Friday, September 26, 2014

Still living 10 to 2

About a year ago I posted about a big BIG change in my life, and how I was adjusting to 
I had to give up my car back in May of last year.   It meant learning to do the things that I need to do in my every day life before my husband leaves to work his 2nd shift job from 3 to 11.

I run errands.  I plan lunches.  I do what I can.  And then after he leaves - I PLAY.  I BEAD.  I watch NETFLIX.  And you know what?

I kinda like it.

After over a year of living this way - I have gotten so used to it, that when I've had opportunities to take advantage of having a vehicle of my 'own' to drive (like during mom-in-laws doctor ordered "NO driving" days last week), I found myself saying NO.  I couldn't think of anything I needed to do that couldn't be done between 10 & 2.
There have been times when a second car would be nice.  Yes, I've given up a few dinners with the girls, and last minute get togethers on week nights, or being able to run to the store on a whim. The hardest part was getting past the guilt of needing to ASK for rides occasionally, and figuring out the logistics of ride sharing.  But I am confident that someday I WILL have a car again.  My car of choice? 
A Kia Soul.  
Although I'm not quite sure it's large enough for all my show displays and tables.  

It's something to shoot for on the days when I'm home, enjoying the beautiful blue skies we've had

 - wishing on those daisy petals for things that come true...  

And speaking of wishes ....
Wish me luck this weekend!  Tomorrow's show is at a local nature center - a harvest type festival that has been known to draw 1000's of people - but they've never had the craft/art show element of it before.  Not sure what people will be expecting, or looking for. 
My ENTIRE inventory is nature themed, along with Halloween.  I went through everything I have in stock, and pulled anything out not relevant to nature.  Pared down what I did have and of course, beefed up the Enlightened Denim.  How about these beauties?  I don't want to do too many of these with a Halloween theme  -  but the ideas and the perfect components just keep pouring out...

This one is more everyday, with just a touch of the colors of fall.  I LOVE doing the zipper pieces, but they are time consuming.  I have four ready for the weekend.  That will have to do.

So there you have it.  Life lived fully and happily - not just from 10 to 2 - but all day long thanks mostly to my beads....

Peaceful beading,

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Throwback Thursday

If you're a Facebook fanatic, your friends are probably all doing this thing called "Throwback Thursday".  They post old photos of themselves from way back when, just for the heck of it.

I have never really felt the urge to do this, and here's why:

It has taken me a long time to get to know, get to love, and get comfortable in the skin I'm in now.  I know more, love more, feel more, and LIVE more now than I did back in the day (many of which I don't remember if that tells you anything).  If you have only recently made my acquaintance - then you may not know I was THIN.  Really THIN.  Like size 5 to 7 thin.  And now I'm NOT.  THIN.  For the most part - I'm ok with it.  It surprises me still those who are NOT.  

So I've decided that what you see NOW is what you get.  The person I am NOW is who I am.  Not the Throwback Thursday version.  The version everyone would look at and wonder what happened.

 LIFE.  LOVE.  And living. 

So here's me as I AM NOW -
Grand Haven boardwalk and lighthouse August 2014.

From about 10 years ago, one of my favorite "oldies" - and as far THROWN BACK as I'm going to get.  Older.  Wiser.  Bigger.  Better. 

I'm more creative.  More abundant.  More caring, careful and carefree.

I never even thought about a creative 'career' - a  beading 'career' - back then either.  I was a wife, a worker.  A clerk.  A customer service robot.  Meeting the people from and learning and LIVING the ways of the Mountain, and Coyote Wisdom and all the rest helped me re-create my life.
I love what I do now.  Wouldn't change it for anything.  I never would have dreamed of gaining respect and having my work appear in magazines; but it has.  I never even thought about winning awards for my work.  But I do.  The person I am NOW has achieved all these things.
Could a thinner person be and do that?  Maybe.  Probably.  But I'm having too much fun to try and find out.

Peaceful beading.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Summer to Fall

Let me ask you the classic question -  what did YOU do on your summer vacation?  WAS there a summer vacation?  Was there a summer?  
Because it's now officially FALL, ya'll.  I can't believe it.  I think we skipped summer.
What a bummer.

But even though it didn't really feel like summer - I had a great one, with excellent weather for ALL of the shows I've done so far.   A little wind was all I had to contend with yesterday.  Note to self:  Pack a brick.  Or two.  (Worked for my friend Jane.  They even matched her table decor!)

This was definitely a summer full of 'classic' sales.  GOOD sales.  Sales of OLDER, but still some of my favorite pieces.  Like this one.  Finally found a new home after making the rounds for 2 seasons at several locations.

Still have those darn earrings to match though.  Somehow that always happens.  I do like to sometimes do a 'set' - but more often than not, end up with either the necklace or the earrings from the set left singly.  I don't like to force people to choose both or nothing - I'd rather make the sale for one or the other.  But it always as though I NEVER part with the other 'part' after that.
A jewelry designers dilemma....  :)

So now that we're officially into fall - I have just two more OUTDOOR shows left to do.  They are both nature and fall/Halloween themed shows, so I'll be concentrating on nature and fall themed pieces, along with my beloved, and the very popular Enlightened Denim!  Here's just a peak at some of the pieces that will be available - with a few more ideas up my beading sleeve:

Yep.  MORE Petoskey stones.  I still have two other necklaces, and a bracelet.  Still looking for SMALL pieces to do embroidered cab petoskey earrings.  They're out there.  Somewhere.....
(Thank you to my mother Sandy Mayes for pointing out the glaringly obviously oopsie in my original post).  One of the reasons we have mothers.....  ;)

Petoskey.  Denim.  What's NOT TO LOVE!?

And just so you know, many of the pieces that aren't sold after this weekend of 2 shows will be going into a photo album of pieces that will be available for sale on my Cool Moon Creations & Beads FACEBOOK PAGE.  SO GO LIKE IT!  AND ME!  Then you'll have access to the photos of pieces as soon as they're available, as well as class and show info (although winter is a bit bleak for those in Michigan).
And although I decided to take the month of October OFF, I AM hosting a Jams & Jewels party on Friday, October 24th.  Jams as in JAMBERRY Nail Wraps.  I am a fan, and my niece is a consultant.  I've got many, many MANY styles all lined up and ready to apply - but on the 24th - you'll have the opportunity to try a sample finger of a wrap - so you can see for yourself just how great they are!
We'll do mani's and play with beads, and everyone can get the jump on the closer than you think HOLIDAY shopping.  

Oh, I almost forgot - I've chosen and contacted the winner of my Pay It Forward giveaway.

CANDICE MILHAUSEN is the winner!

Even though Candice is in Arkansas right now, she's a former Michigan resident that used to occasionally shop my bead store.  So I was very excited to see her name pop up!  YAY CANDICE!
Your beads are on the way TOMORROW.
Peaceful beading,

Thursday, September 4, 2014

The big wind down

I'm getting a little apprehensive - and little nervous - heck - downright scared - about the end of show season.   I've had a great summer.  Better than great.  Fantastic.  Better than Fantastic. STUPENDOUS.  Every show I've done has brought in happy customers, opportunity and most importantly -
 Not to mention all the FREE stuff that's come my way (see the info regarding the FB giveaway below)
Now that I'm almost done (3 more this month-I added a last minute show that  you can find out about on my event page), and the biggy 3 day here in November, I am already splitting brain cells between actual beading and figuring out what where and how best to distribute my wares over the winter months.  I still need to bring in money, and winter months are not conducive to art fairs and show in Michigan.  Hmmm.  Wonder why.....

I've done the Etsy thing.  Not going back.  Website.  Too much hassle.  I WILL add some pieces to the jewelry page on this blog as soon as September shows are done - but honestly - I don't think I get that many serious readers and followers that are interested in purchasing from me here.

I've done Alabama General Store - and it's a great thing.  But I noticed as time went on that it was geared very, very much toward those that could CUSTOMIZE their art.  I can.  Sort of.  But not enough to merit much traffic.  I still have my store open there - but admittedly - there's only one thing in it.  That can be ordered in any color you want.  So there is that.

So what to do.   Ideas are churning.  The brain cells are burning....

I will also remain at my beloved Shiawassee Art Gallery, even though they are 40 miles ONE WAY away from me.  So winter time change out is a P.A.I.N.  Big time.  Still.  They love me.  I love them.  We work it out.  I honestly wish Lansing had a gallery that I felt I wanted to sell in.  Any that I have talked to (or been a part of in the past) have either turned me away (what on earth for I will never know), or have gone under-many times taking the work of the hard working artists with them.  So glad I didn't have to deal with that.

Still pondering.  And lucky you.
You get to read me babbling about it in my blog.  Yay you.

Don't forget to head over to my Cool Moon Creations & Beads FB page for the Pay It Forward contest.  I had hoped for a bit more interest in that too.  FREEBIES.  Who doesn't love them?

And on a completely unrelated to beads note (who'da thunk it?)  -  I am a fan of Jamberry Nail Wraps.  My niece is a rep.  I am trying to HOSTESS an online party.  I posted a link and info on my FB page - but I'll have to make you a member (temporarily for just another week) if you want to order.  Message me at if you want to experience the fun of Jamberry too.  for all the info BUT if you want to order - MESSAGE ME!

Well. I've sufficiently bored you while churning a few more ideas around in my brain.  That's enough for one night.
Peaceful beading,

Monday, September 1, 2014

Paying it forward

This has been a summer of abundance for me.  The flowers we've planted have just grown and grown, and some just seeded themselves into the most magical places.

Our garden has given us more produce than we can eat (minus the green beans the dog got to first), our lives have been full of fun and family, and on a business note - Cool Moon Creations has been hoppin' busy!  Sales. Sales. and more Sales. ALL of my summer shows were happy, rain free and full of wonderfully appreciative customers.   And more importantly - wonderfully, magically - abundantly -- people have been generously gifting me with beads all summer long.  Some folks I know.  Some that I have never met.  It's been wonderful.  And it's left the studio BURSTING with beads.  I decided that I had to share some of these wonderful beads with others.   Not just in the jewelry that I make with them - which coincidentally - some of the most perfect beads for current projects came from those unexpected surprises.  But in PAYING IT FORWARD with some of the beads I received. I cannot possibly use them all, and will probably not need to buy a Delica bead ever again in my lifetime. Seed beads were also in abundance, which I have already begun using with abandon.  I've gone through all the lovely things, chosen what I know I'll use, think I'll use and hope to use - and am passing on the rest.

So here's what you need to do if you want in on the fun:   Go to my Cool Moon Creations & Beads Facebook page.  IF you haven't like it already - please do.  Then find the post with the photo above, (I'll try to keep posting to a minimum till the 'party's' over), follow the rules in the posted info and COMMENT.  AND LEAVE ME CONTACT INFO.  (you can message it if you're not comfortable leaving it on my page-just TELL ME you did so in your comment).  Don't leave the comment here.  I still have to jump through Google hoops to even edit this - and getting to my comments adds a few more.  So I'm keeping it on Facebook.  It will last a week or two.  And then I'll just pick one.  And that lucky person can be a part of my abundant summer too!

Peaceful beading,
P.S.  If you're a Beadwork magazine subscriber, watch for ME in the Challenge section of the Feb/March 15 issue!  The kit was FANTASTIC!  I can't wait for everyone to see what I've made!