Monday, February 28, 2011

It's Official!

I thought my visit to Coyote today would just consist of going over the details, and making the plans.  So I was very surprised to find that Connie had already cleared the space I'm renting and told me to go ahead and fill it up today!  Lucky for me, I already had MOST of the inventory there from my trunk and Monday shows, and had brought a case with me to talk to her about using.  So as of today - Cool Moon is at Coyote.   Mostly semi precious beads for now, but as I grow, I'll add findings, and some other unique items-I plan to leave a wish list that customers can fill out to let me know what they want in a bead store.  And I'll be available for customers about 3 days a week to start - Tuesdays, and Saturdays from 11 to 4, and Thursdays from 1 to 4.  I may also show up and hang out on other days as well - just cuz it's so fun to be there! 
Still have a few additions to make - since I wasn't 100% prepared today, and some signs to create and hang, but that's for tomorrow - my first official Coyote day!  I'll take a couple pictures of the brand new space then too. 
It's gonna be a howlin' good year!  I can feel it....
Bead happy!

Grapes, Gripes and Clicks

This is the newest "Vineyard" themed jewelry piece.  And believe it or not - I cheated.  Sort of.  Let's just say that I have soooooo many pieces made, and that I own, that I sometimes forget what I have.  A week or so ago, when ideas were running through my brain for this piece, I sketched out the basic layout of how I wanted it.  And when I was done, I realized that this piece was going to be time-consumingly unique because of the seed bead spiral and handmade leaves.  OR so I THOUGHT.  On Saturday, I chose a necklace to wear from my vast wardrobe selection, and realized, like a big boot to the head,  that the necklace portion of it was just about what I drew, in EXACTLY the right colors-and the seed bead work was already done.  All I needed to change was the focal, and add just a few hand sewn leaves and hand bent wires, and voila!  - Off the Vine is off the hook!  And will be available at Lansing Art Gallery later this spring, along with the pieces from my previous post.  I love when these type of design 'accidents' happen! 
Ok.  That was the grape part of the post.  On to the gripe, and the click.  Which are connected.  So, obviously, if you're reading this blog, you DO computers.  You probably blog yourself.  You have an email address - or two.  You shop online, you may do Facebook, and Tweet - you are PART of the Technological AGE!  So when I ask my current and potential customers to check info online, get added to my email update list, and to shop my Etsy shop for the beads that used to be in the store - and they tell me they don't DO computers, it really, really, REALLY makes my blood boil!  This is how I do a large amount of my advertising and marketing AND SALES - I post info about classes, sales, specials, and just plain STUFF that's going on with MY BUSINESS on the internet-in several different places.  Facebook.  Website.  Blog.  Other people's websites and blogs. I have an internet store that takes me A LOT of time to keep up to date.  So when customers complain that they didn't get the info or missed an announcement, I have a hard time finding a positive reply.  I continue to take the time to print a few fliers and post them where I can - but people - GET WITH THE PROGRAM!  Learn to CLICK that mouse!  Computers are and will continue to be, a part of everyday life.  Learn it.  Live it.  LOVE IT.  I don't think you're going to have a choice.
There.  Grapes, GRIPES and clicks.  I'm afraid that with the age has come the ornery - there've been quite a few gripey blog posts for me these days - but it helps to vent - so therefore, I babble and I blog.
I'm off to meet with Connie at Coyote Wisdom Books and more, to discuss adding a few racks and displays of BEADS to their inventory!  I'll probably start setting that up later this week - so excited to have beads available locally again -yup - for those customers who refuse to enter the computer age, and for hands on shoppers, too.  And in a place that feels like home....

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Hot Soup!

As many of you may already know, today was Bead Soup Reveal day for many of our fellow beaders around the globe.  I wasn't fortunate enough to hear about this until it was too late (how DO you hear about these things, anyways?), but have been following a few of the bloggers teasers and announcements waiting for the day.  And I gotta say - WOW!  HOT SOUP!  It is just totally and completely mind boggling to me that there are soooooo many wonderfully, beautifully, creative minded like people out there.  Every piece is different - all are an ecclectic mix of chain, fiber, lampglass- you name it - everybody's soup mixed together to form new recipes of wonderful.  YOU GUYS ROCK!  And the other totally awesome thing that I've noticed as I hop from blog to blog? (I'm only on about 35 of 210!) Is how GREAT everyone's blogs are.  Not only are they devoted to beading - but they take their blogging seriously too.  Great backgrounds, headers, info, and content by pretty much one and all.  There are even a few video show presentation reveals!  How cool is that? 
So if you haven't taken the time - let me give you the first address on the expansive list of sites.  Then you can grab a cuppa, kick back, and sip some soup too.  I'm gonna be sippin' the soup well into Sunday - got so many more to go!   Lori Anderson (also the coordinator) of Pretty Things is were you gotta start....
Happy blogging - and beading!  TTFN!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Creative Marketing

Even after all this time - I STILL hate selling myself.  I may be loud and boisterous when it comes to my opinions :0) - but I am still quite humble when it comes to my work.  So ANY way for me to be creative in my marketing can only help the cause, right?  So here are some really cool little pendants that I will also be handing out to specific potential outlets for my work - they have two different 'logos' on the front - some have my purple moon logo, and some have one of my favorite Face of the Goddess pieces.  BOTH have my website AND my Etsy site addresses on the back.  I will be adding zipper pulls to mine, but they can be worn as a pendant too.

 This was the brainchild of my friend and fellow Etsian - Jessica Ely - better known on Etsy as Glassy Chic Boutique.  Her pendants can be CUSTOM made with pretty much any photo, so they can reflect a special occasion, a thoughtful word, ANYTHING - and can be two sided as well.  These are great wedding keepsakes - and she will also add a cute little dangle to the front of the piece if you'd like - think BIRTHSTONE pendants!  These would be GREAT for Mother's Day! 
Jess and I spent the afternoon together yesterday, sharing marketing ideas, learning techniques, and hanging out in my new studio space!  It was a great afternoon - and helped ease my case of the orneries (a little bit).  So if you get a chance - go check out Jess' site -
ALSO - as long as I'm bloggin' here are the latest "Vineyard" pieces.  Still have a few more to go - a necklace, and a couple of wine bottle charms, maybe a ring and some glass charms, too.  That should keep me busy for awhile!


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Venting about LIFE

Not having a fun day.  Granted - I did manage to churn out some kinda cool grapevine line jewelry pieces this morning- but once I left the house, it all went downhill from there....
WHY is it that all these pharmacy stores, grocery stores, department stores, JUST STORES - price all of their items with MEMBER PRICING, and insist the only way you can get the pricing is with a SAVINGS card?  For one thing - wasn't that found to be unfair practice around here locally (mid Michigan) back when Farmer Jack was around? Why can't they just have great prices for EVERYONE ALL OF THE TIME!  So they give me the 'enrollment form', only for me to discover that what it really is is a way for them to TRACK ME.   PLUS - all these points that I'm supposedly accumulating by using this card when I purchase my makeup, and my cards, and my magazines, and my last minute items - are ONLY good for PHARMACY things like glucose tests and and cholesterol screening.  WHOOOOOPEEEEE!   I rarely use prescription drugs (the occasional antibiotic), and could care less about their tests and screenings.  So why in the world do I want to accumulate points?  At least with my Kroger card (which I DO use by the way) I GET something out of it - like DISCOUNT GAS!  AND by filling out the form - I'm giving them permission to send me their UNWANTED JUNK MAIL!  So guess what?  Next time I'm in the area of the pharmacy I just came from, I'm returning their enrollment form - BLANK - and giving them the difference in the discount they gave me, and probably a piece of my mind too.  I am really surprised that more people don't balk at this unfair practice - maybe I should start a revolt!
And THEN - while getting ready to go out and about this afternoon - my husband mentions something about the fact that I'm having a client in tomorrow - and the fact that "didn't I need to clean house?".  Alrighty then!  Almost the crap laying around the dining room - the boots, and hats, and scarves, are HIS - but ok, whatever you say.  Men. 
Sorry about the non-bead vent again - I probably should have a non-bead blog for this stuff!  Hopefully my next post will be photos of my cool Grapevine Line stuff - the earrings turned out sweet - and the bracelet is 1/2 done.  I'll probably complete a couple of each, along with one necklace.  Etsy?  Consignment?  Local winery?  Hmmm....we'll just have to see....

Monday, February 21, 2011

Finally - something to blog about

Haven't had alot to blog about lately.  Just been hanging out, reading book after book on my brand new Nook, doing some beading, but until today - nothing to write home about really.  Made a trip out of town to see the kidlets....just basically the same old same old that I'm sure you'd quickly grow tired of if I continued to write about it everyday.  We're now covered in another foot of the lovely white stuff, with more coming on the weekend.  Ugh.  Have I mentioned how much I hate the lovely white stuff?  Still not sure how I've managed to remain in Michigan my entire life. is my newest creation - "Crystal Blue Persuasion".  It's VERY hard to see the BLUE in this - the chinese crystals bear a tint of it on the caps, as well as the Picasso drops.  I used just one color of blue in the seed beads - not wanting to overdo the persuasion!

  There are earrings and a bracelet that match.  Not sure where this one's going yet - maybe my case at The Little Red Schoolhouse, maybe Etsy.  Haven't quite decided.
Hopin' for some Etsy sales this week!  Gotta at least pay the bill!

Saturday, February 12, 2011


Let me start right off by saying - NO, they are not paying me to advertise or hawk their product.  I am just passing on the word because I LOVE my Barnes and Noble NOOKColor!  It is like the Kindle only, way, way, WAY, WAY better.  Today, after wondering about it for weeks, with the help of my hubby, I figured out how to load my own jewelry photos into the photo file ON the NOOK, so now I have a professional slideshow portfolio of some of my best work right THERE!  I can see myself using this as a tool when visiting art galleries and consignment shops around town - being able to show them my work right there - in beautiful clear color!    I think I'm more excited about that part, than I have been about anything else.  I was excited about it having FREE Pandora music when I first got it, and I downloaded a BUNCH of songs - but have not found myself listening to it yet - ever.  I am on my 5th book - and have not paid over $5.00 for one yet.  I have one magazine subscription that is $1.99 a copy compared to the actual newsstand cover price of like 7 or 8.  The only thing this thing cannot do is make a phone call!  I can even download WORD documents into it!  This is a definite 2 thumbs up product in my book - pun intended!  I'm having so much fun with it, everyday. 
So if you're thinking about an ereader, consider getting one that gives you the option to do MORE than just read.  You'll be addicted - I swear.  Now I have a hard time splitting my time between it and the beads! LOL!
Bead and READ happy, everyone!  TTFN

Friday, February 11, 2011

Makin' more changes....

I probably should be putting my time to better use by BEADING, but here I am making more changes to my blog site again.  You'll notice a few extras this time around - I added a list of some of my favorite blogs to read by some of the best and brightest jewelry and bead designers around. 

And since Zeus is sitting here helping me out tonight, I added THIS for HIM - The Daily Puppy (scroll to the bottom of the page).  Each day it will randomly post cute puppy pictures from GooglePuppy.  (They think of everything, don't they?)  Just something fun and furry for all my dog lovin' readers.  If you're a cat person, I hope you will still read the blog anyway.  I WOULD be a cat person if they didn't make me sneeze and wheeze. 
Happy blogging and beading everyone!

Early posting

The only way I'm going to have time to blog is to get it out of the way early today.  And on top of that, I may not even get time to bead.  Instead, I get to spend time on the phone - fighting with the insurance company that denied the claim for my new eyeglasses.  Granted, my husbands insurance CHANGED a few weeks AFTER I got them  - but that means to me that I was covered at the time that services were rendered, and the glasses were made.  So it seems COMMON SENSE to me that they would still be covered under the plan that we had AT THAT TIME.  But since I don't believe that whole lot of people in the customer service world HAVE common sense anymore, we'll see how easy this appeal process is going to be. 
Back to the bead subject - I decided to add a few more jewelry pieces to my Etsy shop yesterday.  Not really sure why, since in over a year I've sold NO jewelry.  In fact, if it hadn't been for the dozen or so bead sales I've had, I would have packed it in a few months ago.  But - in for a penny, I guess.  I noticed they have had a few views since I listed them.  Not sure what people are looking for on there.  Do they look by price?  Style?  Color?  What?  Myself, I don't think I've ever done a specific search.  I just watch the newly listed scroll, and if I see something interesting I click on it.  And frustratingly enough, even though I list every day, at the same time every day, I've NEVER found any of my recent listings amongst that scroll.  Thousands of people are still out ahead of me.  I know there must be a secret - but I haven't been privvy to it yet.
So anyway, Happy FRIDAY! everyone.  May all your bead dreams come true!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

New cards for new beginnings...

In all the years that I've been beading, been a designer, and had a store - I designed and printed my own business cards.  And for the most part, I was happy with that.  My husband works in a printing and design firm, and was always able to cut them to the proper size for me, so it worked.  But they never had that polish, shine and professional look that so many BUSINESS cards have.
So I decided to take the plunge.  If you haven't checked out Vista Print - do so.  I don't know how they manage to offer what they do at such affordable prices (quantity of orders, maybe?)  It took me a day or two to find something that still had PURPLE in it - and finally decided on this one....
The back also has a cluster of those same beads, as well as my website address.  They are the fanciest, most professional cards I've ever had.  Heck - it's time for that, since I'm concentrating on being a high end designer, teacher and am, I suppose, a p-r-o fessional.  And you'll notice that I gave my blog site a little makeover too.  The background color does still contain a teeny bit of my signature purple - and is still kinda funky, like me.  I've also added a photo of one of my recent projects - my friends Tracy's Christmas gift - a beaded sock monkey.  VERY FUNKY!
All in all - it's been a big year for change - moving on to bigger, better, brighter, SHINIER things!  It's all good!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Beads AND Rants....

Well, I THOUGHT I was going to make my first Etsy JEWELRY sale.  I got what I THOUGHT was a serious 'convo' regarding priority shipping rates and getting a necklace sent to Texas ASAP.  I answered the person back within hours of the post, and after making a special trip to the post office, was even willing to not charge any extra for the PRIORITY shipping.  That was FRIDAY.  Still nothing.  No response.  No more convos.  Nothin'.  So is it normal for people to just mess with you on Etsy?  Was this person not serious in the first place?  There is a time difference between the states - and I think I managed to answer them in a timely manner-3 separate convo's as a matter of fact.  The least they could do is let me know if they are NOT interested - I even convo'd them inquiring about that this morning.  Still nothin.  Rude.  Just plain downright rude.  I at least try to complete the conversations - whether we are resolving the issue or not.
Urgh.   Very frustrating.  And I even had to relist the piece and reserve it for them - so it cost ME the Etsy fee on top of it, and which now ties that piece up and keeps it on Etsy for 4 more months.   It was set to expire THE DAY the person inquired about it - and I was about to make other plans for that piece. 
Have others had this type of experience with Etsy?  All of my bead sales have gone smoothly to this point - no problems, maybe an extra convo or two, but all in all, easy sales - even the ones that went all the way to Australia.  I thought the overseas sales were going to be the tough ones!  It's the people here in the good ole USA that are frustratin' the heck outta me!  ACK!
Live and learn.  Unfortunately.  I'll be fine.  Now that I've ranted.  I promise it won't become a habit....
Bead happy,

Saturday, February 5, 2011

No beads - just rants

Another movie night dud.  Why do the marketing gods-that-be insist on touting movies as COMEDIES during the TV trailers and ads - and then you pay FULL PRICE to see it only to discover it's a deep, dark, angst ridden drama with a few supposed comedy sketches thrown in to ease the BOREDOM.  If you were wondering at all about whether or not to see "The Dilemma" with Kevin James and Vince Vaughn - lemme save ya the trouble.  Don't do it.  Just don't waste the money or the gift card.   I am disappointed in Ron Howard.  He usually does better.  Makes me wonder if he was having some personal issues that he chose to resolve on the big screen.  Totally not worth the $$, good popcorn or no.  If ya wanna see it - wait for the DVD.
Seriously - I wish somebody would PAY me to be a movie critic.  Cuz there have been some doozies lately.  I can't count True Grit, cuz it was a remake of one already made, and a John Wayne movie to boot (pun intended).  Not all of us are western/Wayne fans, but ya gotta throw one in for the hubby every once in awhile.  But it seems like whatever we saw before that was sucky too.  (I can't even remember what it was - I just remember telling hubby that I was picking from now on - mistake). 
But movie critique aside, at least DH and I had a night out - something we haven't done (both dinner and movie ALONE) in awhile.  Our last night out was to a hockey game and included our nephew.  The last movie was a Sunday afternoon matinee after a home cooked dinner.  So at least we had some time together - and I guess that's what's important.  Bad movie or no.
Ok, I'm done now.  Sorry beaders.  But that's why I used "babbling" in the title - cuz I do....

Friday, February 4, 2011

Oops - I forgot!

In looking back on my previous posts, I realized I never posted a studio photo for you!  I think I posted it on my website, but since that's still not close to being a full time up and running thing yet, here it is: 
This of course, is when it was neat and tidy.  It's just a BIT more cluttered now....;0)
Off to mail those Etsy packages and treat myself to a latte (I've only had ONE this week!)

Etsy Success!

And to think I was ready to dump the whole thing.  Because I wasn't selling BEADS right away - I was having NO success on Etsy, and was ready to call it a day.  Then when the decision was made to close the bead store, all of a sudden I had TONS of beads to part with -and a new life on Etsy was born!  There are secrets behind being a successful seller, let me tell you - and I know I don't know them all.  I still haven't bit the bullet and gotten a banner - still rather confused as to how it works, and frankly - I don't want to spend the money.  Not yet.  And I know that my sales are piddly compared to many - some have had hundreds of sales in just over a year, while I've had not even two dozen - and TODAY marks my 1 year anniversary of Etsy selling.  But I'm getting there.  Now that I'm working from home, I've got a rhythm and a plan - listing everyday, at the same time every day, keeping my name and my product at the top of that big huge heap. And I do mean heap.  I can't believe the sheer number of listings every day.  Outrageous.  As are some of the items listed.  I think some people are 'pushing the envelope' when it comes to vintage and handmade - and I hope Etsy is keeping an eye on it. 
I was very excited when I got up this morning to find a convo regarding one of my JEWELRY pieces.  It will be the first sold on Etsy, and I'm proud that it finally happened.  Maybe that door will stay ajar now, and those sales will throw it wide open!  Guess I should try listing a few of my newest pieces - test that theory a little bit.  Most of my new pieces are destined for the Lansing Art Gallery today, though.  I'm also proud of the amount sales I'm making there, and am glad they've finally resolved their issues with payment for work sold.  Now if only we could resolve the 50/50 commission thing - but that's for another day.  I'm just glad they like me, they really, really like me!   Here's a photo of one of the pieces that will be headed there this afternoon -I'm hoping that with Valentine's Day right around the corner - it too, will be on the SOLD side of the ledger!
This is "Gilded" - I'm addicted to the new "Wild Heart" shape from Swarovski - this is the BIGGEST one.  I've also done several pieces with the smallest ones.    $65.00 at the Gallery Shop....
Bead happy everyone!