Friday, June 29, 2012

Change for the better

At least I hope so.  Once again, I'll be making changes to my space at Coyote Wisdom.  I've been trying to sell BEADS there for over a year - and after speaking with Connie about it this week, have decided that they just aren't selling that well.   My jewelry sales, though - are pretty steady.   And since by pulling out the beads, I can free up about 4 shelves worth of space to display and sell more of that jewelry, I'll be getting started right away.   My full day shift is coming up tomorrow.  Perfect.   Planning to add more turquoise jewelry - for some reason I seem to be lacking in that.  Also planning a shelf of 'clearance' semi precious jewelry that I hope will finally GO.
Just gotta keep tryin', ya know? 

Another change for the better - this piece:

"Aware".  I still had the bead shop when I started her, so it's been well over two years ago.  It was difficult to work on big detailed pieces there - many interuptions - not necessarily to help my customers, which I ALWAYS welcomed, but to help at the antique shop register.  Not always so welcomed, and rarely appreciated by the owners. (Don't get me started).
So anyway, in search of a project to help stimulate that 'mojo', I started pulling out drawers and peeking inside.  Maybe it was the HOT pink.  Maybe it was the smiling face.  But SOMETHING screamed - FINISH ME!  FINISH ME!  So I've begun.  Instead of a freeform net neck piece on BOTH sides, I've combined them both onto one, and will complete the other side (yep, asymmetrical AGAIN) with big round chain links and some wrapped loops.  I need to tweak the bottom and side just a bit, too.  I think she'll be much happier in her new form....
I also hear from my Bead Soup Challenge partner Sally Anderson that she's shopping for MY SOUP tomorrow.  HER soup is winging it's way to California as we 'speak'.  WHEEEE!
Hot week - so stay cool.
Peaceful beading,

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Music and (hopefully) magic

Last night was a perfect night for an outdoor concert.  Little humidity, a cool breeze.  While the band could have been better (I am such a music critic :0) ) it was still a fun time. 

Now about that magic.  I seriously need some.  Because once again, the mojo seems to have gone away.  It used to be that I could be working on a project, and before that one was even completed, I'd be forming another one in my head, and making notes, and stopping to pull out beads and focals, and practically starting the thing before I finished the first one.  Heck, sometimes I DID start one before I finished the first one.  But lately - few and far between.  Once "Learning to Fly" was finished - I had hoped to ease in to something new.  Alas, despite the ideas sparked during Marketplace on Sunday - nothing is actually forming on the table - hence the reason there's no Bead Table Wednesday today - the TABLE is BARE!  Certainly hoping that it is, once again, temporary.  
I did manage, over the course of the last few days, to put together the beads for my partner in the Bead Soup Blog Challenge.  Those are finally going out in the mail today.  My partner's name is Sally Anderson, and she lives in California.  Here is a link to her blog   check it out if you have a minute.  Looking forward to stirring up something great for this challenge.  I've always wanted to participate, and have been quite vocal about my opinion of the challenge - good and bad - in the past. No matter what though,  Lori Anderson (same last name as my partner!) is outstanding at organizing and putting this all together.  Thanks Lori!
I also put together a great prize package for the winner of my give away - Inge!  Inge - if you're reading this - look for them by the end of the week.
Hope your day is full of music and magic.  It is a beautiful day here - my morning glory vine is still reaching for the top of the arch, I've already seen the hummingbirds numerous times today, and the sky is BLUE, BLUE, BLUE!
Peaceful beading,

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The perfect chef

There are no coincidences.  Everything happens for a reason.  I firmly believe that.  Take my Bead Soup Blog Challenge partner, for instance.....
She lives clear on the other side of the country (California), yet, besides the beads, we both enjoy and have a love for some of the same metaphysical topics, and do the same type of work to bring beads and metaphysics together (chakra jewelry).  In addition - her husband has family here in my neck of woods - and even better than THAT - in the same town where I grew up, and graduated from.  I'm sure Lori didn't know any of those things when she paired us for the challenge - and yet I can already tell that this is going to be a pairing of like minds that will continue to converse and be friends long after the blog hop is over....
I'll blog more on the topic as the days approach - and introduce you to my partner over the course of the next few blogs.
Off to enjoy a beautiful clear, and fairly cool night of music at Eastwood Towne Center...always
a good time...
Peaceful beading,

Monday, June 25, 2012

Craft and Art Fairs - a thing of the past?

I'm beginning to wonder if because of the wonder that is the internet, and sites like Etsy, and Luula, and ArtFire, etc., that people just don't attend craft and art fairs anymore.  Our 'event' was to take place from 11am to 4pm yesterday.  Even the sign on the corner said so.  At noon, we were all still twiddlin' our thumbs, and scratching our heads.  At the end of the long, slow, day - most of us didn't make enough to choose from the dollar menu at the Mickey D's drive thru!  But at least we were all in it together.....
I managed to FINISH "Learning to Fly" - and have an idea for a project or two that came from fellow artists and participants.  At least the day wasn't a total bust....

The peacocks really stood out, and were commented on by the few customers we DID have.
Sadly - no purchases - peacocks, or otherwise.....

Another reason I like this market:
I can park my car RIGHT HERE!

I thought my table looked pretty darn good. 
Better luck next month....

After just a few errands for some bead shipping, and boring things like picking up milk, and getting gas - I believe I shall have a few free hours to bead today.  Hm.  So many projects....
which drawer shall I pick?   It's almost as fun as choosing a door on Let's Make a Deal!
Peaceful beading,

Sunday, June 24, 2012

And the winner is....

Inge!  We've been in touch, and I'll be sending her goodies out to her in the next week or so.  Thanks to all of you for participating by commenting for the give away - that was kind of exciting!  May have to do that again when I reach 20,000 visitors!

Off to the first of four Marketplace shows today.  Actually, my prosperity group and I are trying NOT to call them shows, but rather events - because SHOW lends the energy of just SHOWING people my work (which has generally been the case in the past).  EVENT lends more of an energy of things HAPPENING, and in my case BUYING!  So I'm off to the first of four Marketplace EVENTS today - the sky is not looking very blue, but we're under cover of the pavilion and it's not supposed to be an all day rain - just hit or miss.  MOST of us Michiganders won't be stopped by a chance of anything - rain, snow, sleet or hail.  Sort of like the postman!

And switching it up for just a minute:  A few more garden progression photos.  This morning glory vine AMAZES me.  We started this from SEEDS - and it just keeps growing, and growing and growing.  I think they're just as pretty when they're closed up for the night.  It's my favorite part of my garden this year....

Have a beautiful Sunday.  I'll post of my Marketplace SUCCESS! in the morning.
Peaceful beading, TTFN

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Babbling about blogging

Lori has posed another Bead Cafe/Bead Soup Challenge question:

Why do you blog? Why did you start your blog, and has it changed from when you first started writing? If you're new to blogging, what are your goals for your blog?

Let me do this backward:  I'm not really new to blogging - if I go check my stats - I've been blogging for over 4 years.  Has it changed?  Somewhat.  My subject matter is pretty much the same - beads, dogs, life in general.  I know I seem to add many more photos now, but then, I have a better camera, a better photo download process, and better photo cropping program.   I was up and down on the idea of blogging at first - and completely stopped for the better part of a year. Who would read me?  Who cared about my life?  I continued reading other people's blogs during that time though, and realized there was a growing number, AND that this really could be a good tool if used correctly - as in OFTEN.   So I returned, insisting then that I would BLOG 365!  Well, that didn't turn out so well either.  My life just isn't that exciting, and I didn't want to send the few readers I had running for the hills.  So I just blog when I feel blogging is necessary - mostly for myself, as a cathartic, calming tool. 
WHY did I start my blog?
Seriously, I don't remember.  I think it had a lot had to do with the art of journaling - something that is huge in the metaphysical community that I am involved in.  Many people say that journaling really should be done 'old school'; in other words, that it should be written long hand, with a pen, on paper.  I have discovered though, that I can much better relate the thoughts in my head while typing, so I started a 'journal' using my word program, and "wrote" my thoughts, my plans, my dreams that way.  In fact, my self published book "Beading Zen: Finding Yourself among your Beads" came about as just that - journal pages about my journey to find myself through metaphysics, and beads. 

At some point, many of those musings, those thoughts - made their way to The Babbling Beader, and then another sure fire marketing tool was born:  Facebook.  Once I discovered that I could link my blog to the wonder that is Facebook so that more people knew that it existed - my readership tripled, along with my friends list! 
Why do I continue to blog?  For all of the reasons above....tenfold.  It is a form of expression for me, and for the whole world to see.  (EEK.  That's kind of scary when I think about it!). 
So I think that covers it.  Can't wait to find out who my partner is, and for that package to arrive!
Thanks, Lori, for posing another great challenge question. 
Peaceful beading,

Friday, June 22, 2012

Learning to Fly

Every time I think of the name of this piece, I'm hearing Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers in my head. ;0<>  This is what has been "born" so far from the box as you see it below.  As usual - I think I have way more pieces and parts than I will actually use, and ended up digging for the carnelian rounds instead of using the autumn jasper that I originally pulled out.  I also don't think I'll use the silver wing 'cut out' piece in this.  I am liking it just the way it is.  One more round around the outside and that may do it. I'll be making the bail and putting the backing on the top piece of jasper while at the bookstore today.  Don't want to overdo - that wing is just too beautiful not to speak for itself. 

I haven't decided yet what to do with the small ones for the earrings - back them and mimic the big one? or let them stand alone.  Guess you'll just have to wait and see!
If you stopped by to enter the give away - see the next blog down - and hurry!  Entry deadline is tomorrow morning - I'll probably put all those names in a hat tomorrow evening.  Wishing everyone good luck......and peaceful beading,

Thursday, June 21, 2012

THANK YOU - and a give away!

As of this morning, I've had 10,000 visitors to my blog!  WHAHOOO!  So exciting.  And that means that I owe all of you, the readers that made the 10,000 possible, a big thanks.  I think that also means that a give away is in order.  Leave a comment below and on Saturday, June 23rd, I'll pick a name and send you some COOL stuff -
This is not the actual stash I'll send - but a sampling of what you might find.....

 Keep in mind, I used to own a bead store, so I still have quite a bit of inventory to choose from, plus I may throw in some Cool Moon jewels, too.  Be sure to leave me an email address so I can contact you....
And thanks again to ALL of you who made 10,000 possible.  Shooting for 20,000 - can't wait to see how long it takes!  I bet not long!
Peaceful, beautiful beading,

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Happy BTW!

That's Bead Table Wednesday to all you non-bead readers out there!  Here's what's just leaving my table today, going to Coyote Wisdom.  Cool Chakra Jewels.  I sure hope they're hot sellers....

The collection of pieces at this point:  two memory wire bracelets with color changing charms, a spiral rope bracelet (just as fun to make as to wear!), a ring, a pair of hoop earrings featuring Swarovski bicones, a pair of hoops with beaded arc, column earrings, and a pretty arc and drop pendant.  PLUS:
The LONE Chakra Goblet.  He's been around for awhile, and is finally getting put back in the inventory.  I had planned to create two of these when I began, but after circling and circling and circling that stem - ah, well - the LONE goblet it is.  No one else will have a wine or water goblet like this one, that's for sure!
I plan to add to this collection with single color stacking rings, more earrings, and another spiral rope bracelet or two.  This was fun, and hope the customers think so too - by BUYING them all!
I've also been working on a project for my Mom since she returned from Florida.  She has a pretty skirt that is just this fuschia color, one that needed careful matching of seed beads and crystals before beginning.  This is the necklace, incorporating my fun Floral Joy earring component.  There will be a bracelet and earrings to follow.  I WANT to call this piece "One HOT Mama" because of the hot fuschia color - but not sure my MOM would appreciate it.....;0)

Have a great Wednesday everyone - stay COOL!  Another day of 95 in the SHADE!
Peaceful beading,

Monday, June 18, 2012

Project X

Too soon to have a name, here is the project I'll begin working on this week:

Kind of excited about starting another embroidery piece.  Haven't done a really detailed one since "Plumage" (peacock bracelet); I've been busy gardening, and beaching, and well - doing non-bead STUFF.  And when I did find time to bead -  I've come up with a new 'line' to sell at Coyote - "Cool Chakra Jewels":

This is what I've got done so far, using the semi precious stone that represents each Chakra, and for the rings - simple size 11 seed beads.  I am running low on some of the semi's though, so I'm going to switch to Swarovski crystal for a few things, as well as more seed beads - and I still need to complete some more rings - with and without embellishment.  Not going to do a necklace YET.  I want to wait and see how these are received first.  Should have a fair amount of them (including those pictured) by the time I work my shift on Wednesday.
I'll of course have to stop working on current projects as soon as the Soup ingredients arrive.  Can't wait to find out who I'm paired with!
Now, about that started out quite fun, but a storm blew in mid afternoon that had everyone scrambling - and scrambling in the sand and up about 10 flights of stairs is not an easy task.  Still....
fun day for the family....

Heading off today to enjoy lunch and some peaceful beading at Sharon's house.  I may try to take some photos of our day together today, as well as of her beautiful pond.  Hard to sit inside at her place too - so much beauty...
Anyway ....peaceful beading to you too....

Saturday, June 16, 2012


I finally get to participate in the Bead Soup Blog Party!  I've been having to miss it, or having glitches come up for the last THREE times I've tried.  But now I'm in, and I'm ready to GO!  Lori has asked us to blog about this topic to get things started:

 how/why you became a jewelry designer, and what you like best about it. 

The CONDENSED version (since I truly wrote an entire book on this subject a few years ago) - I was bored, needed a HOBBY, and thought I'd try bead weaving.  20 years later, it is MY LIFE. During the course of that time I've become an intermediate/advanced seed beader, and also owned my bead store for a time.  LOTS of work, which, given the right conditions, I would consider doing again - because it's also rewarding.   There are so many reasons that I have made beads my passion that it's hard to say which is BEST - but I'd have to say the sense of satisfaction in knowing that I've created something new, and usually something totally original, different from anyone else's.  If you take the time to scroll down through some of my past posts, you'll see many a photo of my pieces - I use my garden, and my love of metaphysics as inspiration - working with semi precious gemstones, goddess and fairy themes, as well as lots and lots of FLOWERS.  What girl doesn't love flowers?  :0)

I hope you'll stop by a few times before the hop - I do have some new things to 'show off!'.  And of course, apologies to those of you new to the babble page - much love and slobbering over my dogs, too - photos included. 

I'll be grabbing the link to the party from Lori in the next few days.

Happy Hopping,  and peaceful beading,

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Home town days

Here are a few highlights from today's show.  Not a bust - but not a huge money maker either. It's the very FIRST year for this, and ALL of us vendors that participated have lots of feedback for the coordinators for next year. The biggest thing, and one I'm not sure they had much control over - was a PARKING FEE. $3.00! For every 5 cars that drove in - 3 turned around. And we don't blame them. They put us in a lovely park setting, but it's a COUNTY run park, so that's why there was a fee. The other thing was that it was marketed, and advertised as a 200+ space show. Yeah, they may have put the call out for 200+ vendors - but in reality there were less than 30 of us.    And not well marketed out side of their small town either.  Learning curve, learning curve....
Upside - absolutely gorgeous day, and the perfect spot for our tent:

Peacocks took center stage. 

 The table looked quite lovely, if I do say so myself....
 This was the view behind us, where there could have been more vendors, although it was slightly hilly.  To the left - the bathrooms, which was handy.  To the right just a bit - a jungle gym.

 Nicely shaded spot, and plenty of outrageously priced parking....

We had a small but steady crowd for several hours - including some unexpected visitors that chose not to make any purchases!  The top one - I thought it was a dead leaf or piece of bark at first, but when I went to flick it off the table - IT MOVED!  EEEK!  It was winged, and flew off when the paper it was sitting on was shaken.  There were some scary lookin' bugs around today - but not too many mosquitos.   Yay.

These were some other unexpected visitors, who probably found it surprising that their normally quiet park was FULL of alien beings when they arrived.  A pair of Sandhill Cranes, and their baby!   They came from the field in front of us, across the parking lot, and continued up the hill and behind us, disappearing behind the bathroom building.  My friend and fellow tent sharer - Claudia Ottinger, of Clawdia's Creations, was lucky enough to be able to snap a photo - and was 'stabbed' in the foot with a wicked branch for her trouble. 
Thanks, Claudia, for takin' one for the TEAM!  LOL!

All in all - a pretty nice day.  Got to sit outdoors on a lovely day, with wonderful company, talking to a lot of people about my work, and encouraging them to visit us at our next several shows.  Better than a stick in the foot!  :0)
Peaceful beading,

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Back at it

It's been awhile since I've gone a whole week without blogging. And once again - no news is really just that - no news. I'm busy preparing for Saturday's Haslett Hometown Days arts and crafts fair. I've also been tweaking and beautifying my garden space - and enjoying sitting amongst the growing green beautiful things. I haven't beaded much at all, other than to do a few repairs for folks - or some last minute peacock pieces for Saturday - which I plan to reveal in the photo of the whole layout that day when I'm done. I did make this bracelet - I wanted to have it for Saturday, too, because it incorporates beads that Claudia made - and since we're sharing a tent, it will be good advertisement for her items, too.  But this one's mine!

   And I spent some time today going through some sketch ideas, some old mag projects, and THINK I have another unique idea to start - one of these days. I have so many things I still want to do - I have a couple of original projects that I would still like to turn into kits, and learn to turn the instructions into PDF's - but need to figure out how to draw illustrations IN the instructions first. So many things I want to do. Eventually.
But for now - I feel the need to be relaxing in my garden space, in my new deck rocker, with my babies, and a book, or two or three.....the beads will be here waiting when I'm ready.
Peaceful beading,

Friday, June 1, 2012

The surprise and sadness of loss

I just learned today of the passing of the husband of my best friend from high school.  I am stunned.    In school, our lockers were side by side, and we became inseparable.  We even shared apartments for a few years after graduation.  I was with her when she met Brad, when he was hired on in her fathers construction company.   I was in their wedding. I was the first person to hold their first child. We were very close for many years.  But alas, although it seemed we had the same goals and dreams at that time in our lives - we'd grown apart in the last 10 years or so.   I am devastated for her, and will try to get in touch with her in the next few days.  What do you say to someone who has lost their mate?  They married around the same time I did - so were married 30 years as well, and had 4 children.   My heart just aches for her.    So sad.  I know not the reason for his passing, but know there must have been a reason for the timing - in metaphysics, it is said that we all 'write' our entire life, our entire history, including our deaths, before we even come into the world.  I find it hard to grasp that concept most of the time - the horrible things that are happening in the world today could not possibly be planned by anyone.  More discussion and study is needed to understand this, I think.  So Bradley, wherever you are, you were a faithful devoted husband to my friend, and I thank you for it. 

RIP Bradley Monroe - 1957-2012