Friday, April 30, 2010

Hot Cha Blog

The top photo is "Hot Cha Cha", which was the first piece sold during a six month stint at THE premiere gallery here in town a couple of years ago. It's one of my all time favorites - kinda wish I hadn't parted with it, but at the same time - I probably wouldn't have worn it much anyway.  The second photo is a CURRENT piece - and one that I'll be having a workshop for later on this month- "Fanciful Fringe" bracelet incorporates a simple strand of lampwork, firepolish and accents with a 'fringe' of cz glass, crystals and seed bead leaves.  This one should be fun - and fast!  We might even finish it in the class period this time!
Busy weekend ahead.  May be too busy to blog.  Oh well.  TTFN!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

I always meant to do more of these....
the pendants are readily available online.  I just never have.  Sold both of these right away, too.
The first one is Jasper, the second one Rhodonite. 
Getting ready to list a BUNCH of new stuff - all seed bead woven - on Etsy.  Still haven't sold one stinkin' thing - but trying to be patient.  Hoping that ONE of these days - something will appeal to SOMEONE.
Nothing but a bunch of repeats on TV tonight - and hubby with his finger on the pulse  - aka having control of the remote.  Lovely.  NCIS marathon.  History channel.  TVLand.  yay.
New beads arrived today - it's kinda like CHRISTMAS!  I always forget about at least one or two things that I ordered oh so many DAYS ago (only a week, but hey my brain is draining).  Came so late in the day though, that I'll have to put in some time on my usual Thursday play day to get them all out ASAP.  But,
I love playing with beads.  I think I may sort of get ornery when I can't play with beads for a few days.  I DO enjoy my crosswords and my novels - but I NEED MY BEADS.  I'm disappointed that a few of my beady friends are actually becoming bored with beads, and starting to be very negative about those wonderful little bits of joy.  I may have to unfriend them, at least on Facebook....

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Another 'older' piece

This is "Spring Goddess", one of a 4 part Seasons series that I did SEVERAL years ago.  Only she, along with Autumn, (pictured below) remain.  I have considered re-doing the strap portion, and freshening the silver, updating the look - but the silver in the fringe and face portion are SEWN IN to the work - so need to stay if I don't want to start from scratch.  So she's in a ziploc bag - somewhere. 
For now. 
I've got several ideas rumbling around in my head, along with a LARGE shipment of new stuff coming this week.  I've decided that I need to discount and move some of the older pieces - so my day today will be spent doing mark downs on some of the jewelry that's been around awhile.  And for those pieces that I just can't bear to sell for pennies (compared to what I spent to make them) - they will come home with me.
Have a lovely spring day everyone!"Autumn Goddess"

Monday, April 26, 2010

"The 6th Photo" game

My beading friend Dawn at Designs by Dawn Marie, invited me to join in a game that Lisa Crone started over on A Bead a Day -  I am posting the 6th photo of my work that I ever posted on my blog.  Lucky for me - it's a face piece!  My favorite!  This one's still around though, and may be destined for Etsy....'Garden Blue-ming Goddess' is a two sided Polymer Clay face by an artist that I don't remember (purchased from StonyCreek Beads in Ypsi).  Of course, the necklace portion is my signature freeform fringe.  I just love embellishing, and this is a fun way to do it. 
Thanks, Dawn, for inviting me.  If I had more followers - I might join in on Friday - but not sure I have enough to make it work....
Enjoy the day....

Photo Blog

I realized as I was flipping through the many, MANY blog sites that I visit, that I don't post photos of my work often enough.  I've been posting newly finished works when I complete them - but somehow that all of a sudden doesn't seem enough.  So for the next few days (or until something exciting happens) I'll be posting photos of some of my OLDER work.  Some I still have around, some I own and wear, and some have sold.  No matter what, they all have a place in my heart.  I LOVE to bead....
This photo is "A Day at the Beach".  I sold this piece during a six month exhibit at a local gallery.  Fringe and peyote tubes, pearls and lots of actual sea shells. 
More tomorrow.....

Friday, April 23, 2010

Opening Pandora's box?

Do I?  Or don't I?  I've found a great deal and have an opportunity to carry the very popular 'Pandora-like' beads and bracelets that are out there right now.  I have had customers ask me for them, and now that I've been creating Kerrie Slade's Core Beaded Beads (which I have permission to sell), I thought it may be the perfect time.  BUT - I am afraid to get caught in that 'not handmade' category.  I want people to know me, and respect me FOR my handmade work - not just for selling Pandoras - and knock-offs at that.  My other concern is that one of the other vendors does 'outdoor sales' and Flea Markets - selling the EXACT same Pandora items.  I don't want people associating HER with MY shop (not an ethical or considerate person) and I don't want to cause issues with the owner of The Schoolhouse (the other dealer is the owners SISTER).  On the plus side - I DO think I could make some great sales, and have a few outside of the shop events coming up this summer where they may do well.  So I think I'm going to take the plunge - when I can.
I'm not sure my sales this month are going to be up to par, and still owe my hubby for helping with my cell phone predicament (needed a new phone AND minute plan ASAP).  So maybe by mid-summer.  I LOVE the Pandora bracelet full of beads I was gifted with last week, and am grateful to Linda for her generosity as well as her contact info.  WHAT A WOMAN! 
Big lots to do.  It's another Sally day (remind me to tell you about those), and I have to finish prepping for tomorrow's peyote bead workshop.  1 student.  Should be pretty simple IF they can grasp the concept.  I like to teach - but get frustrated with people that say they want to learn the weaving arts - and then are surprised that they have to use small beads and a needle and thread.  Really?  How else did you think it was done?  Anyway.  I hope she's a good study....

Monday, April 19, 2010

The new 'stash'

Not my own personal stash, but rather the new stuff that will be available for customers after I've inventoried and priced them.  VERY NICE stuff - got a great deal - if I hadn't taken my friend Sally with me, we never would have been able to 'pool our resources' to take advantage of the large quantity HUGE discount.  So feast your they are....  Top photo - from top:  Faceted Carnelian, Labradorite, Jasper, A grade Garnet, Matte Fire Opal, and some cool Abalone.
Center Photo:  Black Onyx, a really cool striped agate that I've forgotten the exact name of (DOH!), nice quality Mother of Pearl with shell impressions,
and White Turquoise. Normally I don't go for the imitation Turquoises, but these were a hot seller with my customers despite that fact (although the other colors were not.  Go Figure).

Bottom Photo:  Blue Lace Agates, Blue Fire Opal, Impression Jasper (my fave!),  Purple Lace Agate, and Matte Black Fire Opal.
I love bead shopping.  Need I say more?

Friday, April 16, 2010

Wickedly Wonderful

This was a fun piece inspired by a photo of a Bradford Exchange figurine of The Wicked Witch of the West.  Even on black, the photo does not do the colors justice.   This one may show up on Etsy eventually....
WONDERFUL....good customers.  GREAT customers, in fact.  One of my favorite regulars stopped by today, and had lots of time to shop and chat.  We got on the subject of the "Pandora-like" beads and bracelets that are so popular right now.  She has been successfully selling them along with her beautiful beadwork pieces at shows and sales lately.  She brought in her supply - and before I knew it, she had gifted me with a bracelet FILLED with beautiful core beads!  And because I had already created a Kerrie Slade beaded core bead or two - it was the perfect addition!  This was the highlight of my week - and definitely a prosperity story for my Thursday group.  PLUS - (yes, it gets even better) - because we don't sell to the same crowd, she is sending me her contact information for her Pandora-like beads, so that I can finally carry some myself!  I hope that they are in my price range - I do get requests for them, and think it would be fun to find ways to pair them with other handwoven beaded beads like Kerrie Slade's. 
Off to a local (well, an hour away is sort of local) Bead Show tomorrow.  I am really excited about being able to finally restock some of the fantastic BIG CHUNKY semi precious beads that this particular company is known for.  I'm taking Sally with me - her first foray into a bead show - this show will be no where near as overwhelming as G&LW would be (also this weekend in Detroit area), making it easier to stick to our budget.
If I remember, I'll snap some photos of the new loot!  TTFN! 

Monday, April 12, 2010

B-E-A-Utiful Day!

I always thought it was funny that Jim Carrey said it that way in "Bruce Almighty" - because I've been saying it that way for a long time! 
And it's gotten even more b-e-a-utiful - my special appointment just canceled for today - leaving me with a sunny, warm, happy MONDAY all to myself!  Trip to the library, definitely a Mocha Latte, and then - who knows?  I was supposed to make a special trip to the shop today, but since my girl canceled - there may be no reason to - other than the fact that Tracy will be disappointed, and it would be the perfect opportunity to BEAD.  I also need to take a really good look at my semi-precious stock, so that I know what to look for on Saturday.  I AM going to go to a Nice People gem show - I've figured out where and how I'm getting the money I'll need.  Taking Sally with me -- it will be interesting to say the least.
So have a Happy, B-E-A-Utiful Beading Monday, everyone!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Keeping it real

I am so disappointed in the circumstances surrounding one of the other bead shops in town.  They had always been courteous to me, sending customers my way when they didn't have something I did (and vice versa), as well as featuring beads from MY shop in jewelry made by their workers, and gladly so.  And because I don't carry the high end, detailed lampwork beads that they do, I have been a frequent SHOPPER there as well.  We had even tentatively talked of doing a collaboration project where I, along with one of their workers, would teach a part of a bracelet, with our own little touches to complete it.  Until now.
All of a sudden, the owner of that shop has decided that she needed 'better marketing' stategies - and that meant hiring someone to do her marketing for her.  Unfortunately, part of that deal included firing all of her employees, including my friend D, and taking on this marketing expert as her ONE full time employee.  This so called marketing expert knows absolutely NOTHING about beads and beading, or technique, or anything remotely bead related.  I'm sure that this hiring is so that the person can become familiar with the whole process-but that definitely isn't going to happen overnight.  I realize that because this shop is in a very high traffic TOURIST area (especially in the summer), she may want to better get her name out there, but to me, this doesn't seem like a good way to do it. (She's been around as long as I have (opened 1 week apart) - we both have a well established regular customer base).   Very disappointing - and I believe detrimental to them in the long run that they no longer have someone that knows the ropes as far as beading is concerned.  How in the world can you run a bead shop that way?  There were two other shops in town that tried it - and neither of them thrived, and have since closed. 
 So - long story short (TOO LATE!)  I am considering taking on my first 'employee' - because I think D may be willing to work for beads.   She is wonderfully talented and knowledgeable, and loves beads.  Do you need any more than that in a worker?  That would give me more time to take care of other things this summer - I believe both my parents are going to need better supervision once they arrive home from Florida - and don't like leaving my customers with no one they can ask questions to.    PLUS - come to find out, I've known D for over a year now, and just realized that her husband was the instructor who taught the business course I took before I started the shop!  Small world....
I intend to 'keep it real' in my shop - with knowledge, talent and customer service as JOB ONE - either on my own, or maybe with a little help from my beady friends....

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Using the Muse

As I posted a few days ago, I entered the 'Use the Muse' contest again this round.  I did have a small issue with receiving my email submission, as well as being overlooked for the preorder discount and freebies.  I didn't even mention those things to her, because they weren't that important to me in the grand scheme of participating.  After an email or two to Scarlett herself (with polite responses received immediately) -  I did finally receive my submission form, and made my submission before the Early Bird deadline.  I didn't realize until today, upon reading the Beading Daily forums and subsequently her blog forum, that there were so many unhappy people.   It's too bad that so many mistakes have been made with this contest - because it's been fun, and rewarding, for me and I'm sure others as well.
To any of you unhappy people that may be reading my little insignificant blog - be patient with Scarlett. I think she has been greatly overwhelmed with response and probably a little underwhelmed with sponsors for this contest.  She is probably doing the best she can.  I hope that everyone that participates - or receives a refund because of unfortunate circumstances, will take a deep breath, remember we're all in this bead thing together, and plan to enter the next one - because I really, really hope that she will offer us a Use the Muse V.

No blog is good blog?

Sort of like no news is good news - basically - there's nothing to tell.  I've had a pretty decent customer base so far this month, but nothing to blog home about.  Easter was nice (my hubby rode a HORSE!), but we're also dealing with a sick dog, and a future unknown thanks to my husbands' continuing layoff and mortgage lenders and financial institutions that drag their feet so slowly that we'll be homeless for sure by the time they decide whether or not to help save us. 
I'm trying to focus on the positive - my ability to have ordered from 4 different vendors this month (we're trying desperately to keep my business $$ out of our living $$) and I've been frantically inventorying and pricing and put it all out.  One last box arrived yesterday - so that will keep me busy today.  
There is also a bead show coming up in a few weeks that I AM manifesting money for - I think it, along with the orders received this past week - should keep my customers happy until summer.  But then again - maybe they'll be so happy they'll buy it all up!  I could live with that.
I posted a few new pieces on Etsy yesterday. I was told not to get my hopes up for sales right away - and sure enough - I've had views but zero sales. It's not costing me an outrageous amount of time or money, so I'm just going to go with the flow. Let it go - add a few pieces here and there when I can - and hope for the best.   If you feel like checking it out -

Thursday, April 1, 2010

I keep tellin' em I'm psychic

My Thursday morning group brought me all kinds of fun and happiness today, along with a few (psychic) surprises - packets of flower seeds!   One of the girls brought packets to share with everyone.  Thank you newbie Kathy - you are definitely one of us!  (See - I knew there were flower seed in my future.)  And Janiele - your aura reading for me was like, WOW!  The deep indigo aura -  the intuition.  It still flows in there every now and then with my beadwork - but I forget to TRUST it in my life in general.  Thanks for reminding me.  (Janiele is blind - and blows me away with her energy and insight).
And to the rest of you that helped me through that bit of stress this morning - I've decided to work on letting go, breathing in love, and living my life to the fullest.  TRUE prosperity can only be found once you are happy with YOU.
Sorry to all my beady followers - the metaphysical stuff is a part of me too - and it just flows out of me occasionally!

THIS is what I'm goin' for....

This is my dream landscape.  This set up is very similar to my deck/patio area - and I would LOVE to get my yard looking like this.  The hardest part is keeping things planted along the front edge of the deck - Zeus has made it obvious through two attempts at perennials now that this is HIS area, and my flowers have suffered for it.  Still - I may try something a bit hardier - like these Daylilies -they spread like wildfire, and ya can't kill 'em.  I would also love to add the trellis between our home and the one next door - now if I could just buy one with the full array of flowers already growing - that would be great.  I think many of these may be great big annuals like petunias though - which are easy and showy.  So I think there may be flower seeds and potting soil in my near future....