Friday, September 28, 2012

A day with the Moms

Since my mom (and dad) will be returning to their winter home in Florida next weekend, we decided we needed to spend a day together doing something FUN.  So she, my mother in law, and I took a trip to Frankenmuth yesterday.  If you've never heard of Frankenmuth, it's a small german themed tourist town a little over an hour away from me.  I tried to take some photos - but it's not an easy task.  Basically - lots of old buildings, german names, german food and polka tunes blaring throughout the town from speakers on practically every corner.  They also are home to the LARGEST Christmas store anywhere - Bronners.  We hit that first.  It takes about 2 hours, or more, to walk the entire store of display after display of Christmas (and HALLOWEEN!) items. One of the highlights of my trip - they have an entire miniature Halloween village displayed,  as well as about 4 different Christmas themed ones.  The details and the work they put into laying these all out - it takes awhile to just walk around the kiosks and wonder at them all.   I was able to control myself there, mostly making gift purchases for others.  AND I found the purple lights for my display tables - ON SALE.   Here is just a quick photo of one of the berms in the parking lot - the entire drive to the lot and all the little parking berms includes lights, figures, and Christmas themed settings like you wouldn't believe.  It difficult to take a picture during the day - and we've never been there after dark when it is all lit.  (Click the Bronners link above - lots of photos of Bronners on their website, inside and out).

Hard to see, but there is a Santa light figure at the back, as well as a lit tree in the center.  You can see off to the left that the colors are starting to change to gorgeous around here.  Another week and we should have prime leaf peepin' coverage.
After Bronners, we made the trip downtown - sorry - didn't get any photos.   We had a nice lunch, and explored the general store, which still offers candy that's hard to find elsewhere - like slow poke suckers, necco wafers, and horehound lozenges.  None of it for a penny anymore, though - lol.
They also have other general store type sundries like lace doilies and curtains, miniature doll house accessories, and other unique items.  There are many other things to do in Frankenmuth to choose from too - besides the tourist shops that sell woolen alpine theme items and for some reason - purses (three stores at least), there's a german cheese haus, a beer distillery, an old fashioned taffy confectioner, a museum, horse drawn carriage rides, as well as a paddlewheel boat tour of the surrounding area. 
But the newest built portion of Frankenmuth, and the whole reason why I go there - is River Place, which is the home of BEAD HAVEN. 

ALL THREE of the buildings in the photos above make up one beautiful (but a tad expensive) bead store.  The have some of the most unique big chunky focal pieces, many of which I've used in my designs.  I found almost everything on my list - but then, as suspected - I went astray.  How can you not with that many beads to choose from?
Here is the haul that I brought home.  Many of the strands of czech glass were actually on sale for 50% off!  BONUS!  I got a couple nice pendant pieces, and found some cool magnasite buddha heads, and some vintage lucite lily flowers (pricey but unique).  They have some of the best czech glass anywhere - and it's all laid out by color - just like a three room rainbow. 

So now - what to do with all those beads (and the box that arrived from FMG yesterday as well-  Double BONUS!).  Lucky for me, I'll have quite a bit of free beading time this weekend.  Hubby is on overtime - working 10 hours AND weekends, leaving me to my own bead filled devices....
so you can bet - photos soon of the creations!
Peaceful beading,

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Bee-utiful free time

I'm kinda likin' this no TV thing. We decided about a month ago to ditch the Dish, and haven't found an antenna yet that will get more than one station. I love having more time to read and bead, and I don't have any distractions - no reason to say screw it and sit in front of the tube. We do have Netflix, which, when needed, fills the couch potato void quite nicely.    I DO spend more time on Facebook though - so those of you that don't like seeing my updates - don't say I didn't warn ya.  So because I didn't plop in front of Headline News and Kelly this morning, the work continued on 'Mr. Bee A. Buzz' instead.  This is a custom piece for a fellow vendor that has the honey/beeswax product business.   

I want to put a smaller bee in among the embroidery though, and just ordered it today - so I may have to set it aside and start on my next project:

No name yet.  Not really a plan, which makes it even more fun.  I think those are the ones that turn out the best for me - the ones that just 'flow'.....

Hope to get a bit of beading done on both of these today, but may have to work a bookstore shift this afternoon.  Just waiting for the call back.  Also had another Etsy sale!  yay!

So off to at least the post office. 

Have a beautiful, peaceful, happy dancin', beady day,

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Blustery Market Day

Instead of "Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day" it was "Meridian Crafters and the Blustery Day".
  Oh boy, was it. So cold. Glad I had a scarf, hat, coat, AND blanket. And I wasn't even out in the windy area that some of the vendors were in.  Had quite a few shoppers though - at least for most of the day. I think the sunshine outside was a bit misleading - they'd get about 1/2 way around and all of a sudden the women with bare toes and elbows starting walking just a bit I had a few sales. Nothing serious, unfortunately. My friend Claudia, however - cleaned UP. Great day for her and her polymer clay CAT THEMED items - collar bells for cats, paperweights, and some cute jewelry pieces. All in all, despite the cold - it was a fun day. The highlight for me at least - Claudia's husband Matt brought us each a Wendy's Chili! Thanks, MATT I'm all warm and toasty - for a minute!

Here are a few pics of what my display looked like today. I would have preferred to have a few more of the necklaces on displays - but it was just too windy.

I could have easily filled the whole table with Halloween and fall themed designs - but I still love putting out the peacock themed pieces too.  I'll have about the same amount of space for the next show at Haslett High School - INDOOR THANK GOODNESS - so I'll have to consolidate things even more -sometimes the walk from the parking lot to the space we're assigned is a LONG one.....
Peaceful beading,

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Wash out


That's the prediction for today.  So unfortunately, that means needing to decide within the next few hours whether or not to 'bail' on the Heritage Festival.  Not wild about setting up, and then sitting in what could potentially be cold, wet, rainy, sleety, and even thunderstormy conditions.   And who in their right mind is going to attend a festival as a shopper in those conditions?  Even the local Bluesfest - which we wait for all year long - got pretty sozzled last night - and will again today.  I'm sure their attendance will be way, way down.  We attempted to be the die hard blues lovers we THOUGHT we were last night.  Layers of warm clothes, mittens, hats.  But NO amount of layering can keep you warm once the wet has seeped through.  We lasted an hour.  I can't imagine sitting outside in it ALL DAY.  Hate to have to do it - I was so hoping for a profitable weekend; tomorrow is supposed to be slightly better, with no rain in the forecast - but still chilly.  Tomorrow may have to do.
Hope everyone has a peaceful beading weekend

Thursday, September 20, 2012


That's the name of my newest creation - and it's a custom one at that!

The customer is a BEESWAX candle and product vendor - so when she asked me "I don't suppose you could create a bee pendant?" I was excited to say "Yes, as a matter of fact I CAN!"  I will "bee" giving this one a good start in the next few days.  She's also going to be purchasing THIS one at the same time:

Petoskey Pride.  I can't believe that I STILL HAVE this piece since it had a lengthy stay at a Michigan product based art gallery, AND about 3 different art fairs since then.  Finally.  Winner, winner, chicken dinner - or as the case may be - petoskey pendant.  Now I really want to make another one - and see how long that one hangs around.  Lucky for me - I have a teardrop shaped Petoskey cab just waiting around here somewhere to be beaded.  I will add it to the 'queue'....
Wish me luck for the weekends big two day show event.  The weather is definitely not going to be as sunny warm and toasty as it was last year; Saturday is calling for scattered showers (hopefully few and far between) and only in the 50s.  Good time to wear and model my new hat that my knitting friend Mary made me, since she's one of the girls with whom I'll be sharing booth space.  And mittens too....
Sunday is supposed to be just a tad warmer, and we'll be in the pavilion then - but beings that I'm on the outside wall, near an open doorway (perfect spot for catching a cool breeze in the summer) it may not be such a great spot when it's chilly.  Again - Mary's hat and mittens may need to be modeled.  lol.
Hope your day is peaceful and full of beads,

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Festival in a bag (well, ok, four....)

Everyone always seems to be amazed at how I can consolidate my 'stuff' for shows.  Heck yeah.  Cuz most of the time I am the only one that is hauling the stuff from the house-to the car-to the show-to the car-to the house again.  So I need as few trips as possible.  The only thing missing from this photo are the two tables and folding chair for Saturdays show.  Most of the time, I will pay extra if I can to have the tables provided - cuz it sure beats hauling THOSE.  Hubby WILL be helping me on Saturday though (we need tallness for tent prep) so hauling tables shouldn't be an issue.

There is a bag and little metal scrollwork display table behind the rolling cart.  Otherwise - that's it.  And it's got to fit in my ancient Cavalier too, so that's another reason to consolidate.  What can I say - I'm just good at squeezing and squishing.  I've found table fabrics that never wrinkle, and display items that nest and stack.  Rolling carts are always helpful - but this one only fits in the front seat.  Still - it holds ALL of my black velvet displays, mirrors, and the like.  Still get dog hair on them - but not as bad as they used to!  LOL!
Wish me luck for the show this weekend.  Chilly temps (only in the 50's) and a chance of rain both days.  Hats, mittens, sweaters and layers of clothing will be top priority.  Let's just hope the customers won't let a little chill in the air stop them.  Heck, after roasting and toasting all summer long - maybe they'll like a little bit of chilly weather.  Cool them off!
Peaceful beading,

Monday, September 17, 2012

Hitches and Ditches - and we're not talkin' all stitches....

Actually - the name I WANTED to give my post was Best Laid Plans - but Patty Gasparino of My Life Under the Bus beat me to it!  LOL!  And since it's her birthday - I give it to her.
But about those seems like it's always something.   The hitch in my plan is that once again, our internet provider has decided to NOT.  As in provide.  So instead of my usual routine of leisurely coffee while blog hopping and Facebook commenting, followed by listing my daily Etsy items, and then an hour or so at the bead table - all in the comfort of my JAMMIES - I actually had to get dressed AND venture out of the house before noon.  Bah.  They simply don't grasp the concept of WORKING FROM HOME.  Lucky for me Biggby is right around the corner....
I also have a hitch in what I thought was a GREAT plan for a new beaded jewelry concept yesterday.  I was so excited about it.  The ideas were rolling around my head - picturing the customers lining up and crowding in to watch me demonstrate. I made a few items and the excitement grew.  Then I woke up.  This morning - it doesn't seem so hot.  My hubby says give it a whirl at my show on Saturday and see what happens.  So I probably will.  But for now - not adding to the inventory for it until I see how these are accepted.  OR NOT.  I need to concentrate on some halloween and fall designs this week anyway.
Today I'm off to my friend and fellow beader Sharon's house for a beady play day.  Everyone needs to have a beady play day.  Most of the time - it's not as full of beads as it should be because we're too busy comparing recent work, doing show and tell, and GABBING.  She's getting ready to leave for her winter home in Texas in just a few weeks - so we'll especially need to step up that gabbing today!  LOL!
Now about the ditches - the fact that I woke up this morning to no internet, and a plan that no longer seems like a good one, and had to actually DRIVE somewhere to play - has kinda put me in a Monday morning funk - aka ditch.  I'm hoping that my excitement about the upcoming show season (starting this weekend there are 4 scheduled shows, with a tentative one in the works) will help keep it to a dull funky ditch.  After attending a few craft shows this week though - I'm not seeing ANY jewelry that entails the detailed seed bead work that I do.  And I think I've spent too much time trying to decide WHY.  Are people not interested in it?  Is it too expensive for our local market (factory lay offs still abound).  Is it just not a trend that people want anymore?  I haven't come up with a POSITIVE reason why I'm not seeing it - except to say I guess I don't have that much competition in that regard.  That COULD be a GOOD thing.  We shall see - starting at 10 am on Saturday.
Peaceful beading everyone, enjoy....

Saturday, September 15, 2012

The Widow's Web

This is the bracelet.  The original plan was - and I THINK still is - to make this bracelet be a removeable portion of a necklace - so that the necklace can be long and flowy and spooky - or short and sassy.  BUT - the necklace portion hasn't worked itself out in my head yet - so we'll go with just the bracelet for now.  The 'widow' - the spider - is removeable (it's a pin) - so that it can be worn all the time.  But I kinda like it with the spider.  Very macab.....this one's $85.00 as just the bracelet. 
Getting ready for what is probably going to end up being a busy day.  A call from Mom before 9am has resulted in a trip to Mason for a craft show and a park wide garage sale.  Before 10am. 
So off I go to Mickey D's for caffeinated refreshment and fortification.

Peaceful beading.   And if you haven't finished our "In the Pink" hop - so fun.  Take the time to check it out.  Lori was indeed touched.  That was the plan.  :0)

Thursday, September 13, 2012

In the Pink!

For Lori Anderson – the bestest, boldest, brightest, pinkest blog hop organizer ever:
Lori –I’ve gone pink in honor of YOU - your courage, your strength, your devotion to your family, and your love of all things sparklie.   Despite dealing with, what to many of us may seem like insurmountable odds at times (down for the count with a migraine or chronic back pain and yet you blog on), you still manage to neatly organize these hops and keep us all excited about the challenge. You rock right through, and come out even stronger, with your eye on the prize – whether it simply be the thanks, more beads, or the ultimate reward - PIE.  Because of you, the blog challenge is MORE than just a fun bead adventure,  it’s  become a tribute to you and your many strengths.   Going pink – even for just a day seemed like a simple way to say thanks!
I'm Proud to be ‘in the pink’
 Now -  a little background about the pink thing just in case you aren't in on the fun:
Lori loves pink.  Pink everything.  And most importantly - her HAIR is pink.  Bright, bold, in your face pink.  And it becomes her.  It looks good on her.  She ROCKS the pink hair.  And since she puts up with a LOT of, well, I'll use the word CRAP- from wannabe and soon to be hop challenge beaders, several of us (thanks to Sandy and Shelley) got together in secret to plan and create a special thank you day for Lori.   And today's the day.  There is MORE to the secret that I will not divulge here - I'll leave that to Sandy and Shelley, who also deserve a big thanks and a pink hair salute as well.  I've still got about 1/2 can of pink hairspray

Below is a partial list of the participants if you'd like to hop just like we do for the bead hop challenges - and see what everyone else looks like with pink hair too!  I know there are other bloggers - Shelley Graham Turner (the last name on the list) has more participants listed in the comments section of her Facebook post if you want to check her out!

Peaceful PINK beading!

Gail Vanderster-Zwang
Lea Avroch
Leslie Wayment
Kelley Katherine Hagerty-Fogle
Sheila Davis
Amanda Effron
Solange Collin
Jennifer Chasalow VanBenschoten
Isolina Perez
Toltec Jewels
Sherri Stokey
Mary Howell Govaars
Bee Kuhlman
Lynnea Perry Bennett
Alicia Marinache
Heather Otto
Kimberly Flood
Courtney White Breul
Lisa Liddy
Marlene Cupo
Marianne Baxter
Mária Horváth
Andrea Beth Trank
Heidi Mansfield Kingman
Emoke Schmidt
Sandra MrtzDiaz
Lupe Meter
Ambra Chicandfrog
Kumi Fisher
Sandra Young
Sandi Marinaro Volpe
Gretchen Nation
Mimi Gardner
Marian Hertzog

Terry Matuszyk

Sonya Ingersoll-Stille

Audrey Belangér
Sandra McGriff
Shelley Graham Turner

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Ebb - and Flow

It's been sort of like that for us this ebb that had us so strapped that the DOGS didn't even get enough to eat for a few weeks.  Then - as quickly as it came - the tide turned - and we are now in a state of FLOW - with a little extra to make breathing - and eating! - a little bit easier again.  Who's to say when the tide will turn  - so we're trying not to get super spendy - AND be grateful for what we've been given right now. 
I didn't realize when I named this piece - that it WAS sort of symbolic of what our summer has been like.  This is "Flow" - Fluorite (The name fluorite comes from the Latin fluo "(flow") in reference to its use as a flux. A flux is a substance that promotes the flow and combination of other materials, and fluorite is often used in making steel and other metals that require the removal of impurities.) There's also a bit of Mountain Jade, and little pewter squiggles that sort of FLOW along the necklace portion.  The focal piece is actually a large worry stone, with the 'worry' side, the indented side, glued to the backing. 

Not sure where this one's going yet - price is $85.00.....

And in preparing to write this blog post, I realized that I'm going to have to change the ETSY link photo - because I SOLD that beautiful etched Onyx piece to a buyer in FINLAND yesterday!  The Etsy bead sales have been smokin' hot lately - and I've got lots more to list - so thank you, thank you, and keep stopping back.  I want to relist lots of the jewelry too, but with two (maybe three) local sales venues, and all the local shows I have coming up, I need each and every piece available for sale.  Once those are over, and it's all snowy and blowy outside (ugh) I can sit and list AND SELL to my hearts content!  Then all I have to do is dig myself out to go to the post office!  The predictions are that we will have a winter just like that - snowy, blowy, and lots of digging.  Lovely.  Let's hope the predictors are WRONG.
Hope everyone has a wonderful bead table Wednesday.  Haven't posted anything for that in awhile - and today is probably no different.  I'm between projects again - contemplating something for Halloween that incorporates this cool rhinestone studded SPIDER pin I found the other day.  BOO! and EWWW!
Peaceful beading,

Sunday, September 9, 2012

No beads - just babies

And when I say babies - I mean Bella and Zeus.  They are my children, my BABIES.  We spoil them, love them and hug on them (which Bella loves and Zeus tolerates).  They sleep on the bed, rule the roost, and will stare us out of their favorite spot on the couch.  Zeus can tell time when it comes to breakfast, lunch and dinner - 7, 1 and 4.  Starts staring us into submission almost like clockwork - we better be ready to oblige.   Their lives are filled with dog parks, walks, and in Bella's case - SPA days (brushing and trimming.  SHE LOVES IT).  They eat us out of house and home - and we let them.  I hope you are a loving animal mom or dad, being loved unconditionally by a pet.  It's a great feeling isn't it? 

We presented new toys to the 'kids' yesterday - just cuz:

Isn't he handsome?  Everyone thinks Zeus is just a young pup - but in reality, if the gray chin doesn't give it away - he's TEN!  His joints are starting to show his age - but he still runs and plays and stays active - despite what the vet says is probably arthritis pain just like people have.  He's a trooper!  And daddy's boy....

And then there's "Princess Bella Wigglebottom".  Because that's what she is - a princess and what she DOES - she gets so excited to see people, and greet them that her back end just wiggles and wiggles.  So funny.  She is a true people dog - and would make a great 'shop dog' - one that would happily greet customers, and then calmly go off to her space.  So glad we were able to 'rescue' her from the family with severe allergies.  I think she likes it here!

Peaceful beading everyone - go hug your fur kid(s) today!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Madness....or genius?

 Have you ever had an original thought - a true intention - and then had it go off on it's own way?  Is it madness?  Part of being creative?  Or just plain pure genius?  Because - as true as my intention was to work on Halloween designs yesterday - this is what happened instead:

Totally NOT Halloween, but yet one more design to add to the peacock pieces that headline the table at shows.  Not sure why - but the colors and sizes all came together, so I went with it.  I hope to get back to the original spooky plan today, which was finish what will be one of my "Chunky Charm" bracelets - this being the 'charm' portion of it:

And then, to complicate things even further (aka deeper into the madness) - I came across a bag with THESE in it, which sparked another bit of creative genius, I HOPE - if something else doesn't get in the way first.  These were pieces and parts from a Great Lakes Beadworkers Guild class with Tatiana VanIten a few years ago:

I never finished the actual piece (I think it was called Tennessee Summer), but rather used the pieces and parts created during the class to make other things.  These are what remain - and will become a two sided pendant - with chain, and some vintage antique leaf charms and other things thrown in - again - I HOPE.  This is sparking - but is a little far down on the list to be any brighter at the moment.  First things first - I hope to have that chunky charm bracelet ready for sale by the weekend....along with finding time to create a handmade birthday card, and homemade cookies, work my bookstore shift AND do book club with the girls.  Whew!
Hope your day stays on the straight and narrow - or NOT!  Sometimes I think NOT can be more fun, but it can also lead to lots more work!
Peaceful beading,

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Application Day

Today may be the first day back to school for the kids around here, but for ME - it's application day.  Filling out the applications and sending in the fees for the next few craft shows and art fairs that I plan to take part in.  It seems weird to JUST be doing this in September for shows IN September and October - but hey,  THEY, the organizers, were last minute lucy's about getting the info to us this year.  Maybe it is easier for them to keep track of all the apps if they arrive all at once within a two week span instead of throughout the year (the app used to be available within weeks after the previous show).  Not sure why it took so long this time - but in any case - today's the day!  This is what my table looked like for LAST years October show:

This years table will be brighter - TEALER. Peacock-ier! More like the table from my Art Market shows.  I will also have LIGHTS this year!
Today is also the day to package up yet another ETSY sale!  Whahooo!  That's two in one week.  It's a first, and I hope it WON'T be a last.  I noticed a little more activity on the site the last few days, despite the fact that I'd almost given it up again.  So back to listing - just one or two a day for a bit.  Just beads.  I want to keep my jewelry available for the upcoming shows.  Then when those are over, IF there's anything left (I know-laugh if you must) starting in January there will be lots of jewelry listed - and lots of marketing to that affect.  At least - that's the September plan.  ;0)  So spread the word if you are a bead lover - shescool on Etsy is selling TONS of semi precious beads - I think my prices are pretty fair, AND I do free 1st class shipping in the U.S.!  BONUS!  I hope you'll take a look - the link is to the right just waiting for you to click it!   I also have a Cool Moon Creations Facebook business page that you can like - I link it to each Etsy listing, giving you a heads up before the surfers!  Go LIKE me!
There.  As if there weren't enough horns tooting out front - being right across the street from TWO schools - I'm tooting my OWN horn today!  hahahaha
Hope your day is a happy one.  If you have kids - and they shuffled on off to experience learning, have a GREAT one.  Live a little.  Celebrate!  One of my Facebook friends was having "Mommy Mimosas" with another mom on Skype as the kids went out the door.  What a fun idea!
Peaceful beading,

Saturday, September 1, 2012

"Spend it Wisely"

Normally on a Saturday, my husband and I would be finding something to do together, even if it is just house and yard work most of the time.  But he's on extra hours this week - so off he went to work - on a Saturday afternoon.  Whatever was I to do? Could have beaded.  Could have read-ed (sorry-couldn't resist).  I'm sure the dogs would have loved to have me spend the time here with them.  BUT - "spend it wisely" said the man handing over the $20 bill. took me until he was at the end of the driveway to decide what I was going to do with it.  I treated myself to a movie - a matinee, popcorn and a LARGE SODA (we NEVER drink soda) all to myself.  My movie choice - "Hope Springs" - Meryl Streep, Tommy Lee Jones.  Definite chick flick.  ADULT chick flick.  Hubby would have hated it if I ever could have talked him into it in the first place.  But really - it was another one of those movies that they hawk as funny - which really wasn't so much.  There were a few chuckle moments - and many times I was shaking my head in agreement of the situation they were troubling over (gee - you mean I'm not the only one that feels that way?  They actually put that thought in a MOVIE?).  I'm glad I only paid 7 bucks - but still find that TEN DOLLARS for a MEDIUM popcorn and a pop is an outrageous rip off!  Movie theaters should hang their film strips in shame!
So now I have just shy of 3 more hours to kill before hubby gets home to finally enjoy his weekend - and then it's back to overtime hours again next week.  Not complaining - we REALLY REALLY need to $$$ - but I do like spending SOME time with him.  Normally we spend a few hours together in the morning and early afternoon - but when he doesn't arrive home until 2 am - and then doesn't wind down and come to bed until after 4, which has him sleeping until after 10....well, you get the picture. 
Our outing to the lake on a trail walk earlier this week....before the hectic work week began....
Hope your holiday weekend is special.  Fill it with fun, family, and wonderful memories....
Peaceful beading,