Saturday, January 28, 2012

If it's silence he wants....

Silence he'll get - I suppose.  Gotta vent here for a minute:   I was clerking at the bookstore today, and conversing with friends and fellow consultants about life in general.  In the process, I didn't realize that I was apparently harshing someone's mellow.  Upon asking a customer, who'd been just browsing for 10 or 15 minutes, if I could help him in any way, his response was "YES, I have a request".  I expected him to ask me for merchandise he couldn't find.  Nope.  He asked me if I could - and I quote - "tone it down".   EXCUSE ME? I'm sorry, I don't speak in the most quiet of tones, but I also don't speak like a meek little mouse.  I exchanged looks with my fellow friends and consultants (who hightailed it for their respective offices and rooms) and replied that while I was speaking in what was my normal voice, I had things to do in the next room, so I would leave him in peace, and would he let me know if he needed anything.  WOW.   Could not believe it.  Still can't.  Now, had we been being obnoxious, or crude in any way, I would understand - but we weren't  - and never would be in front of customers.  It was just a crazy, busy, high energy day.   Apparently the man can't handle high energy.  Or maybe he mistook us for a library rather than a busy bookstore.  There remained many other customers, and conversations going on while he continued shopping for another 40 minutes or so, and he never said another word, except of course, to ask me questions about things from time to time.  I was tempted to feign a sudden case of laryngitis, but I calmly answered his questions.  He finally decided on a book.  One single solitary QUIET book.
So that's my vent.  All I know is, I bet the man is single.

Friday, January 27, 2012

And earrings to match


Stay true to my beliefs, or....

It's a question I asked of a fellow beader on Facebook this morning, and got comment responses that wholeheartedly agreed with me - that we shouldn't be asked to make changes to what we create.  It is a piece of art that was completed the way that it was supposed to be.  Sculpture artists, painters and many other artists are never asked to change their work - and are probably offended if they are asked to do so.  So why should those of us that choose beads as our medium, be treated differently?  What I do is ART.  It's not just beads on a string.  And 99.999 percent of the time - I'm sticking to those convictions.   Many of you may remember the "Joyful Buddha" incident - the bracelet designed specifically around a unique pewter Buddha face, a bracelet that just wouldn't have the same meaning without it.  Well, sure enough, a customer loved the bracelet, but HATED the Buddha.  I refused to change it, or remove the Buddha, because after all, that's what the bracelet was all about.  I lost that sale, but turned around and sold the bracelet within the next week or two, to the perfect person.  I DID, however, have to shorten that bracelet to fit her, which took some doing, but did not compromise the energy and design intended.  As far as I know, she still wears it.

And that's where I sit with another of my pieces.  'To the Trees' has been for sale at The Lansing Art Gallery since fall. 

Yesterday when I did my volunteer hours, the program director presented it to me and asked me if I could change it for a customer.  At first I was hesitant, but then discovered that it simply needed to be shortened.  SIMPLY being the operative word, however.  It really wasn't as simple as that.  The patron truly likes the piece however, and is also asking for matching earrings, which will add to the purchase price of the set.
So I brought it home.  And I laid it out on the board.  And I made sure I had all the beads I used to make the thing over a year ago (miraculously, I have almost all), and then looked at for awhile.  What to do....
The large bead on the left was the "clasp" before, that closed with a loop end.
I waited until this afternoon to look at it again, and finally came up with the idea to simply work the original sections (approx 3 1/2 inches from each side) into the work, instead of cutting it off.  I then added a new clasp section, which is now a barrel shaped bead:
I also added TWO loops to the end, so they can choose the difference in length of an inch or so.
I am pretty pleased with how it turned out - and the only beads I actually ADDED are the barrel and rondelle and three seed beads for the new clasp bead, as well as the loop end beads.  And I didn't remove ANY.  I felt it was important to try to keep the braid intact - or risk losing the whole strap.    It went from about 22 inches to 18 inches - 19 if you use the outer loop.
Now on to the earrings.  I really hope the customer is happy with how it turned out. 
Peaceful beading - and CREATING -

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


Here are the pieces I've completed in the last week or so.  Diana got my creative juices flowing with her special Malachite/Lapis custom piece, and they haven't stopped yet!

This one is on a ribbon that slides through the tubes and beaded beads and rings so that the big cool chunky toggle can also be worn in the back.  But...why?  It's meant to be seen!

Metal-icious Earrings.  All the metals - silver, gold, copper, gunmetal, and pewter all in one.  Goes with everything!  Funky!
There are a few more, but I like these the best.  Now to start gathering beads for Through the Clouds....

Beaders Backache

I think I need a better chair.  Or a bigger pillow behind me, or both.  Because not beading until my back stops aching isn't a priority!  I did make myself finish my book this morning (Water for Elephants-two thumbs up!), sitting with the heating pad instead of beading, but I do have some photos to take of pieces I've completed in the last few days, as well as a couple new projects waiting in the wings.  I've taken to sketching on paper the ideas - and names - that come to me.  One of the most interesting ones came to me in the middle of another piece - not sure why - but it will be called "Clouds and Sun", and be assymetrical with greys and silvers on one side of the piece, radiating brighter to blues and sunny yellows and oranges around to the focal side of the other.  That's all I know right now.  Don't even know if I've got all the pieces and parts I need to start it.  I just know I had to stop and write it down.
The days are inching closer to what could be my fateful week (or longer) of Jury Duty.  I won't even know until Sunday whether I have to report, (crossing fingers and begging the universe hourly that I don't) and then hopefully not for long.  I have visions and nightmares of not only having to report, but of being put on a jury that will have to be sequestered, away from my hubby, my dogs, my beads, MY LIFE, for months and months.  I am hoping that's all it is - a vision and a nightmare that I will wake from.  Uck.
Got the pieces back yesterday that were photographed by Holly of Photos from the Heart.  I hope there are still more photos coming - I know she's busy with work and school and kids and my brother.  Love what she's done so far....and I'm seeing comments from moms and friends of the models that are interested in seeing more of my work.  Yay.  Someone told me not too long ago that interest would come in my jewelry from a very unexpected place.  I'm thinking this is IT!  :0)
Here are a few more of Holly's wonderful photos:

The necklace is actually done in bronze, yellow and teal tones on big silver chain - but I love the black and white. Just to give you an idea, here's a color close up of one of flowers in the piece. 

Pretty unique, huh?  That's me. 
Off on another chauffered errand day.  And probably to start another book with the heating pad.  Dang back, anyways.
Photos of new work - a cool necklace that has a clasp that can be worn two ways, and a funky cool pair of big hoop earrings - coming SOON!
Peaceful beading,

Monday, January 23, 2012

Photos with "Heart"

Just a sneak peek at some of the photos taken at the shoot by my sister in law Holly Mayes of "Photos from the Heart".   Just as I suspected.....AWESOME!

I LOVE the way the model wore the ring in the bottom photo.  There are many more to come, but I couldn't wait.  I think she's planning to do a better edit job on them, and I haven't even seen them all yet!  Thanks to Holly, and models Sondra and Alyssa for looking beautiful in my beads!
As far as my weekend errands - found this at HomeGoods.  Not exactly what I was looking for, and my original thought was to paint it, but after posting it on Facebook, general concessus says leave it as it is.  So I guess I'll have to play with some of the pieces I know I'll be showcasing - see if it will work with the bling as is.  If not - I'm thinking a light spray mist of purple, or maybe crackle painting it slate grey/silver.  Still have a while to think about it.
Anyway - whaddaya think?  To paint, or not to paint?

Ignoring the messy studio work table, of course!  LOL
Happy Chinese New Year, everyone!  It's the year of the Dragon - harmony and prosperity for all!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Website lift off?

At least I hope so.  I finally have a new password, but now Wordpress is telling me it's down for scheduled maintenance?  Whatever.  What's one more day of lame websitedness?  I do want to get it up and running, though, because as soon as Holly is done with her photo shoot, there will be some KICK ASS (sorry, Mom) photos of my pieces on professional models!  Not just display busts or fabric.  She does such a good job.  Would love to post her website, but think she's 'doing maintenance' too - but you can look her fan page up on Facebook if you want to see her great work - Photos from the Heart - Holly Mayes.  Thanks, SIS!
Really gotta run and get some things done today - even with the snowfall we had yesterday, it's errand and appointment bound for me (well, me and the chauffeur/hubby).  One thing I AM going to do today is head to the Homegoods store to see if they still have any of the cool display busts like My Life under the Bus (Patty Gasparino) got there.  PERFECT for my upcoming art show - with some purple added, of course...

And as promised, here is another oldy but goodie...still available for sale.  'Bleeding Heart' - Rhodonite, citrine, nephrite jade, freshwater pearl, and lots and lots of seed beads..of course.  $85.00

Enjoy.  And peaceful beading, everyone...

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Smoothing the curve

At last.  A solution.  It just took a bit of patience, and surfing the introduction pages.  It will be a long process, but I'll have to go 'transfer' EVERY word file that I think I'll still use to the updated version. ONE AT A TIME.  I work on it a little bit each day.  I'm also finding a LOT of stuff I can't figure out why I kept in the first place.  Sort of like cleaning house.  Which is also on my to do list now that I know I'll be entertaining the public at LEAST once this year, for the holiday show in November.  I may also try to host a summer party in honor of our 30th!!gaspTHIRTIETH!! wedding anniversary.  It's in May, in the the middle of the week that follows Mothers Day, so we may need to have the actual celebration at a later date.  Haven't run that one by Mister Nonchalant yet - he was pretty ho hum about the whole anniversary thing when I brought it up the other day.  It's still early.....
Photos soon of the completed "Jewel(s) of the Nile" necklace that has been completed for my friend Diana.  It is changeable, in that it has a section that is removeable to become a bracelet, giving the necklace two different lengths.  Once again - assymetrical.  Can't seem to do anything but these days, but that truly does make them one of a kind.  I am having my sister in law Holly take professional photos this the unveiling will wait until she can do it the proper justice that my little Canon cannot.
Getting so excited about the upcoming show schedule.  You may tire of hearing about it, but such is my life.  I'm getting the urge to change my display up a little bit too, since I'm seeing so many of you do the same.  Hubby may not like it much, but I've got work for him!  It will be something that I can load and just carry in and set up.  DONE.
I'm going to try to start posting a photo of at least ONE of my pieces with every blog too.  I've noticed that I seem (and others seem) to get more traffic and more comments to the posts with jewelry photos.  And I'm a jewelry designer.  So go figure.  ;0)  
This is a bracelet I made this summer, that I just sold during the holidays.  I think I'll need to road trip to Bead Bohemia to get more of the beautiful butterfly wing focals. I love how the czech glass stripes MATCH the striping in the wing. 
And FYI - I tried to link both my sister in laws site, and the Bead Bohemia site in the blog - Blogger says not today.  Argh.  So anyway....
Peaceful beading,

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Ok, maybe not the NEXT stop...

Still on a learning curve with this laptop.  For some reason that I am not computer savvy to know about, I cannot read any of my previous word files written on my old laptop.  They all come out gobbledy-gook, no matter what program I try to use to open them.  I really, REALLY don't want to have to write all of my patterns and classes over again.  I don't know if I could.  So I'm going to have to find a computer savvy genius to take pity on me-hopefully for free or trade.  So I may not be getting my website updated and my Etsy store reopened as quickly as I'd hoped.  I don't want to do those things until I know what I'm doing on this thing.  May sound like a lame excuse, but that's my story and I'm stickin' to it.  BESIDES-I now have so many show committments, beginning in April, that I don't want to spread myself too thin as far as quality merchandise to sell.  I don't want to put anything on Etsy, because then I can't pull it back off before April, and I don't want to have it on a website if I'm going to take it with me to a show.  My things are just too one of kind for that.  As it is I'll probably have to strip my space at either Grand-dale or Coyote.  I guess it's not a BAD problem to have.  :0)  Here's the rundown:
April 14 &15 - The East Lansing Public Art Gallery Art Show and Sale, Hannah Center, East Lansing.
Tentative first weekend in June:  Art and Wine Festival, Ella Sharp Museum, Jackson
Beginning end of June, once a month through September:  Meridian Arts & Crafts Market, Okemos.
October:  Holidays in Haslett, Haslett.
November:  Holt Holiday Sampler, Holt - I'll be one of the participating homes, with 3 or 4 other artists coming to join me. 
WHEW!  And I bet there are going to be a few more thrown in during the summer, too!  Plus maintaining my spaces at Grand-dale, Coyote and the Art Gallery (see links to the right).  Who needs the internet!?!
But seriously, I DO want to get my website updated, so that I can have a nice site for those showgoers that ask me about it.  It will happen....eventually.
Going to go hop over to Lori Anderson's blog right now and find out who the lucky participants are in this go round of the blog challenge.  Hope I get to play next time around....
Peaceful beading,

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Next stop - web sales!

At least I hope so.  There's still a bit more to get used to, but YAY! a new laptop.  Windows 7 is quite a bit different that Windows XP, and the person at the office supply store where I got it was obviously NOT a computer genius.  One thing I did discover though...NONE of my word processing files - class instructions, PATTERNS, posters, inventory lists, etc.  are readable.  So I'm going to have to either continue to access those on the desktop, or start from scratch.  Probably a little of both.  But I have photo editing, and I have internet, so on with the show!  I hope to have my Etsy site up and running by the end of the month, just going to do jewelry first.  Beads are a huge huge task, and I didn't do well at either last time.  Not sure why I'm trying it again.  The glitch in the whole plan is a stupid stinkin' jury summons.  I could be potentially unavailable for a while depending on how that works out.  I won't know until the end of the month.
So - at least I can blog.  I considered creating a brand new one, but then decided that just changing the layout and the committment to actually DO IT was going to have to be what makes it 'new'.  I am slowly remembering and linking through Facebook (thank goodness for Facebook in this case) all the blogs I used to keep up with on a regular basis.  If you are a Facebook friend-I can access your blog info.  If not - I may have to wait until I run across your blog site in some other fashion. 
AND - I almost forgot.  Wonderful opportunity.  A SHOW - a TWO DAY show - in April.  I've already sent my booth fee, and am looking forward to a great time.  It's being sponsored by the East Lansing Public Art Gallery where I had my first exhibition a couple of years ago.   The show is open to all of the Art Gallery current and past exhibitors.  They supply the table and the chairs, and have moved the venue to the FIRST floor (no more freight elevator and long HAUL way)  Can't wait! I'll include all the details as soon as I receive confirmation.
Well, it's off to do my duty at The Grand-dale Shoppe today.  10-2.  Please let there be customers out on a snowy Saturday morning.  PEOPLE just make the time go so much faster....
Peaceful beading,

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Change is good?

I hope so, because I'm making a few - starting with pulling all the beads out of The Grand-dale Shoppe, and just concentrating on simple, affordable pieces, many with a birthstone theme, using Swarovski crystals.  Those seem to be popular - the bracelets and earrings did well over the holidays.  I'm going to try adding some simple pendants in time for Valentines Day. I will still try to keep a few of my fancier, one of a kind pieces there, just so people know what I'm capable of, but they just don't seem to sell well there.   I'll keep the link up, so you can visit their site, but my booth looks totally different now - guess it's time for a new photo!
And then there's Cool Beads at Coyote.  Just before Christmas, Connie got a shelving unit for me to fill that fits right into the window space that I've been using, which I wasn't able to make very good use of until now.  So starting tomorrow, I'll be ADDING more beads at Coyote, trying to make as much use of the shelf space as I can. 
Like I said.  Change.  I HOPE it's good.  All seems on an even keel at The Lansing Art Gallery, though.  I was fortunate to be able to keep my holiday art market merchandise there through the new year, and will probably not add a whole lot new until later - maybe March or April.  I added special Valentine themed items last year, but never sold any, so I'm not sure it will be a priority this year. 
The only thing I'm wishin' I could change right now is that I STILL don't have that stinkin' laptop.  So I'm having to forego the sign up for Lori Anderson's Blog Hop.  This old desktop and it's lame memory and photo editing program doesn't make it easy, or even possible, for me to give the photos and the blog the time and quality it deserves.  Bummer. 
Sure am hoping for a busy, beady, show filled summer.  I know, I know, I used to HATE them, and while it is admittedly difficult for me to do them, I'm finding that the more I do, the more people I get to know, the more opportunities I'm getting, and the more people there are that are willing to HELP me.  I will probably participate in the Okemos Market again, since they supply the table, but will also be looking at some new, hopefully high end venues too.  And I would love, love, LOVE to get a few more custom jewelry orders.  The current one is quite unique, definitely one of a kind, but after completing the focal, and just a small portion of the neckpiece, I've had to set it aside until more inspiration about how to finish the piece arrives.  The 'base' is a freeformed wire which I then beaded around.  And for me, working with wire, this was a miracle - definitely one of the winners.  Wishin' I had just one more of those cool Malachite/Lapis focals though.  Diana provided me with ones she had from long ago, maybe even VINTAGE age, so I must work with what I have.  My dilemma is in the heaviness of the piece - she wants it long, with the option to shorten.  Still trying to come up with the best stitch (I'm thinking RAW with seed beads, embellished with the "x" to mimic the X in the focal).  Here is a sneak peek at what I've done so far on this still unnamed piece for my friend Diana:

Defnitely more photos as I progress.  The name too, still eludes me....
Anyway, thanks for stopping by,
Peaceful beading,

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Welcome to 2012!

For those of you who may still be checking this blog, (anybody, anybody?) Happy New Year!  My situation still hasn't really changed, although a new laptop IS finally in the foreseeable future.  I am still hopeful that there will be some wonderful bead related opportunities this year, and I may still have time to enter Lori Anderson's blog hop after all...
The one BIG change coming will be blog related.  As in, a brand new one.  Not sure yet if it will be Blogger, which seems to block even MY comments and now wants my phone number (I suspect to SELL), or Wordpress, which I'm already using for my website, which also needs work.  That too, will be resolved this winter.  So if you're checking, KEEP checking, because when I'm ready, I'll post the link and info about the brand new COOL blog.  New year, new start, NEW possibilities....
And, if you are checking, here's a treat to thank you for stopping by...this is "Clematis Lattice",

 in progress, almost finished - probably sometime in the next few days.  Next up will be a custom piece consisting of Lapis, Malachite, Azurite/Malachite and GOLD findings.  Rich.  Elegant.  And still in my head....
Peaceful beading everyone,