Sunday, July 31, 2011

There's manifesting...and then there's reality

I was so excited to hear about Heather Powers' bead retreat that is happening practically right here in my own backyard (only about 2 hours drive away) - I told myself that I WOULD manifest the registration fee -And I DID! 
But then......reality sunk in (or should I say snuck in).  I realized that there was rent to pay at two different venues, gas that needed to be put in the car, dogs that needed dog food lest they begin feasting on us, and on and on and on.  So my manifested retreat money is pretty much gone - for all those things that life throws at you on a regular basis.  I saw on Facebook that there are just 3 spaces left.  I won't have another show again until the end of this month - so - if I am supposed to go to this retreat, the space will still be available when I again have money.  Time is drawing near, and it's sounds like loads of fun - but if it is to be - it will be. 
And for those of you on Bella watch - she has pretty much settled into our family.  She got finicky about the food she insisted on eating when she first came here (she insisted on having what Zeus was having), and stopped eating for a few days, which concerned us, and the vet.  But we changed to another kind again - and now she's fine.  Brat.  So besides being spoiled rotten, she is just the sweetest, cutest, best mannered dog ever, and we are thankful that she came to us.  I guess maybe we used up all our manifesting powers on bringing her!  LOL
Off to spend the day on the west side of our great state with my husbands side of the family - again.  Second time this month!  Our nephew and his family (including two children we've never met) are here from Alabama.  He shares his birthday today with that of his dad (my husbands brother) and is just a day from my mother in law's - so it's a welcome home/birthday bash - and it is a gorgeous day!  We take country roads all the way there for the most part, staying off the highway and enjoying the countryside.  The flooding and rains of last week may put a few detours in our path though.  So it is going to be an adventure!
Peaceful beading, all - hope to have photos to post of my latest work - Pure Peacock - during my week off next week.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Oddness.....but success!

Finally. A successful show!  And oddly enough - until the show was almost over - I never sold one single clearance item.  So did having the clearance items intice them to look at other things?  Or was it the fact that there were 1/2 the jewelry vendors there than usually attend-so they had fewer choices?  All I know is - the weather was cooler, the people were out - and they were ready to part with some green! 
I wish I had a phone with a camera, though, because again I would have liked a photo of my table, but have to remember to physically TAKE the camera with me (which I didn't).  Maybe that's one of the things I'll do with my newly gained loot.  But then again, I really, REALLY want to attend Heather Powers' retreat in South Haven in September.  And I DID actually manifest the EXACT amount needed to pay for it, too.  However, with other expenses and obligations looming, I won't be able to use it all for that.  I'm wondering though, if I can just reserve a space with a deposit - so I'll be contacting Heather soon about that.  The problem with that is not knowing yet about how NEXT month will go.  And I'm afraid if I make the commitment, that I'll worry too much about NOT manifesting it again.  Kinda want to see how I'm doing at Grand-dale first(I work my first shift tomorrow), and will definitely need to pay rent at Coyote next month too.  So I am going to try not to part with it all (over $200) too quickly, but I DO feel a trip to the LBS coming on!  Ruh-roh.  :0D
Peaceful beading everyone,

Thursday, July 21, 2011


I've been giving a lot of thought lately to the whole "charge what you're worth" concept when it comes to jewelry pieces.  Ever since the blog that I and some others posted about a few weeks ago, I've been really thinking about it.  And I put myself on the OTHER side of that equation.  I put myself in the shoppers shoes.  I also looked at it from the point of view of a bead SHOPPER and not seller.  And realized that I enjoy low prices, good deals, great steals, and SALES as much as the next beader.  Not having to pay sales tax is a HUGE perk, as well as buying wholesale compared to retail.  So when it comes to creating, and pricing jewelry, is it really so wrong to downprice every now and again?  I tried selling the piece for the price that I took the time to figure out - the supplies, the design, the work involved, etc.  And after a month, a year, and some even longer - many of my pieces are still here.  So now what?  Just keep letting it sit in a box, awaiting the perfect opportunity to sell at the price I originally chose for the piece, or mark it down, do some strategic marketing, tagging and have some fun having a sale!  I know I love finding sales, so why shouldn't I have one now and then?  When I had my store, my best months sales wise were those when I had at least 20% off of most if not all items in the store.  People like sales.  I LOVE sales.  They look for the best price, and shop for quality. So do I.  And as far as my jewelry goes -  I have quality, and I have decided to try to share that quality with those that can enjoy it - granted at a price that may not have been what I originally put into it.  I'm sorry if that will make a few people upset with me.  It's not a permanent thing.  It's a weekend, one show (maybe two show MAX) CLEARANCE sale.  I want people to enjoy my work - and hopefully come back for more - that won't necessarily need to be on sale for them to buy it.
At least that's how it works in my ponderings....


By many things today - probably the heat that I've been trying to stay out of - but the thing that's irkin' me right now is that I responded to someone's blog this morning with correct information regarding something that they were blogging about, and THEY DELETED MY COMMENT!  So you'd rather mis-inform your readers?
And it was someone that I have blogged with, and have even been featured by in the past, so I know she knows who I am.  I wasn't mean or nasty in my comment - just informing about something that was mentioned - something that as a bead store owner, I learned was the right thing to do - disclose the fact that "Cherry Quartz" beads aren't really quartz, for one. 
A little disappointed that this happened, but I will move on.  Is it any wonder that I don't comment much to blogs anymore, and rarely get any comments to my own in return - but I don't think, unless someone was being maliciously mean and nasty, or using foul language, that I would remove a post.   
Second annoying thing - but still too early to be completely exasperated - try finding WHITE peacock feathers.  I know white peacocks are rare, but you'd think that SOMEONE would have them.  Granted, I've only tried a couple places - but I may have to resort to working in the regular ones - which I found in abundance!  Our city zoo has a white peacock, but I'm sure I wouldn't be allowed to just take a feather IF I got lucky enough to find one, and if the gift shop has them - they are probably way beyond my budget.  Oh well...still working on that one....
Getting ready to start a busy 5 days of stuff - CoyoteX2, Art Market, Bead Group, and Grand-dale.  In that order.  Art Market is still iffy though - not sure I want to SIT in the 90+ degree heat, and I doubt that customers would venture out into it.  Maybe if we were indoors - but just being under the roof of the pavilion isn't going to help much with heat, or wind.  Exactly why, after this month, I am swearing off SHOWS. 
Peaceful COOL beading everyone -

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

No news is good news

I realize I haven't posted in a week, but in this case, it's simply because there's not a whole lot going on.  I'm beading, and reading, and staying out of the heat.  More of the same for the next few days, while also preparing and getting things together for another Art Market on Sunday.  Only this one will be a bit different.  I am biting the beaded bullet, and doing what many, many, many beaders (including myself) rale against - dropping my prices.  SORT OF.  I decided, that along with my newer, exciting, detailed, priced accordingly pieces, that I would have a clearance sale of many of the pieces that have been around for ages.  And it was still hard to decide.  Truthfully, I ended up with a drawer FULL of pieces that I would prefer to take apart or redesign to selling for a song.  But there were some.  So I'll give it a try.  And I'm going for simple this time - although filling a 10 foot table gives me a bit more room than normal.   Not sure if the sale will even work - with the fact that the temps will be in the 90's still - there simply may not be enough customers to make it worth while.  But this is do or die.  Although I've paid for two more shows at this venue, this will my last if I don't do well.  I've already cancelled the last one in September, as she failed to mention in the initial paperwork that we would be outdoors (in late September), and need to come up with our own tables, tent, etc.  NOW you tell me.  And I've cancelled the other two events that I had signed up for too - I simply don't DO outdoors.  And after this year, I don't DO shows indoors either.  Selling at Coyote, Grand-dale and the art gallery, (and maybe one other if I get up the gumption to look) will have to be enough.  Me and shows just don't get along....
So did I mention I've been beading?  :0D  lol  In my last post, I showed you a photo of my "Lady Love" bracelet named Bella.  I made a second one, in turquoise, beige and coral.  It was named Connie, for the owner of Coyote Wisdom, a lover of the southwest.  I decided to show it to her before I photographed it - which I should never do.  Because she bought it on the spot!  So no photo.  I'll make another eventually, but I decided to take a break from those (not too long, lest I forget what I did), to make these:

LOVE the little beaded dragonfly on the pink one "Summer Serenade".  Don't hate me, but that was a happy accident.  I was simply attempting to add a few leaves and tendrils, and before I knew it, it resembled a dragonfly.  Just had to add a wing or two - and VOILA.  So cute.  The Blue one?  The blue one (All that Jazz) is MINE!  The pink one is for sale (I'll figure out the shopping cart on my website one of these days) for $125.00.
Wow,  for not having a busy week - that was quite the blog post!
Peaceful, COOL beading, everyone,
P.S.  THIS is pretty much all we can get the dogs to do this week - heat indexes in the 100's - so inside in the air conditioning.  What a lazy....

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

GRAND plans....

I'm IN!  I moved a nice display of beads and jewelry into The Grand-dale Shoppe today!  I love that she just happened to have a booth painted the EXACT color purple that I use in my marketing.  I love that ALL of the hooks, shelving, greenery and display items were ALL in one place in the mess that is my boxes of store items in the basement.  I LOVE that I was able to manifest the $$ needed to take care of the rent right away.   Everything is just working out perfectly for that shoppe - so I'm thinking that's a good sign!  I left at about 2, and Dawn said there were already shoppers before 4!  WHAHOO! 
My other GRAND plan - I succeeded in coming up with an original TILA bead design.  I've seen the various projects just coming out in the mags, and have been getting a few new colors of them every now and then, but just wasn't finding any of the new projects appealing.  I just wanted to do something original.  And without even planning it, TADA!  Just happened to have TILA's, 11's, and 2 colors of 15's with me in all coordinating colors last night at bead group.  I dumped out the TILA's intending to use them as accents for something completely different.  Then I poured out the 15's - side by side - and an idea began to form.
I've decided to call this the LADY LOVE series - each color combo and different kit/pattern will be named after a special 'lady' in my life - starting with BELLA:

Pretty cool, huh?  A few of the girls at bead group thought I should submit it to a magazine, but I think I'll keep this for teaching and selling my own kits and patterns.  Once the magazines get their hands on the 'rights' - I can no longer call it my own.  Kinda takes all the fun right out of it!
I had also hoped I'd be giving you the details after my interview with Pat at Crafty Retailer last week - but she still hasn't posted the finished product.  Hopefully soon. 
Peaceful beading, everyone.  It's been a wonderfully beady summer so far....

Friday, July 8, 2011

I'm a lover, not a fighter

That's why it hurts my heart every time someone that chooses to remain anonymous, or that doesn't know me from Adam, decided to be mean and hurtful in response to one of my comments or posts.
I started this 'rant' on Facebook, but I feel that I have so much more to say on the subject. I've been told that I shouldn't be so hurt by things that people I don't know say to me, but I am an emotional being. I have feelings. That can be hurt by anyone. Especially since I RARELY consciously or deliberately direct mean and evil comment directly AT someone myself - chicky from the market a few weeks ago being an exception! (And seriously - I still didn't make my comments directly ABOUT her). Everyone says 'toughen up' 'develop a thicker skin'. Maybe. But if we ALL go around not caring what people say, not caring what WE say, and spewing hateful words - isn't that going to be just an overload of negative energy? Isn't that emotion that I feel, that many of us feel, what makes us WHO we are? I know a lot of my emotion and feelings come through my work, and it's a part of my creativity. So do we want to live in a world where there's no creativity? What is most poetry, if not emotion? What are many fiction books based upon but the emotion and feelings of the writer? Emotion adds character - and makes people interesting.
Now, I know I've had my moments of negative energy, many of you have read here how down I can get about my show situation (or lack thereof), but I don't usually stay there long. I don't usually go around hating and spreading negative energy everywhere I go. The people that surround me daily won't let me. I'm guessing that many of these 'haters' are simply unhappy with life, and are trying to spread that particular brand of 'love' so they'll have someone to commiserate with. You know the old saying "Misery loves company". Well, no thanks. I'd rather be a lover than a fighter any day. And I bet most of you would too. I'm just sayin'......
Peaceful beading, love to all, 

Thursday, July 7, 2011

I'm a STAH!

In my own mind, at least!  lol.  No, seriously - I was just interviewed by Pat Riesenburger of the "Crafty Retailer" blog!  She'll be posting her interview with me, along with a photo of my "Ladybug's Realm (The Exhibition)" necklace sometime in the next week.  It was a very interesting conversation.  It seems that there is a trend and turn of how beads are being sold all across the country, and that brick and mortar stores are playing less and less of a part in how we do our business.  Teaching, and offering kits, as well as Internet sales are becoming more important, and it seems that, despite the changes, most of us that do this - sell beads and do our beading, do it because it reaches into our SOUL.  It gives us solace, peace, and a sense of accomplishment like nothing else.  And I thought it was just me! 
So I'll be sure to post the link both here and on Facebook as soon as she lets me know it's being posted!
I've found a few hours today and tomorrow to sit and enjoy my beads for awhile, and surprisingly, even with all the other things I've got going on in my life, I've actually got a new project idea in my head - so peaceful beading everyone - off to the bead table I go!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Big Changes!

In a good way!  Although I've decided NOT to participate in 3 of the shows I had scheduled this summer, things are looking UP! 
I've decided to lease some space inside a very nice, upscale consignment and crafters shop in the little village of Dimondale - called The Grand-dale Shoppe.  Very nice people, cute little shop, and it sounds like it will be a good fit for not only my jewelry - but she's agreed to let me try to sell beads too.  Starting small - just a half booth to start, but it's painted EXACTLY the same color purple that I use in my business marketing. 
I had planned to wait until August to decide to whether or not to rent there, and to see if I could come up with the amount we agreed upon.  But because of the generosity of a friend who is made of awesomeness and believes in me as an artist and designer, I was able to do that TODAY.  So I'll start moving it in next week!  Whew!  Another manic month....
I also had a fun afternoon in the form of an impromptu 'we just feel like beading' date with a few of the bead group girls - we were JUDY free tonight!  We beaded for awhile, and then all went to dinner.  It's nice to have friends to do things with again.  And for a change - I'm the baby of the group.  We still find plenty to talk about and bead ideas to share, and that's what it's all about; that, and the Hokey Pokey, of course!
For you Bella 'watchers' -she's been in heat for the last three weeks, and so we've been kept on our toes keeping the boy dog away.  Finally, today, I believe we've arrived on the other side.  They can manage to be in the same room with each other without acting crazy, and making me crazy too. In fact - I found them like this this morning:

Aw.  They do play pretty well together too - we've just had to make sure it didn't get carried away into MORE than play!  Next stop - VET!  And another fun Bella fact that we discovered this week - we finally found out her birthday - Jan 14 - the same day as my BFF!  We're already planning a puppy party for Tracy's dog (also a girl), Bella, Tracy and I - tiaras, and cake and all kinds of girly stuff!  So silly - but fun! 
More details about my GRAND adventure - and Bella updates coming soon, too, so stay tuned!  Check out the website for The Shoppe if you have time - it's really quite quaint.
Peaceful beading,

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Am I Blue?

Yep.  And turquoise, too.  This bangle matches perfectly the colors in the dress for my nephew's wedding on the 16th.   I am hoping I'll get a photo of myself IN the dress that day, we'll have to see. 
Off to enjoy yet another day with Mom.  I will be looking into renting some space inside a gift boutique for a few months - still not sure I want to go that route, but I know the owner, and I love her little shop.  More details for SURE if I decide to do that.  But on a sadder related note - I had to cancel the last three shows that I had planned for this summer, simply because they were all outdoors.  I just can't handle a canopy on my own, nor do I want to trust Mother Nature.  It's just been too unpredictable.  And with the way shows have been going this year already - I just couldn't stand stressing out about how I was going to manage.
So now I'm not stressing - just trying to find another angle.  Cross your fingers.
Hope everyone enjoyed their holiday weekend - can't believe it's JULY already!  Where do the days go?
Peaceful beading,

Monday, July 4, 2011

4th Festivities!

Whatever kind of celebration this day may bring for you - Independence Day, Monday, or a whatever day - I hope it's a happy, healthy, and safe one.  Besides the obvious fireworks display, here are just a couple of my more patriotic themed pieces.  ENJOY!

Saturday, July 2, 2011


If you are ever in a creative 'rut', yet you still want to bead, sometimes it's nice to have someone else's creativity to fall back on - in the form of one of the MANY free patterns out there in the bead world.  This one is from Bead Infinitum, where there are many VERY COOL kits and patterns to choose from.  They also have a designer gallery, where they ask a certain number of beading experts around the world to use their patterns to expand upon and create different variations for a short time each year.  My friend Sharon Erwine has been one of those design experts for the last few months - you'll have to go to Bead Infinitums' Designer Gallery to check out all of her project variations. 
So anyway - the bracelet above is the "Crystal Bangle" which actually called for 174 4mm round Swarovski's!  WOW!  While I'm sure that the crystal version will sparkle way more than mine, I decided to go the inexpensive route, and substituted size 8 seed beads for the crystals.  I still think it's pretty.  I then decided that I have to have one of these to wear with my new outfit for the upcoming wedding, so I'm doing one in blues and aquas that is with size 6 seed beads for the fillers.  IT is even prettier.  Photo when done, for sure!  This bangle is a free pattern that Gwen and Florence offer, and is quick and easy.  Just what I needed when I've got so many other things to think about, and dogs to mind, especially in the summer heat.
Off the farmers market while it's still cool, I think, and then (hopefully) a quiet afternoon of beading - and reading.  Those 7 day library books keep me on my toes!

Friday, July 1, 2011

The reason for the sneezin'

Ok.  So I'm not a master gardener.  I know what the most popular plants, both perennial and annual, look like, especially the ones I like the most.  But there are some I don't.  And all of a sudden, while sitting on the deck feeling my lungs congest and my nose fill and the sneezing start, I realized that SOMETHING growing amongst my flowers, ground cover, raspberry bushes and trees was, as Newman would say: a "VILE WEED".  And I think it may be Ragweed.  Which explains so much about the coughing and congestion and the wheezing in BOTH OF US right now.
I know.  I should probably know what ALL the common weeds are.  But I don't.  And the previous owners of this home informed us that they had a landscaper that specialized in 'natural plantings' come and put some things around the perimeter of the yard just the year before.  Finally this year, much of what they planted - a ground cover type of violets, Dames Rocket, Trumpet Vine, Raspberry bushes, and more - are all maturing. (I pulled the wild strawberry though -that stuff was EVERYWHERE).   And I think they may have put some ragweed in there too - intentionally or unintentionally, we'll probably never know.  But now that I know that that big leafed plant with big spiky purple tufts is probably what's makin' me so miserable - OFF WITH IT'S HEAD! and leaves, and roots and anything else to keep it from returning. 
And speaking of maturing:  check these babies out:
This was about a week ago.  Today they're plump, purple and ready.  Raspberry Crisp, here we come!
It feels so good to grow your own food.  And this is just about the only thing we can grow, thanks to our big Black Walnut tree.  But I love it's shade, and it's the neighborhood home for wayward squirrels, so no amount of tree cutters cards left at the door, and old lady neighbor complaints is gonna make me get rid of my tree.  It's going to take an act of Mother Nature for that tree to come down.  Cancel.  Cancel.  Cancel.
Hopefully my next blog post will return to beading.  My own natural knack for creativity seems to have flown the coop again, but I've found a free pattern for a cute and quick bangle bracelet that I'm making.  One done.  One to go.  And maybe more if the mood strikes me.  Sometimes it nice to have someone else's creativity to fall back on when I want to bead, but just can't make my own brain create.  Thanks, Bead Infinitum....
Happy holiday weekend everyone - whatever one it may be for you.