Monday, June 29, 2009

I may have to bead a Clematis

Isn't it beautiful? And my favorite color too. My husband says he's amazed at my ability to 'plant stuff' and make it grow. Frankly - I am TOO! But just when I think my garden is pretty great - I find one that I am in total awe of.....yesterday we attended a BBQ at the home of one of the Schoolhouse girls - we all had great food, great laughs and great fun. One of the greatest things about it, though - were her gardens. She had several, small beautifully accented garden areas around her yard - and along the fences of what it quickly becoming a petting zoo - goats, geese, chickens, ducks, rabbits, puppies.....but my attention was on the beauty. I wish I would have had a camera - it was like something right out of Birds and Blooms, or Better Homes and Gardens. It made me sit down this morning and look through some seed and gardening catalogs - dreaming and scheming on how to make my yard and garden the showplace that Deb's is....
And on a bead shop note - the girls couldn't wait to inform me yesterday that they had to "take apart" my new gallery wall earlier in the day - because they were selling things right off the displays! I won't make it in there again until tomorrow - so while I'm glad I've had another spectacular month of sales - I hope they didn't trash it too bad - there will still be customers passing by today....

Saturday, June 27, 2009

More shop photos

Just took them yesterday - so unless there were some little bead fairies visiting in the night - this is my space! (yep - that tall white piece in the photo is the new hutch. Very shabby chic!)
It is an absolutely gorgeous day here in Michigan - and although I will again be shop bound (any better place to be bound? I think NOT!) I hope to enjoy at least some of the beauty. I should have time to walk my garden and talk to the garden fairies before I go. I've got HUGE clematis flowers - so maybe some more garden photos tomorrow? Guess you'll have to check and see!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Shop Photos

I thought since I mention the shop so much, that I'd post a couple photos - just cuz I can't think of anything else to blog about except maybe the weather. We may get rained out of our Music on the Square tonight - it's looking pretty stormy (and feeling VERY muggy) outside. Enjoy the photos - it's changed a bit just since these - I need new ones again - but you get the idea.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Soothing music - and a few changes

My husband and I have been taking advantage of the "free music" happening here and there around town all week long - from the northend on Tuesdays, to right smack downtown on Thursdays (as well as right down the street if we get lazy) - and a few other places and nights too. We got lucky this evening to have the perfect seats, though - for one of our favorite bands. It was just to dang hot and muggy to even think about going back outdoors - and upon 'flipping' the remote (yep, my hubby does it too) he came across our local public access channel's concert series - one of the Blues bands we enjoy seeing around town all year round. Right here at home. With the air on (sorry - I couldn't stand it anymore with just windows and fans). So I'm beboppin' and bloggin'. How cool is that?
I think I'm going to attempt to rework my blogsite over the next few days - so if you visit, and find it looks a little different - I crave change. I'm also making changes at the shop - moving items to different areas (my customers love me when I do that!) and reworking some wall space to make it more efficient.
If you are interested in seeing the photo slideshow of my work WITHOUT it being cut off (?), visit my album on Photobucket, and also on Facebook!

Monday, June 22, 2009

This and That - and a photo of SWISH!

I've completed another button bracelet (with a few lamps and Swarovski thrown in for the heck of it) - 'Summer Vacation' will be for sale at the shop. So fun - cute too. I may do a little workshop with a 'bring your own button' theme - BYOB! HAHAHA.
You may remember that I posted a few weeks ago about the big giant fish mascot made from recycled detergent bottles - I found a photo on Facebook! We actually have two of these - Swish and Gill. The kids love them - and they travel about the township mascoting various functions, parades, etc. We may not have much in this little podunk 'burb - but we've got ourselves a great FLOAT!
After having the wettest and chilliest spring on record, we are now sweltering in the heat on the first full day of summer. Shew. We thought we would try and save some green - and go green at the same time - but NOT using our central air - and just opening windows and relying on the ceiling fans. I'm not sure I'll be able to hold out. The older I get - the more I need my air! And I just found out Saturday that the air in my car went kaput - so I'll definitely be using the window and moon roof ventilation system when I'm in there.
I gotta go find some cool clothes. If that's possible....

Friday, June 19, 2009

Divine Intervention?

It was the oddest - but greatest thing. I've been attempting to sell a dresser I was using for storage at the bead shop. It was painted in pastels, with a big bright sun painted on the front. It worked for me for awhile - (I had since found something I liked better amongst the antiques). The dresser has been for sale for a mere 50 bucks for about 3 months now - and I had finally - just today, resigned myself to the fact that I would have to have the "hold" taken off the hutch I wanted, and find a way to continue to use the sun dresser. So I was at the front of the store talking to the owner about the situation; there just so happened to be a customer in The Schoolhouse at that very moment that was shopping for accents and furniture to stock her new BEACH HOUSE. We didn't realize that she had heard us talking about the sun on the dresser - which they felt may have been part of the problem in it not selling. She quickly came back to my shop area, asked me if I'd come a little lower on the price - and voila! SOLD! Only one problem - I was STILL using it for storage! So I had to quickly remove everything from the drawers (5) and from on top (including a book nook). Whew. Finally. Out the door and into her van it went. Bye, bye! So - if I had not chosen that exact moment to talk to the owner about the dresser - the lady would have walked out the door, it never would have sold. I do believe there was a magickal force at work.....And I truly LOVE the new shabby chic hutch that we put in it's place. Functional and display worthy all at the same time. Busy day. My back and knees are now screaming at me to STOP! so as soon as dinner is cleaned up (I can't believe I had the energy to handmake a pizza) - I'm plopping and stopping. Groceries will just have to wait until tomorrow evening....
Hope everyone's had a wonderful day. Maybe I'll post some photos of the newly decorated space someday soon....

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

"Janice" Button Charm Bracelet

As promised - this is the custom button bracelet requested by a customer. I am so happy with how this turned out, that I'll be on the hunt at antique shops and garage sales (ME? A garage sale?) for shank buttons now! Very simple - just chain, jumps and buttons. But very cool. And very fun. I haven't shown it to the client yet - but I think she's going to LOVE IT!
Chilly, rainy and gray again today. Great day for beading!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Taking the plunge

People have been telling me forever that I needed to try and sell my work online. I've checked out the basics - EBay (not my thing), Etsy (too much admin), and even my own website (WAY too much admin). So I resigned myself to selling through a few art galleries here and there, to friends and family, and of course - at my bead shop. THEN - Lorelei Eurto blogged about ArtFire. Finally. I think I've found the perfect source. Very little admin (although they are picky about photo resolution), and very simple to use. So as of today - ladies and gents - you can find me selling my one of a kind Cool Moon jewelry on ArtFire! I just listed 3 pieces to start with - I want to monitor to see how many hits I get, and how long it may take to even sell something. I can list for free for 3 whole months - if it takes much longer than that, I may not want to use this site, anyway. So if you are interested - check it out. And Lorelei - if you happen to read this - I DID give you credit for the info!
Look for a new 'blog' soon with a photo of yet another button bracelet requested by a customer.
She wanted something a little different than what I created for the last one - this is more of a "charm" bracelet - using chain, jumps and GOBS of old, antique, very cool shank buttons she has collected over the years. Once again - I surprise myself with my creative-ness. :)
Having a great day! Hope you are too!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

A Day full of surprises

Whew! 8:38PM. Finally sitting down and relaxing. VERY busy day at the shop today. My very favorite regular customer Beverly stopped by today - show and tell, and lots of fun! Finished a project-NOT the redeux Pacific Burst! That one has frustrated me, and isn't cooperating, so it has been relegated to the bottom of the design bin. I'll get it out again someday - but in the meantime, there are lots of other projects. I have two of them from the newest Beadwork magazine to work on, and several others that are ready and waiting. I have no lack of projects - I just need to feel the creativity! The creativity felt in the last two days helped me to complete Royal Unakite. Another focal piece from my friend Joyce's stash - it had a unique blend of colors. The Blue Zircon had me stumped for a few weeks - but then I discovered Blue Zircon AB2x Swarovskis! PERFECT! Turned out really cute.
I've also included some cute pictures of my great nephew, Calvin. Don't get to see him very often - in fact the last time I saw him, he still didn't have hair, and was crawling. LOOK AT HIM NOW! So cute. And smart. He saw a little boy climbing a tree, and quickly decided he wanted to climb it too. He kept putting his foot up on the tree trunk and wrapping his arms around it. Adorable little dude! And yes, that's a beaded necklace he's wearing. Gotta teach em right from the start!
On our trip back from our family gathering tonight, we came across a nice surprise - a group (11 or 12 in all) of hot air balloons that were just finishing up their launch. We pulled over and took several cool. My husband has ridden in one before - but I have remained grounded.
Didn't lose anything today! And got TWO checks for jewelry sold. BONUS!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Great Bead Giveaway!

Hey fellow beady bloggers - if you haven't already, you've GOT to check out the great bead giveaway by Silver Parrot. Very generous - and just the photos can spark project ideas! Check it out by midnight TONIGHT! YIKES!

Wish I would have seen that sooner - but I woke up yesterday with sharp, stabbing pain in my right hand and thumb. Carpal tunnel? Maybe. Not sure. So I was unable to spend alot of time on my favorite pasttimes yesterday - beading or blogging! :o( Used heat, then ice and lots of Ben Gay last night. Seems better right now....
Hope everyone has a great weekend. It's finally going to be in the 80's for more than one day here. I think we're going to have a cool summer. In more ways than one!!!
(Check out the contest!)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The lost is found - again

Well, at least when I lose things - they seem to show up sooner or later. Once my hubby and I started talking about where my bra could be, we determined that it had gone into the wash load along with SHEETS. Tada. Balled up in the corner of a fitted sheet. I knew I wasn't going crazy-not completely anyway. The only other explanation I was ready to come up with is that an underwear thief was on the loose!

(See - I told you that some days my blogs would be totally non-bead related. One of my friends thought I should try to make one from beads - but I am relieved not to have to take on the task).

Bursts - and bras.....

This is what I've done so far with those Pacific Burst components. I still need to start working in the brass size 8's - and I found some cool Swarovski bicones in my stash yesterday that I've started adding too. Since my mom's coming by the shop today, I probably won't get a chance to work on this piece again until FRIDAY - so I hope my creative momentum is still in high gear.
Now for a somewhat silly - but yet totally serious comment: I've lost my bra. Sometime between Monday afternoon and today - my good everyday comfy no itch beige bra has disappeared. Why, oh why, and HOW do I keep losing things? And how, pray tell, do you lose a BRA? I've checked between folded clothes, in the towel drawer and cedar closet, checked the washer, the dryer, the bathroom, the bedroom. I think I have lost my mind. AND THEN - needing to find a replacement beige bra, I found one in the drawer that was almost like new, but had a broken underwire on one side. So I'm thinkin' - I can make this work. Well - here's a question for ya - have you ever tried to INTENTIONALLY remove the underwires from a bra? Took me half an hour to wrangle the remaining puppy out of there. I hope I've given everyone who reads this a really good laugh today - but I am sitting here still wondering - what happened to my bra!?!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Blue Monday

Not just because it's rainy and gray outside (never gonna finish flower planting at this rate), but because the project I brought home to play with is blue! A tealy more aqua blue, but blue none the started out as the Pacific Burst project from Bead Pattern Central, but when I had trouble with one of the steps turning out as I wanted - it morphed into - yup, you guessed it - something totally non-pattern like at all. Still playing. Thinking of adding a few Bead Infinitum beaded beads and some bronzy chain to the whole thing. Not sure what it is about aqua and bronze for me right now - but I LOVE the contrast! Definitely will post more photos when complete...
I'm also tossing ideas around in my head (so many sleepless nights - so much in my brain!) a way to have a 3 year anniversary bash for the bead store. Since I'm inside the antique mall, it's hard to have something like that without including all of them. Maybe I'll see if they are interested in some sort of Fall Festival to coincide. And since I'm also planning a week long trip to Florida in October - it's going to be a busy fall! I am very proud, happy and EXCITED to have made it to the 3 year mark. Statistics for small business show that most don't make it past two years. YAY ME! And I'm at the point now where I'm becoming a shop that many customers will return to, as well as tell others about. I'm the only bead store on the west side of town, and although it's a bit of a drive from my little home in the 'burbs every day- I'm not planning on making any changes anytime soon - unless it's to grow! I am grateful to all the girls at The Little Red Schoolhouse for being so gracious and helpful with my customers when I am not available. There are many venues that would not be so kind. So thanks to Ann, and Penni, and Tracy, and Robbi, and Pat, and the list goes on and on (there are way too many to name) - I love you all!
Welcome home to all the Bead & Button bloggers! I've been keeping up with your blogs while you were gone - and can't wait to have enough saved up to attend some year!
Time for Young and Restless - a daily guilty pleasure.....

Friday, June 5, 2009

The lost is found! :)

Hooray! I couldn't stop searching for this piece - and voila! - it has reappeared! I went over in my mind several times yesterday the steps I had taken throughout the day, and what I had done. I suddenly remembered having to 'hide' my bagged pieces when we went to lunch in mid-day. Then, at the end of the day, in a rush to make our out of town dinner reservations, I shoved more items into the 'hide' spot, pulled out all (or at least I thought all) of the take home items, and rushed out the door.
So as soon as I arrived at the shop today, I removed every single box, bag, tray and work tool from the 'hide' spot beneath my desk. TADA! The bag with that piece had fallen between two boxes - and was hiding out of sight. I am so relieved and happy to have it back - and to have my hidey hole spot cleaned and organized too!
I am currently enjoying a very relaxing, quiet Friday evening. Hubby and his buddy/cousin have gone fishin' - and won't arrive home for at least another hour. Finished one book. Ready to begin another. My second favorite obsession after beading - READING. Even with my beading projects - I still manage to read at least 2 books a week. And in case you're wondering, and haven't seen my blog posts about it - Nope, I don't sleep. That's when I usually read.....

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Lamenting a loss

I've lost yet another piece of jewelry - and this time - one of my favorite personal pieces. I don't know how it keeps happening, and am at the moment, just chalking it up to my own stupidity - simply because I have no other explanation. It was a piece that I had been displaying at the Gallery - and it WAS THERE when I brought the entire bag back to the shop. I remember telling my mom that I was glad to have it back and how much I had missed wearing the piece. I separated out all of the pieces that were my personal pieces, put them in zip bags, and I THOUGHT I brought them all home. I was so frantically upset this morning when I discovered that it was missing, that I made the 40 mile round trip trek to the shop on my day off to check every nook and cranny that I could think of where it would be. Alas. No luck. I have also called the restaurant that we dined in last night, hoping that somehow it had fallen out of my bag and they had found it. No luck. I hesitate to tell my husband that it has happened again - I've already lost 3 other pieces the same way - put in the same bag, in the zipper bags, to bring home. Somehow, they are not getting here. So it's a sad day for me. It had sentimental value - and I will never be able to replace the custom made silver art clay face created just for me....

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Busy Day

Today was gallery closing day - made the appointment to tear down for 9:30 am. Recruited my mom to help tear down, fold, unpin, etc. We arrived - and found that the gallery director (and possibly some volunteers) had ALREADY TORN DOWN my displays and had everything ready for me to pack. It had to have been a big job - putting it UP took me almost 3 hours. It took us just 20 minutes to pack the totes and bags and cart it all down to the Jeep. If I didn't know and like the gallery director so well - I would have thought they were kicking me out! I only sold the 3 pieces the day of the opening though. A little disappointing - but happy and thankful that they asked me to participate at all. Now I have the task of making room for all the unsold pieces at the shop! YIKES!
So after hauling it all back in to the shop, and spending the entire afternoon bagging and tagging new (well - almost new, slightly used) beads - and a leisurely lunch, of course - we got to have a wonderful dinner too! My husband and I have started a tradition of treating our parents (my parents/his mom) to dinner at a RITZY expensive restaurant soon after my parents make their trek home from Florida. It helps that we've had gift certificates to these ritzy places twice now - but I believe we'll continue the tradition, anyway, as long as we can. They all enjoy each other's company, and my dad and his mom went to school together - so it's always a nice time listening to them talk about old times.
Tonight's gift certificate place (a Christmas gift) was in a town about 30 minutes away - Williamston - a place called The Red Cedar Grille. (Anytime a place around here uses the E on the end of a word - we know it's expensive!) It was a wonderful place, excellent attentive service and great food. It was also my dad's birthday this time - so it seemed extra special.
I wish I had one of those fancy camera phones so that I could have taken a picture of our little group! Maybe someday.....
Then we returned to our place and walked my front garden and smelled the peonies....
All in all - a busy day - and a GREAT day with family....