewelry designs and I am really excited to share it with you! See you March 10, 2012 from 10-4 at the Elks Lodge in Santa Ana. Check out for all the details! Sheryl and Diane of Whimzy put in hours of hard work to make this event spectacular! Come on down and support your local art community!
Happy Creating!