Friday, January 31, 2014


I can't believe that I actually WON Marcia DeCoster's new Marcia DeCoster Presents book!  I blogged about it a week or so ago, and provided the link so you could enter too.  I am so happy to be the winner. Several of the artists featured inside are FB friends - and have been posting and blogging about it all week. BUT - I was so SURE I was going to win - or at least figure out a way to have it for myself soon - that I haven't even taken a peek.  I want it to be fresh and exciting when it arrives in the mailbox next week!  Once I've had a chance to look at it, wonder at it, DROOL over the beautiful features just a bit (being careful not to get the pages dirty, of course) - I will do a full fledged, detailed BOOK REVIEW of sorts - but I already know it's gonna be two thumbs up!
So between Mariposa placing as a finalist for the FMG Seed Bead contest, a couple of pretty good sales, and now winning this wonderful book - I am on a ROLL!  Let's hope this number 7 year, the Chinese year of the wood horse - remains an positively profitable and surprisingly exciting one - for ALL of us!

Peaceful beading,

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The squeaky wheel?

I did some more "Help Desk" inquiring and investigation this morning - and lo and behold - whether it be from being that squeaky wheel, or simply a cooincidence - I can CHANGE things again!  I did update the sidebar info regarding Mariposa, and I changed the photo of the fur kids - but the rest I think I'll leave alone for now. It needed a change, and although I'm not really loving it - it'll do for now.  I'll spruce it up the rest of the way come spring.
As far as the bead soup challenge - I've still got 2 weeks to decide if I want to participate or not.  It WAS fun last year, though - and it's definitely something to keep me busy during these blasted cold winter days.

PLEASE, Mr. Groundhog - let's make it an EARLY spring this year, OK?

Peaceful beading,

Monday, January 27, 2014

Sittin' this one out

If you're a bead lover, chances are you follow Lori Anderson's lovely Bead Soup Blog Challenges.  Perhaps you've even participated in one or more in the past.   I've signed up for three - and had ONE of them follow through to the end - last year's competition, with my partner sending me lovely choices all the way from ALASKA!  It was fun, and I even still have a few of the left over beads floating around somewhere.  I created several lovely pieces - and have since parted with a few (aka SOLD) as well.

Alas.  Because of the blog issue that doesn't seem resolvable at this point - I'm going to sit this one out.  I wouldn't be able to add the blog link, and chances are things wouldn't work properly when the big day finally arrived.  So I am going to be an excited observer this time around.  Besides  -  I still have lots of plans and organization and just plain redecorating ideas in my head for more beady space and SHOW space in this house before spring!  I know I want to have a spring home show, selling beads and jewelry to family, friends, friends of friends, and just plain people I know and trust that want a springtime opportunity to buy.  That means house cleaning, organizing, postcard creating, mailing, and a whole lot more that's involved with a sale. I was (AM) still kind of hoping that a show opportunity would arrive this spring (I did a church show last April.  Not great - but it got me in gear and ready for the season).  Keeping my ears and eyes open.

And I'm sure if you keep up with weather news, you've heard about the "Polar Vortex" that seems to have stalled on top of this great state of ours called Michigan.  Another weekend of snowy weather, followed by what will be MINUS 40 degree wind chills for the next day or two.  Glad I don't have anywhere to be until later in the week - and that I have lots and lots of beady ideas flowing out of my head (thank you, Downton Abbey!)  The above is a photo taken by my sister in law Sharon; it's the view of their driveway from their home.  They're going to need to get down it to the road at some point today.  Good luck with that!  All the cold and snow can still be beautiful - Mother Nature's little trade off, I suppose.  Still - a little warmth would be nice right about now!
Have a wonderful week everyone, enjoy what you have where you are,
Peaceful beading,

Saturday, January 25, 2014

The end of blogging as I know it

Well, rats.  What sense does it make to UNOFFER things that were working on Blogger in the past?  You may have noticed all my fonts, colors and FUN stuff has gone away.  Thanks, Google.  And I will never be able to update, change, or delete ANY of the sidebar links - unless I want to start a whole new blog from scratch.  Make sense?  NO.  Reality.  Unfortunately - YES.
I guess what you see is what you get until I get frustrated enough to kick them to the curb.  Which will mean new business cards, blog name, blog host, etc.  What. A. Pain.

ANYWAY  - on a HAPPY note - despite our snowy landscape, we ventured the 40+ miles to Owosso to the gallery today.  Not only did they happily take all 15 pieces I took to offer, but they KEPT the 15 they currently have on display.  YAY!  Let's hope we have some exciting sales and excited customers.
Now if only I could find that kind of enthusiasm for my work closer to home.

Looking forward to a fun day of beading woman company tomorrow - we're switching our regular Monday night bead group to SUNDAY AFTERNOONS for a bit - mainly so we can see where we're driving, walking, parking, etc.  The snow just doesn't want to quit....

So until I have some exciting, fun, and happy news to announce on my now boring blah blah blog -
Peaceful beading,

Friday, January 24, 2014

A quick added note

I had PLANNED to make a few changes to this blog today - tidy it up, change the photos, add the newest info regarding Mariposa's status in the contest, etc.  Alas - it is being unresponsive to any new change other than a new post.  So maybe I'll give it a whirl again tomorrow....
I need beads!
Peaceful beading,

The secret

I FINALLY figured it out!  Well, I figured it out on the LAST post, actually - but I haven't had a chance to post again since.  I figured out what I have to do to be able to post comments on OTHER blogs, as well as answer people's comments on my OWN blog.  It's a matter of signing OUT of my personal everyday email account that EVERYONE emails me on, (so it gets checked a zillion times a day), and signing IN to the address I used to originally set up this blog - which is an address that is still used for things like favorite store emails, Nook ereader account info, and for those times when you don't want your GOOD email floating around out there.  The problem seems to be that my everyday email address didn't USED to be owned by GOOGLE.  And now that it is, along with the email that is used for this blog - it seems to have caused a conflict.  So now you know.  I will try to make a point of signing into this account on a more regular basis.  Didn't realize having TWO Google emails was such a pain!
So anyway - HOORAY!  I've already gone to Marcia DeCoster's blog and commented for my chance to win her newest book - "Marcia DeCoster Presents".  If you haven't seen it - hop over there for your chance too - a comment each post before the end of the month increases your chances! YAY!  It's good to know before the next Bead Soup Blog Challenge too - still can't decide if I want to participate, but at least I know I'll be able to blog and comment if I want to now.

Ok.  Change of subject - wheee!   If you've been following - you know I've opened the Etsy shop again, but this time - I have just been listing JEWELRY.  And I had originally planned to keep the jewelry the focus.  BUT - I still  have huge bunches of BEAD inventory left, kids - and after figuring out my beads sales for that annoying thing called Sales Tax, and realizing that last years sales weren't too shabby - I'm thinking of adding them to the shop again.  I probably still have many photos of some of the inventory that's left.  I'm still pondering - but if you think you might be interested in BEADS from shescool on Etsy again - gimme a shout! If I do decide to add them - I just may give you a discount code!
I've got a pretty good selection of jewelry pieces added right now too - so keep shescool on Etsy in your favorites.  I try to add a new piece (or two or three) each day or two.  Haven't posted any today - YET - but yesterday's focus was on VALENTINE'S Day.  Red, hearts and romance all rolled up in some unique bead designs!
Well, let's hope that where ever YOU may be - you're staying warm and comfy.  It's another blustery, breezy, dangerously cold temperature day here in Pure Michigan.  I wonder if the ground hog will even be able to climb out of his burrow to check for his shadow next week!  BRRRRR!
Peaceful beading,

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Drumroll please.....

I FINALLY heard from Fire Mountain Gems regarding the results of the 2013 Seed Bead Contest.  There were SOOOOOO many beautiful entries.  I am considered a 'finalist' - no big prize, no 'medal' - but the piece will appear in at least a catalog (maybe two) - and maybe a magazine at some point.  It is still an accomplishment to be PROUD of, and YES - I will brag about it.  I know I ALWAYS congratulate those that deserve it - and kinda hope the favor is returned.   I have been disappointed in the last few days to find that there are some out there in the bead world that don't appreciate others successes, and will be negative, snarky and dismissive about it.  I don't need 'em in my life.  We all need to stick together in this creative adventure - this artists life is just too short to worry any more about those that don't appreciate what others do. SO - without further ADO - here is the link to the Fire Mountain Gems Seed Bead Contest Gallery of Designs page featuring.... Mariposa.

And while you're browsing - please take the time to check out the other entrants and winners pieces.  Some amazing ART.

So anyway - now that that is done - What's next?  Well, I've applied to a few magazine challenges, and am hemming and hawing about another Bead Soup Blog Hop.  It's a little harder for me to participate now, as GOOGLE doesn't like the fact that I have two email addresses - and the one connected to commenting is NOT my main one.  I suppose I should probably figure out how to change it - but I have two addresses for a reason - it's not my fault that Google bought out the provider of one of them.  Meh.  And of  course - it's also the dreaded tax season.  Always fun and games when numbers are involved.  (I REALLY hope you can read the sarcasm in that sentence.  REALLY).
I have managed to set aside the numbers (the totals aren't as gut wrenching as expected) and do a bit of creating.  Trying to use up many of the pieces that I've accumulated over the years - yep.  The UFO's.  My brain seems to be coming up with unique ways to use simple focals - specifically some of the filigree.  Having fun with it - no photos yet.  Work in progress.  BUT - if you haven't been on Facebook - you missed this one - a ceramic focal piece purchased from the OTHER Cheryl Stevens - she lives right here in Michigan - but up in the Soo.  Here's what I made with one I got from her this summer - and it went out the door to a new owner practically the same day!  I sure wish they'd ALL do that!

Still have one more from her that has a very summery feel and coloring to it - not quite ready to pull that one together yet.  And I DEFINITELY want to work with Pantone's Color of the Year - Radiant ORCHID!

From the Pantone website

So there you have it.  The first 14 days of the new year are of course, as always - BEADIFUL.
Peaceful beading,

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Happy New Year!

I sure hope your year is starting out happy and healthy.  I'm sitting here looking out at yet another wonderful (and I use that word facetiously) Michigan storm - this time made of snow - 8 inches today and counting - probably up to another 8 or 10.  Schools are closed tomorrow.  Michigan State University is closed tomorrow - as one of my Facebook friends stated - surely pigs are flying and HECK has frozen over.  We seriously cannot remember a time that it has happened.  Wind chills are supposed to be near MINUS 30 for the next few days - truly dangerous for even the coldest of cold blooded crazies.  BRRRR...
So - I'm safe.  I'm warm.  We've still got power (knock on wood beads).  And I've been busy.  Big announcement - the ETSY shop is now open!  There's not much in it yet - but there will be.  Goddess knows I'll have plenty of time to get the photos ready and items listed.  But for now - I've loaded a few MSU/Rosebowl related charms, and also the listing for the CUSTOM COLOR Angelic Spirit charms.  Go to the link on the left and you'll get the details.   NOTE - there's also a 10% off coupon code - HNY14 to use at checkout until January 15th.  So check back often.  I'm hoping to load several more things in the next few days....
I also emailed Beadwork about participating in their a future challenge at some point.  I sent them my photo of Mariposa for the sample.  I sure wish I'd hear from FMG about where I placed as a finalist.  I'm starting to think maybe they decided we all SUCKED pond water this year....  LOL.  I'm sure I'll be hearing from them soon.
I HAD to reschedule my planned trip to Shiawassee Art Center today - there was no way I was going 40 miles one way - or even leaving the HOUSE for that matter.  They will be keeping my current inventory on display and for sale until I can get there to change it.  And in the meantime - I sold yet one more item -

This has always been on of my faves.  I hope it's new owner enjoys....

And a final note:  While I appreciate the comments that you leave for me, Google is giving me fits and just plain keeping me from commenting back.  IF I have contact info for you, either in my email or Facebook, I will try and comment back to you that way.  Otherwise - just know I appreciate each and every one.
Oh - and you'll notice that I've done away with the jewelry pages.  Since the Etsy shop is open again - it will be the selling source that works the best and is updated most often.  Just click the photo link on the left and it will take you there....
That's it for now.
Peaceful beading....