Friday, May 29, 2009

Gallery Time - and some new photos!

As you can see, I've posted a couple more photos -
the first one is the blue and brown pearl piece I blogged about in an earlier post. I finished it yesterday. The name of the piece is "Rejoyce". The focal pendant was purchased from a fellow up and coming bead artist named JOYCE, who has a 'secret' source for some wonderful semi precious and sterling pendants. Every once in awhile, she'll decide to part with some of her stash - and this is ONE of the three pendants that I snatched up in her moment of insanity! It's Chalcedony, Blue Topaz and Sterling. I've accented it with Aquamarine, beige Pearls, Blue Topaz chips, and some 'pops' of bright blue glass bicones. I know she'll love what I did with the pendant. Thanks, Joyce, for giving me a chance to "RE-JOYCE"!
The second one is a much simpler piece than I usually do - but that giant, chunky COOL pendant really speaks for itself - a couple simple strands of seed beads and one strand of accent CZ glass and shell was all it needed. And of couse, my signature 'fringe' just to fancy up the top of the pendant. I really don't DO simple much anymore! This piece goes great with both of my favorite summer colors - lime green and of course - PURPLE!
I will be starting a new project today. I have 4 boxes of possibilities to choose from....
My month at the Art Gallery is coming to a close. I just took my mom for a visit last week so that she could see it, and was a bit dismayed to see that the 3 items that sold on the day of the Open House are STILL the only 3 items sold. I was hoping for a bit more than that. I guess I can hope that everyone was waiting until the last minute? The last day is Tuesday..... Now my task is making room and rearranging my little shop space at The Schoolhouse to make room for my designs. I have gained another space across the aisle that will be lit and serve as my 'gallery'. I've also got another storage piece -with drawers, cabinet and SHELF space on layaway that will be perfect to display on. Now I just have to make ROOM. I love that I've tripled in size in the last 3 years - but yikes! More space=shelling out more $$$!
To all of my fellow following bloggers that are going to Bead & Button - safe trip, and much success - both in teaching and while PURCHASING those wonderful round hole-y things that we have all become addicted to. :[)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Another busy day in beady paradise...

Today brings the arrival of all the beads in 7 different color schemes, and assembling the kits before the class on the 6th. Could my mom have timed her home trip any better? Now I get to put her to work! I hope that my students and shoppers are happy with my color and bead choices.
We're going to be going to the Art Gallery today, too. Mom didn't get to attend the opening or the open house, so she's arrived home in time to at least still see the exhibit. It will also give me a chance to check for those big RED SOLD tags on any of the items that may be spoken for (I HOPE there's LOTS!) and also to check the guest book to see how many people have actually passed though to view and comment. Again - I HOPE there's LOTS! We'll be going to lunch afterward, too, so all in all - today is MOM day.
Set aside the Pacific Burst project yesterday. Just can't seem to get those 'bursts' to sit right. So I did my usual and favorite WINGING IT! with a new project in soft sandy beige pearls, and a pale blue color accented with Blue Topaz, Aquamarine, and, as the finishing touch - a few pops of bright CAPRI blue too. All these colors are in the pendant piece that I'm using. Can't wait to finish - which may or may not be today depending on WHEN that bead shipment arrives....
I had an interesting customer in the shop yesterday. She had a watch that she had the band custom made by another bead artist. She was very unhappy with the result - and wanted my opinion on how to gently refuse to accept it. Ultimately - the piece was too large. Secondly - the magnetic fastener, while beautiful, was HUGE - bigger than the watch face itself. I offered to help her choose beads and make her a new one - but she still has the task of speaking with the other artist first. She wants her watch face, and to pay the artist for her time. I have no idea what that particular artist might charge for time - could be nothing - could ultimately be the bulk of the cost of the piece. I wished her luck and told her to let me know if she wants my assistance afterward. Makes me rather nervous that she may be making the rounds to ALL of us LBS owners doing the same thing - and will she be happy with what I come up with? I may ask her for a non-refundable deposit ON TOP of a custom work charge. Sticky tricky situation.....

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Funny sight

Wasn't sure what I would blog about today until I looked out my kitchen window. THIS is one of those days when I wish, I wish I had a camera phone. We live on a busy street in a small suburb of Lansing - this street has our middle school, elementary school, library, township offices and fire house, so the light that's just kitty corner from our house gets quite busy - especially during school hours. Traffic was again backed up so that it was stopped out in front. I looked up to see our HUGE village mascot "Swish the Fish" - sitting on it's trailer in front of my house. "Swish" (as he was named by the school kids) is a giant sunfish made entirely of recycled plastic laundry, dish, and milk jugs. Some of our township trustees use it for a teaching tool about recycling at the schools, as well as having it at our community events. It's quite colorful, and quite a sight when sitting right in front of my house. I was hoping to find a photo of "Swish" on our township website - but I guess you'll just have to try to picture it in your mind.
So other than "Swish" and the fact that I'm probably going to have quite a busy day, there's not much else to blab about. I've been working on Lauren Miller's "Pacific Burst" bracelet (from Bead Pattern Central) - but have run into a glitch with the "burst" part - so I hope to work on that some more today....I also hope to have some new things to show and tell, and place on my Photobucket & Facebook sites.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Mommy's home!

And Pop, too, for that matter. My parents have returned to summer here from their sunny home in The Villages, Florida. They are still getting settled in, of course, but she still couldn't resist the urge to visit (and treat to dinner) her first and only girl child - ME! Take that, brothers mine! I'm sure we'll be spending alot of time together this summer, and then when they make the return trip home in October - my husband and I will be going with them for a week or so - to celebrate? (not sure I want to celebrate) my 50th birthday. So I'll be trying to save up all summer. Which made me have to choose what kind of beading fun to have this summer. My priority is keeping the shop stocked with what my customers want and my trip to Florida. Something had to give. So I'll have to skip the next "The Beader's Muse" contest. Sorry, Scarlett. I LOVED the first one, and have the piece I made for it exhibiting in the art gallery right now. I hope to be able to enter again in the future. I'm also having to skip most if not ALL of the Great Lakes Bead Guild workshops. Between the prepayment and the gas for the trip - just not going to happen. I hope the gals that I usually go with and take turns traveling with will understand. Hubby going from 2 jobs to a shortened hours 1 is taking it's toll. Plus we've still got to finish paying off his medical bills from the surgery last month....does it all ever end? I sure hope I can get a lot of people to buy beads and my jewelry in the next few months.....

Thursday, May 21, 2009

More color - and a contest

If you haven't gone to yet and commented to enter the contest - only one more day! Great beads being given away (see top photo) - and a great site to follow too.
Today's color - RED. The Feng Shui equivalent of PROSPERITY! Red is not a color that I work with alot (even though I love Feng Shui) - but here is my SPICY! bracelet - "red" hot orange, probably more suitable to the Orange color from yesterday. Oh well.
I'm playing hooky today - and playing in my garden. And probably beading. As much as I enjoy "doing my own thing" when I bead, I'm working on Lauren Miller's "Pacific Burst" bracelet (from Bead Pattern Central) right now - following the instructions to the letter - and having a great time. LOVE IT!
TTFN Happy Beading!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Photo Envy

I love how all my fellow bloggers have such great photos on their blogsites. I post photos - but they are no where near the quality. I guess it's a goal to shoot for. I've been wanting a new digital camera for a couple of years, but now that my husband's second job (that he needed his camera for daily) is kaput - I can tempt (hehe) him out of his. It's quite bulky, though, to be carrying it around in my bag all the time. So today - I have camera envy too. Someday soon.....

My husband and I drove through one of the ritzier neighborhoods on the river yesterday - the houses with all the beautiful landscaping and home accents. Also envious.... the beautiful array of spring flowering bulbs, and bushes and early blooming perennials was - well, stunning. Just gorgeous - and what I hope that my yard will grow up to be someday. My hostas, my clematis and my peonies, my false indigo and my brown eyed susans (the list goes on and on) are lifting their tendrils to the sun more and more every day. REJOICE! For we have finally hit the 70 degree mark 2 days in a ROW!
And by the way, Beverly and girls - I'm following your GREEN theme for color week with my Hosta photo!
Happy Beading! I'll be spending the day ordering beads for kits for fringe bracelets - the same beads in 7 different color schemes....

Monday, May 18, 2009

Sunday = Weird-day

What is it about Flea Markets that bring the, shall I say, "interesting" people out of the woodwork? The antique and craft mall where my bead shop is located held a small Flea Market today - just to see what kind of people it would draw, and how that affected indoor sales as well. Many of our antique dealers expressed an interest in flea marketing - so I hope they're happy with the results. It started out very chilly - like winter coats, and blankets out of the sale bin and drinking hot coffee - chilly. It only warmed up after about 2pm. I think the result was mixed - with some of the dealers doing well - some, although having similar merchandise and prices - not so well. We had a large group of people, both adults and children - come through (come to find out a full cargo van AND car load) that made us all suspicious right away - and it was very difficult to follow them and keep an eye on them. Unfortunately, despite our efforts - I'm sure they managed to stuff a few items in their pockets. I suppose this is just the "nature of the beast" in this situation - but it made for a very stressful and hard working day. I'm having trouble sleeping - although I should be exhausted! My legs ache, my feet hurt and I just can't get that group of people out of my head.
Still taking suggestions from anyone that can help me fix OR remove the photo slideshow on my sidebar. And I would like to know how some of you have managed to personalize your blog pages with your own photo headers, etc. I can't seem to find any info on how to do that. Or is it a part of your website somehow? My brain is going in all directions at almost 1 am. It's probably a good thing I'm taking tomorrow OFF. Not supposed to be a very nice day, though. Still haven't been able to plant many annuals or work in my perennial garden. Just to rainy and cold. My parents will be home from Florida for the summer in a week. I don't think they're going to like the weather here....
Guess I'll go try and read myself to sleep. It'll be in the chair and probably with the light on - but at least it will be sleep.

Saturday, May 16, 2009


Ok - fellow bloggers. As you can see, I TRIED to add a wonderful slideshow from Photobucket to my blogsite. And as you can also see - it gets cut off. I've been trying every way I can think of for the last hour to FIX it. If any of you wonderful beady yet internet geeky blogpals can help me out - I'll send ya BEADS!
I knew I shoulda just stuck with beading today. Got a wonderful HUGE CHUNKY abalone shell focal that I am working with. Think I'll go back to it.

Friday, May 15, 2009

27 years....and counting

May 15, 1982.....
Many people are amazed when they find out that my husband and I have been married for 27 years. They wonder how we did it. We tease, and laugh, and come up with funny comebacks, but for us - laughing together, and being each others best friend has been the key. We share everything, and always ask each other about our days. There may not be much to comment on - but just having that rock, that anchor to either vent to or celebrate with makes the day complete. He is a graveyard shift worker, as well as having a daytime gig too - so we also make the most of our time together. The only time we really see each other every day is for a few hours in the morning, and during the dinner hour at night. Our morning breakfasts and TV time together are an important part of our day - and I don't like when for whatever reason, we have to miss them. The same with dinner. I plan menus that I know he'll love, that I can prepare for him so that our time is spent in enjoyment of the food, and being together before the evening job. We've had a few bumps, like most couples do, and he drives me crazy when he falls asleep during morning conversations! - but I count my blessing everyday that we have what we have TOGETHER. Thanks, Hunny & Here's to 27 more.....

Important News for Swarovski Bead Lovers

I found this information while visiting the Bead & Button forums last night. Since some of you may not be members of this forum, I thought it might be easier to just post the information that Russ Nobbs of Rings & Things had posted regarding Swarovski Bicones. I've pasted the article below - but basically - in a nutshell - Swarovski is PHASING OUT our beloved bicones in favor of something with more facets. They claim the difference will be negligent, and that we will like the sparkle better. But we 5301 lovers that resist change may not find it so easy to get used to them. So here's the info from Russ - I'm sure the word will be getting around the bead world soon enough, especially with Bead & Button show right around the corner. In fact, it sounds as though you lucky folks that are going to Bead & Button may be able to experience and purchase the new XLION cuts first hand...I am curious about them - but I still LOVE MY BICONES!

Posted by Russ Nobbs in the Bead Talk Forum - Bead and Button May 14 2009:
Swarovski announces New Bicone - Article 5328 to replace 5301
The extraordinarily popular 5301 bicone will soon be replaced by article 5328 in the same size range and depth of colors. (Only the tiny 2.5 mm bicone will remain unchanged.) CRYSTALLIZED™ – Swarovski Elements article 5328 has the XILION upgrade previously seen in a few flat back shapes giving the new bicone more and differently sized facets than the 5301. The XILION cut results in even more brilliance and greater light reflection.
This is a soft roll out for Swarovski. Because of the logistics of replacing 1000's of size and color combinations not everyone will be available at first. Swarovski may have samples at the upcoming Bead and Button show but most dealers will not have stock until June at the earliest. Some dealers may build up deep stocks of 5301 trusting that some customers want to stay with the existing shape. Others may wind 5301 stock down trusting that their customers will be excited to have the new item.
The new 5328 bicone will be available from most sellers at the same price as the current 5301. Swarovski says they are making the copyrighted change to differentiate this from all other products on the market. The increased number of facets enhances the overall appearance of the bead and the rounder belt line results in improved wearing comfort of the finished design. The 2.5mm 5301 will not change because it is not practical to add more facets to the tiny size.Can the 2 beads work together? For most applications, the 5301 and 5328 XILION Bead can be combined, as their dimensions and geometry are complimentary. Some designers may be able to intermix the 2 styles in the same color, others will want to complete projects with existing 5301's.When will this happen? Swarovski plans to start shipping 5328s in June, and have a full transition before the end of the year. Most 5328 items are planned to ship by the end of September 2009.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

just 'blog on' and comment, as well as linking to your blog. Great way to find other beaders and great blogs - I'll be entering, for sure!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Garden Photos

It was a nice surprise to see my fellow blogger Beverly's post this morning, because she, too, chose lilacs for her photos. (Although hers are much more professional). In my morning walk around my yard I found my lilac bush to be bearing this beautiful "magestic" grouping of lilacs - all up at the very top of the bush. Guess we'll have to try some serious pruning again this year....
And then there are my fabulous bleeding hearts. The first photo of the them is from a month ago. The bottom one - today. Full bloom. Absolutely gorgeous. They are by far my favorite perennial, and I have two different colors and varieties about my yard. Can't wait for all the rest of my flowers to join in. Every day I discover new sprouts and buds here and there. Let's hope they all help "sprout and bud" beading ideas. In putting on this Art Gallery show this month, I came to realize that much of my beadwork does incorporate flower and garden themes - and in fact I devoted an entire showcase JUST to my floral pieces. And I notice as I'm "surfing" the wonderful websites of all my fellow bead artists - so do many others. So here's a question for my fellow beading bloggers - why is that? Why do we seem to "incorporate" the two into one medium when creating our pieces?
Just some more of my Monday Morning Musings.....

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Bleeding Hearts

Here is the finished "Bleeding Heart" necklace. The color combo ended up being just a bit more subtle than I first planned - just didn't have the brighter color beads in stock - and since it wanted out of my head - this is what transpired. It was also a "recycled" piece from a vintage elastic bracelet found at a yard sale - I used 1 of 4 Rhodonite focal hearts, and also the bronze pearls, and carnelian and aventurine chips from the bracelet. I LOVE doing embellished spiral rope, so there was really no question that the necklace would be just that. The focal is wire wrapped - but then embellished - not at all the way I first envisioned it. All in all - a beautiful piece, and I do like the way it turned out. This one, however - I WILL part with. It will be for sale in the shop after I show it off to all the girls in bead group on Monday night....
Off to make lasagna to take to my mother in law for Mother's Day dinner. It is near impossible to get restaurant seating in this town on Mother's Day. My lasagna is her favorite anyway - but my house is a disaster at the moment - so make it and take it. That's the plan.
I took many garden photos today too - my perennials are coming up wonderfully. I will blog them later

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Gallery Photos

A few people has asked me for photos of the gallery opening on Sunday. Here are a few - a couple of the display, and unfortunately - me too.
I should have my "Bleeding Heart" piece finished for the next blog!
More rain again today - at least it's not so hard to sit indoors all day when it does.
I'll be changing and rearranging the shop over the next few days too - adding some new furniture storage pieces, etc. - so hopefully I will "blog" some new photos of the finished look soon too!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Bohemian Butterfly

As promised - a photo of "Bohemian Butterfly". And once again - another piece that I have fallen in love with and can't part with. I need to learn how to do what Marcia and many of the other great bead ladies do - and make kits to share with all. My pieces are just so unique in their creation, I never know what I'll use IN them let alone how they will turn out. Not sure if I could ever find another slice of Kyanite quite like the one I used in the focal. MANY of my large semi precious focal pieces were acquired during my 6 years as manager and buyer for a metaphysical book and gift store. And they are what truly make my pieces "one of a kind".
Well, the big day is finally over - the Open House for my month long gallery exhibit and sale was yesterday. Man, I hate speaking in public. Everyone says I did ok - but anything that I thought I might say when I was stressing about it before hand went right out of my head the minute she put that microphone in my hand. Not sure how I did it all the way through drama and music in school. It was a smallish turnout - with a few people not showing up that were definite yeses - and a few people showing up that were definite surprises. Everyone, though, was pleasantly surprised about the Gallery. Not sure they knew what to expect. But it's a very nice place, that draws a lot of nice people, in a college town with a middle to high class spending ratio.
All in all - whew. Glad it's done. Glad everyone was happy and ate all the food....
Currently working on Bleeding Heart necklace. Should have that finished sometime this week, but I'll have to stop for a day or so and quick make up some Mother's Day gifts for the moms! If I don't get my mom's in the mail by Wednesday - it'll never get to Florida by Saturday!
Beautiful day here in beadland - so as soon as I'm done whipping up a batch of No Bake cookies, I'm off to pull the weeds in my fairy garden....