Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Dilemmas and decisions

Once again today I was asked to CHANGE a piece of jewelry for a customer.  TWO pieces, actually.
I am occasionally asked to do this, and MOST of the time, even though I waver on the fence - I am able to say "NO".  Only once before have I made a change - just last summer for the Art Gallery.  As far as I know, that customer was satisfied.  Thank goodness.  So now, two of the Grapevine line pieces that were on consignment at Off~Rack had been admired by a customer, who also bought the necklace that was the match to them - a bracelet and earrings.  I ultimately felt that because she had already made the committment and purchased the necklace, that I should at least make the effort:

BEFORE I made the changes, the earrings had a small hand sewn 'grape cluster' using amethyst hued drop beads, and a lucite leaf atop some glass pearl and czech glass.  The bracelet was one of my fancy fringe bracelets - where I freeform fringe and wrap strands of beads and accents around a strung bracelet - giving it texture and seemingly bringing it to life. 
AFTER I made the decision to change them - the bracelet was shorter by about 1 1/2 inches.  As luck would have it, I chose to chop off the RIGHT end - one that I had apparently needed to add an extra few inches of strung accents to as I was finishing it.  Those accents were easily removed (which would not normally be the case), and a few of the beads taken off the strand.  I reattached the clasp - and voila.  A shorter, but still fringe-y bracelet.  The earrings were a bit more of a challenge.  I really had to study them and recall how I'd put them together before I could come up with a way to keep the grape cluster that was SEWN into the loop holding the whole thing together.   Again, lucky for me, at the time I chose to use softflex and crimps to give them a softer feel, so the CRIMP was able to save the day.  I am kind of proud of myself for being able to successfully alter these two pieces - but definitely don't want to have to make a habit out of it!  STRESSFUL!
The prep for this weekends grandma/granddaughter beading party is going very well - so well that I stopped to do the alterations on the pieces above.  All I have left to do is 10 more kits, and set up the tables, clean the bathroom, sweep the floors -you know, all that mundane stuff you put off as long as possible ANYWAY!     I'm looking forward to it, and even plan to do a little door prize give away.  Found some things I never sold when the shop closed that I actually don't need or want! 
Should be fun.
Be sure you hop down to my previous blog post and let me know what type of prize you'd like for the next give away - A bead mix, a kit (with no instructions-just all the parts, you get to wing it), or a finished piece of jewelry.  So far, just as I suspected - the mix is winning!  I'll decide on Friday - so hurry on down!
Peaceful beading,

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

YOU decide

Still thinking on that give away.  I plan to do another one, with the date of the giveaway right around Thanksgiving.  But what has me stumped about it, what I can't decide - is WHAT to give away.  So this is where you all come in - would you rather have BEADS (a random mix/soup) or a kit for a project (no instructions or pattern though - you get to wing it), OR - a finished item already made by yours truly.   The most votes by Friday will be the winner - and then the announcement will happen next week - so I will probably allow TWO full weeks of commenting and sharing before the deadline date.  LOTS of time for LOTS of numbers in that hat!

In the meantime - class prep, show prep, house cleaning, and a little playing with beads in between, of course.  My fellow bead friend Sally is even trying to talk me into doing yet one more show before the big 3 day.  I would have to reschedule something else I have planned to do it - but $20 for a space, and a decent  I'm still mulling.  We have a few days to decide. 

As far as playing - which is what I'm getting ready to go off and do - here's the progress on my latest.  I showed you the raw beginnings a few blogs back  - but let me refresh your memory - this is where I started:

And this is where I am now:

"Sunsets, Shorelines, and Copper Mines" A tribute to Michigan.  Lengthy title.  Big project.  Big bucks.  But these are my absolute favorites to play with.  They just flow and evolve and I never even know where they'll end up until done.  So fun - and rewarding when they turn out even better than I had hoped....
Don't forget to leave your comment and tell me whether you want a soup mix, a kit, or a finished piece as the next giveaway.
Peaceful beading,

Monday, October 29, 2012

Giveaway day!

Another grateful, gracious beady peep has decided to have a give away.  Here's the link for your chance to enter THREE times!

It's also given me the urge to do another one, too.  So while I'm cookin' up something yummy to offer, go to glasscraft's blog and ENTER!

Check back here in a day or two - I'm thinking a Thanksgiving freebie is in order.....


4 more years of ?

I don't normally CARE about politics.  I've never been a debater, a side taker, or a person that took a stand for one cause over another.  It's just never been the way I roll.  I'm one of the many that believes that most of the time my one vote doesn't count, and that my one voice won't be heard.  But this year, I've decided to TRY to care a little more.  Partly because of a friend's husbands decision and ultimate win in the August primary to run for a publicly elected office.  It's in my face all the time.  I've asked questions - for which he seems to have answers that make sense - which is refreshing, since most politics are confusing - for a reason.  Keep us guessing and they can get away with anything. 
All I know is - this time around, for the next four years, no matter who 'wins' this thing - we are in a lose/lose situation.  We keep going with the flow, and jobs will suffer, prosperity will suffer - ultimately people's mental stability will suffer.  BUT - change, elect something new - and the middle class will suffer, and may ultimately be wiped out - turning us into destitute, lowest class citizens.  Not to mention the disappearance of most women's rights.  That's the scariest one of all to me.  I may not ever need to take advantage of the rights I've been given, have earned - but knowing I have them  is IMPORTANT to ME.    Let's hope when it comes right down to it, if he is indeed elected - his vow to abolish them - US -  will be fought by the other politicos as hard as they've fought our current leader on health care issues. 
Sorry for this little rant, readers - a nap at 4pm has left me wide awake with a churning brain at 3am.  ~SIGH~
Thinking of hopping over to the bead table for awhile and finishing up the cute little acrylic lily flower earrings I started making yesterday.  After selling so many pairs of earrings at the show last weekend, I'm seriously in need of new.  These are simple and pretty.  Who knows if that's what people want.  You seriously need to be psychic to figure that out.  How do I know?  I don't pay super huge attention to the 'trends', simply because what's trending is trending in LA and NYC.  Not in the middle of the mitten.  Unfortunately, what's trending in the middle of the mitten is barely being able to feed and clothe the family, with nothing left for frilly things and beaded rings.  No need to get me started again - just go back and read from the top.
Peaceful political rant free beading,
And as a P.S., side note and after thought - my condolences and congrats at the same time to Detroit Tiger fans.  We almost made it - and DID make winning the division.  Not a bad year - just a heartbreaking one for die hard season ticket holding shell out big bucks World Series attending baseball nuts like my brother.  Sorry, bro.  Maybe next year....

Friday, October 26, 2012

Gem shows

If you're a beader - you've probably attended at least one.  If you're a rock hound in the area - then the Central Michigan Gem and Lapidary Society show and sale will be the place for you this weekend.  And it is, for the most part - for the rock hounds.  But, just as with everything else - beads have woven their way into the marketplace, and there are usually some quality pieces available.  I go for the semi precious cabs.  There are two vendors specifically that carry gorgeous, and yes - pricey ones.  Two years ago, BJ's from up in the U.P.  was the seller of this beauty, which I just happen to also be wearing at the moment:

This is "Spirit Tree".  I had this in my gallery inventory, and my Coyote inventory for awhile - and then it decided it's true spirit was here with me.  I DO wear this piece quite often. 
The other vendor is actually a local one, that I could probably go shop with anytime I wanted to make an appointment - but again-pricey.  Archies Rock shop always has cool cabs and rocks of all kinds.  THIS is my haul from all the vendors today - alas, BJ's was really out of my price range today, but Archies' provided me with both the lab cabs and the blue and brown which I forgot to write down the name of.  Drat.  Anyway - I didn't do too badly, considering all was retail.  :o(  Found a booth with a 1/2 off box - always fun to dig through those.  Found about 4 different shapes of blue czech glass.  For some reason, I was on a blue kick today....
I think the strand of Kyanite (the biggest priciest purchase of the night) is going to go with the unknown stone cab.  The wheels of bead design are spinnin' up there, even at 8:30 at night!
And of course, as you would expect at a local gem and bead show - ran into several people I knew, so chatting was also a part of the event.  They always feature a booth with a vendor of finished pieces in the various genre's - seedbead work, wirewrapping, gem setting, etc. - I should check on getting a table as the seedbead worker - cuz I'm not impressed with the person that was selling her things - mine are much more unique if I do say so myself.  But THREE days.  Whew.  If I'm gonna do three days, I would want to be someplace comfy - like here at home.  OH WAIT!  I AM!  lol.
Settling in.  I think a few more episodes of Revenge are in order.  Good, clean, down and dirty evil drama.  You never know who's going to stab who in the back, and then turn around and love their mother.  HA.
Peaceful beading,

Gettin there

Even though I'm about 3 weeks away from the big '3 day', I also have a group of ladies coming for a bead party NEXT weekend!  So I'm stepping up the organization, but still wondering where I'm going to put the things I'm tucking away - I may have to make that trip to Good Will before the party!
Here is the wall - mid change.  Took everything down, and put up the two new ones.  Nice.  The coloring is perfect.  But it still needed....something.  I really want (still want) wall words in that empty space - but can't justify the cost, for one.  And still haven't found quite the right thing for a room that also occupies a man most of the time.  So.
 THIS is what I did.  Hobby Lobby had all their metal wall art 50% off - so this metal scrollwork piece only cost me $12.50!  It's very lightweight as well, so it's easy for me to handle on my own.  I think I'm callin' this wall good for now - until the right word decals find their way to it....
The pictures that were on this wall - found their way to the wall opposite.  The plan was to put the silver framed lily picture on this wall, along with the scrollwork piece.  Eh.  I decided I liked this a little better - LOVE how the candle shelf worked out - but need to change the little arc of ivy above the mirror.  Works for now.  This room is 98% done.
And as for the lily picture - it's back over the fireplace again.  Now that the pictures with matching frames are in the room, and I've brought in the pops of gray and black - it works.

Hubby says it makes the room look bigger.  At least he noticed a change!
Today I will be working on the front room again - making it presentable and ready for 7-10 exciteable teens and their grandmas coming for a gift making party.  FUN!
I'm also working on two different aspects of beading at the moment - prepping all 20ish pieces for the Holiday Market, writing out inventory, mulling prices, attaching just the right size tags.  It's harder and more boring work than the beading, but still better than a desk job, anyday!  And I'm also making some cute little keychain/purse charms using all those big hole beads that I was never able to do anything with.  I kinda like them - and may make more than I had planned.  I've also got all the pieces and beads pulled together for my next big embroidery project (starter photo soon).  It already has a title, which came to me mid bead match:
"Of sunsets, shorelines, and copper mines - a Tribute to Michigan".
I know, right?  Really long - but fitting.  Petoskey stone, copper accents and pops of red and orange.  All of a sudden, petoskey stone cabs and beads are becoming more available around here.  And who knows what I'll find at the Michigan Gem and Lapidary show I'm attending this evening.  They ALWAYS have at least ONE vendor with Michigan stone cabs and beads.  Oh, budget - I'm afraid I've blown you.....:oP
Off tomorrow to the west side of the state for a fun day with the kiddoes and always nice conversation with my niece and her husband.  Such a beautiful family.  Brave souls with 5 kids, especially these days.  Yowza!
Peaceful beading,

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

A little of this, and a little of that

Didn't have a thing to blog about for a few days, and then, BOOM!  Everything transpired at once. 
So here we go - up top, these earrings were inspired by the simple fact that my printer is running out of color ink.  I was attempting to print a photo of the denim blue, bronze/brown, and yellow/beige toned earrings that I sold to my friend Jaime this weekend, so that I could at least recreate the pattern, if not the color combo.  But when it printed - they came out teal, pink and white.  I immediately thought the teal and pink would look HOT - so "Hot Cha Cha" were born.  Gallery Market bound in a few weeks....

Next up - I don't always like to buy retail, but when I do (again, hear the Dos Eqquis guy's voice in your head) I LOVE find everything ON SALE!  ALL of my Michael's haul from today was 50% off OR MORE!  EVEN the SWAROVSKI'S!  Rare to find a good sale like that on crystals.  I wish I could have gotten more, and I thinned the pile a little before deciding on these, cuz that's a great deal.  I plan to use the strands of square and flat coins in the center with this next project - a piece with petoskey stone slabs I got recently:

This is probably going to be a bit larger amulet type piece than usual, so who knows what kind of time it will take me, especially since I'll need to stop and continue room prep and small jewelry making for the show. 
Room prep:   I have a wall in my family room that is painted silver gray.  Since it isn't feasible to change the color of the wall before the show, I'm changing what's ON it, and the wall across, which is your normal everyday off white-ish.  This first one I've had around for awhile - it used to hold court over my fireplace.  It will now go on the wall opposite the gray wall - with a few accents that I'm still working on.

THESE I found at Homegoods today.  Man, I love that store.  Hard to tell from the photo, but the color of the frames MATCH the frame above, hard to believe, and there are several shades of gray, along with some silver and faint hint of blue in there too.  I also got a deep gray candle to go on the shelf that resides on that wall.  For sure, I'll take a picture when I'm all done.  I'm still considering some wall words down one side.  BUDGET restraints.  And new printer ink.  And a husband that stuck his nose up at the idea.  Maybe I'll sell more stuff on Etsy.  I've had small sales two days in a row!  If I could do that everyday - they'd add up quick!
Preparation for the show is going slowly - I don't want to clean everything out of all my spaces so soon (it's not til mid-November) I LOVE my stuff, but know I need to get more done soon.  I've done most of the big front space, and removed all of my english garden/birdhouse themed items from the room.  And you know what?  I think I'm just going to take them to Goodwill.  I think I want to do something different in that space - simpler, more modern.  The carpet in that room is deep forest green, the couch is drab brown (I hate that couch.  There's a story about that couch. Maybe I will tell you about that couch someday), and the 'dog couch' is the white ottoman that matches the loveseat in the family room.  If I could get rid of the couch - and the entertainment center full of non-working and non-used electronic equipment, I would love to move my studio space back in there again.  (Craigslist garnered no interest.  I don't blame them.  It's hideous).
Anyway - it was a lovely day for doing ANYTHING outdoors, in my case - driving all over town to find the things I needed!  And tomorrow will hold more of the same-still need that ink.  And birthday presents for two frill loving little girls....
This is Ella.  Isn't she beautiful?  But then - Great Aunt Sheryl thinks ALL her great nieces and nephews are the best!  Having no kids besides fur kids of our own, we tend to spoil them all just a bit for birthdays and Christmas. 
Spoil time! 
See - now you know why I call this blog the babbling beader!

Peaceful beading,

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Ear-RINGS make it rosy....

Had a pretty good show today, despite the fact that I manifested TWO of the things that I didn't want - I didn't want to be on the same wall I was on the first year, and alas, I was.  BUT this time, just ONE spot over - placing me right in line with the center aisle - EVERYONE saw my table.  I want that spot again next year!   AND - never the 'student liaison' helper in the parking lot WITH CART when they're supposed to be.  Carting things in this morning at 7am PRE caffeine made a girl a lil' cranky.  But once a 'band mom' took pity on me and helped employ another band mom to help, we did great.   It just takes me a long time to set up my booth, basically because I DECORATE IT.  I cannot just slap a cloth on the table, and put flat trays and a couple necklace forms.  I just can't.  So this is what it looks like instead:

Lots of drama, lots of COLOR.  The purple lights down the center of the table were INSTRUMENTAL in getting people to stop and look.  I also had a 'sweet spot' where whatever I put in it seemed to sell.  At least earring wise.  I tried switchin' it up to a bracelet - nope.  Moved earrings back there - GONE. 

Sold practically ALL earrings today.  And not cheapy ones either.  All the beadwoven ones.  Sweet.

I also gave a 20% discount to fellow October birthday bearers.  I had at least 5 people take advantage of THAT opportunity. 

Of course - everyone loved the "Wicked" sign - surprisingly, no one asked to buy it.  Not like last year, when I could have sold my little foam pumpkin filled with daisies about 10 times!

My idea to display mostly Halloween and 'autumn' themed jewelry, though, wasn't quite as popular as I'd hoped.  Only sold ONE halloween thing - a bracelet - and the rest was all every day EARRINGS.
Earrings were the key this year.  Go figure.  Last year I sold very few....

The 'normal jewelry' side of the table.  I got many compliments on the grapevine themed pieces, and a few ladies recognized the one of the bust as being at the Art Gallery last summer.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch....:0)   Hubby had to attend a family event (with many members from out of town and STATE in attendance) without me.  He brought me these from the hostess....
So he SORT of remembered Sweetest Day.  I'll take what I can get!  Aren't they gorgeous?  And I LOVE the orange glass vase they're in.  Definitely gonna make use of that again...
It's been a pretty good day - made more than a few bucks, came home to flowers, baked chicken in the oven and potato in the nuker, getting ready to complete it with some Flix from Net. 
Tomorrow - the prep begins for the big three day.  Expect some stressful venting, ranting blogs.
Just thought I'd warn ya....
Peaceful beading,

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Bead Table BIRTHDAY Wednesday

It's finally arrived.  The big 5-3.   At some point, I may actually decide to STOP counting - but as a fun loving Libra - I guess I'm not ready to stop celebrating ME yet!  Don't have much planned for the day, probably more show prep (a voice in my head in the middle of the night said I'm taking TOO MUCH), more beading, some reading, and tonight - dinner with Claudia and Mary, my summer show mates, at one of Michigan's BEST little italian restaurants - DeLuca's.  Their pizza is always voted best in the area, and it's been around for over 50 years.  Should be fun and YUMMY! 
So about that Bead Table Wednesday.  I don't remember to participate every week anymore (could have something to do with that nasty 5-3) but when I do - I make it count (read that in the Dos Eqquis guy voice - lol).    My new project is todays subject - and I definitely thing I'm keeping this one for myself.  This is "The Beautiful Season".  I finished the focal last night, and now on to the strap.  I think I want to finish it with an actual strap, although a friend suggested that a simple copper colored ribbon would look nice, too.  What do you think - spiral rope?  Right Angle Weave?  Or a ribbon to make it stand out?   I wish I could have this done to wear to my celebration tonight - but depending on my choice - probably not.  MAYBE for Saturday. 

I still have some crystals and some really cool agate beads that I want to work in - but not sure how.  I guess I have most of today to think about it.
Hope you have a great Wednesday,
Peaceful beading,

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

How do YOU spell busy?

I can't believe how quickly my schedule changes.  So many commitments - but all BEAD related, so that's a good thing.  First up - the Holiday in Haslett show on Saturday.  FINALLY - some communication from the organizers today in the form of an email, with paperwork that is NEEDED, along with our booth assignments, to follow snail mail on Thursday or Friday.  Jeez.  Talk about last minute.  But at least I know it's coming.  Still working on squishing everything down into the least amount of displays - I may go through it again this afternoon and weed out a second time...
Once that's over, then I have to start concentrating on the next one, which is the Holt Holiday Craft Show, and getting my HOUSE ready for it.  Hopefully the girls will be coming to scope out the space I've allotted for them this week.    I am trying not to get too stressed about it - stress ultimately makes me ill - so want to get started early.  But not TOO early - with dogs and in home studio space, it's just gonna get dirty again.  Windows will get done next week, and I also hope to make enough at the show on Saturday for new window treatments and MAYBE some wall words for the gray (or as it's now known in the design world - griege) wall in the family room.  The hardest part is that I am a collector of STUFF. 

Stuff like this.  Which will all have to be boxed up and stowed away to
1. make room for sellable stuff, and
2.  keep 5 finger discounts to a minimum.  
It'll get done - I just don't want to start living without my things too soon, ya know?

And in between all the house prep - I'll need to take a day to deliver my jewelry to Owosso and the Art Center.  I still don't know exactly how many items they're allotting me - but I have some things set aside that I feel are gallery worthy - like this:

I'm excited about that oppportunity, too.  I just wish the openhouse and opening ceremony didn't cooincide with my house show.  I would love to be there amongst all the new possible buyers...oh well.  I feel good things will come of this gallery opportunity - and don't think my time there will end with the holiday market.
I also have a group of ladies that have booked a holiday gift making party, which will consist of approx. 7-10 people creating purse charms and earrings.  So kit making will also be in order. 
Besides these events, I also need to be sure that Off~Rack is stocked and happy, and that I'm listing (and hopefully SELLING) on Etsy regularly, too.  Whew. 
I also started a brand new project yesterday that I hope to have finished before the weekend:  "The Beautiful Season"

Pretty close to done with the focal - then I have to back it, and string the strap.  All birthday morning events, I'm thinkin'.  That's tomorrow.  EEK. 

See - BUSY.  With a capital ZEE!  But it is all good busy.  And THAT is ALL GOOD.
Peaceful beading,

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Another milestone

There. That outta cover it.  Why am I excited and jumping for joy?  12,800.  Viewers that is.  There have been 12,800 visitors to this blog site since it's inception.  I realize that there are probably people out there that have had 3 times that, and it's really no big deal.  But it's the little things that make me happy.  And to me - just having you stop by is one of those.  I love this little blog - and apparently 12,800 other visitors (well, probably not quite that many since some are returning readers) feel the same way.  YAY!
Had a fun, but melancholy day at Coyote.  2 extra people in the class meant 2 extra people to give me money!  So hubby and I got to enjoy a nice nite out.  Something we don't get to do much anymore.  I took the time to pack up all of my jewelry and displays after the class, which didn't upset me as much as I expected it would.  I'm just moving on to bigger and better things.  And that's a good of those will be the addition of MANY jewelry items to my Etsy shop just in time for holiday shopping.  The link's on the right if you want to keep updated.  I'm hoping that will happen in the next week or so.
Anyway -thanks for stopping by.  Comment if you can - but no pressure.  I just like knowing you're been here.
Peaceful beading,

Fall Preview and a shout

First, the shout:  I LOVE PicMonkey.  If you haven't tried it yet - it is so fun - and professional looking when complete.  You can use PicMonkey for single photo editing, or my favorite - collages!  So many of the art galleries and shows that I apply to ask for photos of my work - this is the PERFECT way to give them just that - simple and classy.  Check it out, won't you - the monkey will be glad you did!

Now for the preview - using PicMonkey, I created a collage of many of the fall and spooky Halloween themed pieces of jewelry that I will have at the show coming up next weekend at Haslett High School.  This is another one of those shows that is so popular - people come from miles around, out of state, and wait for all year.  And this year, finally, happily - it does NOT correspond with the MSU home/homecoming game that so many vendors and attendees also want to go to. (Haslett borders Michigan State University's campus).  So this show may well be attended by even more happy buyers than usual. Hot damn!

I think I have plenty of inventory - and, since I'm spreading myself thin between Off~Rack, Etsy and the Art Gallery in Owosso - I'm going to be featuring LESS of my everyday jewelry, and MORE of my holiday pieces.  I am trying to get a few more CHRISTMAS (yes, I used that word in October) ornament type items done, so that I can have a small table of those as well.  I have also been working on consolidating that "art show in a box" display stuff.  I think it's down to one box, one rolling cart, one BAG and the jewelry tote.  It's just so much easier to manage when I pay the organizers extra to provide the table and chairs. 
Today is my offical 'last day' at Coyote.  Still very sad that I had to make the decision - but with the addition of the Art Gallery for venues, and wanting to beef up Etsy before the holidays, it just had to be done.  Love them all - and hope I'll have time to pop in every now and then.  Complete opposite end of town from me though - which was part of the problem.  So far to go for just an hour or two at a time, little interest by the customers in what I DO, and just a change in the energy over the past several months.  Time to go.
And last but not least, I will leave you with a couple photos of my latest creations.  Not sure why sometimes I can whip them out in a day or two - like these - and sometimes it takes me a year. 
This is "Bark".  Not only is it resined tree bark, it will also be a gift to our VETERINARIAN.  A little word play.  Couldn't resist.
This is "Shoreline Treasure".  Since selling the Petoskey Pride pendant to Malinda last week, I felt I needed another Michigan themed shout in my line up.  I THINK this one's going to the Art Center.....
Hope your weekend is full of fall - colorful and fun. 
Next week is my birthday week - with something on my calendar for every. single. day.  Yay me!
Peaceful beading,

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Some sad changes

It's been nagging at me for awhile.  I needed to make a major change in my life in regard to the bookstore.  I've had some sleepless nights, and long conversations with family and good friends.  Today was the day the decision was made:   I am, as of this weekend, no longer selling, working or doing computer input work for Coyote.  I just need the break.  I couldn't get hours that worked well for me, I always felt I didn't quite have what it took to help the customers, and that they weren't comfortable with me because I was never there because I couldn't get the hours - a vicious cycle.  I hadn't sold one single thing in over two months (until a pair of earrings yesterday apparently), and had to jump through major personal log in issues to make just a few changes with the website.  I just have a strong urge to leave for awhile.  And so it will be.  I will always love and be grateful to the owner, who has given me more than one opportunity and has been a support system of one, but even that isn't enough to keep me there.  It probably should be.  I owe her so much.  But it's one less thing I need to worry about.  I am concentrating on my holiday shows - and then - who knows.  Let's hope 2013 brings some bigger brighter opportunities.  I've added the address for the new little boutique here in Holt where I've got some things for sale - she doesn't have a website, so no link - but she DOES have a Facebook page if you'd like to LIKE it - Off Rack~Consignment Boutique in Holt, MI.  She posts mostly about new arrivals of the gently used resale items she takes in, but also features the artists as well.  It's a cute little shop - we're hoping for bigger, brighter things there too!
Working on a few last minute under $25 Halloween themed bracelets this afternoon - and then - one of my last shifts at the bookstore.  That will be awkward.  But I'll manage....
Peaceful happy beading,  I hope to be coming at you from a better place next time,

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Girls day out

What a beautiful day.  I finally got a chance, thanks to my friend Laura, to get to The Shiawassee Art Center.  What a wonderful facility.   I think I'll be applying for their holiday market.  It will shorten my inventory for my three day show - but, oh, will it be worth it.

We started our journey with a trip to Williamston.  Something keeps telling me that my future is there.  That there's something in Williamston that I should be checking out.  Still not figuring out what it is.  The only artsy place is something called The Artisan's Circle, which is a co-op with a large 'buy in' and commitment contract.  No thanks.  We did find a very nice place for lunch there though - and will be going back there again - probably on our way to deliver my pieces to the Art Center.
I was so impressed with the Art Center, and still want to take the tour of the Curwood Castle, which is associated with the center.  It's an actual turreted castle style mansion that is open to tours.  A bit pricey - but I think it will be a part of the next trip.  I love that stuff!  We also were treated to an unexpected find of a metaphysical shop call Mystic Visions.  She and Laura had quite a bit in common, and we conversed about our beliefs and gifts for quite a while.  Cute place - she's still new, so it will just keep getting better and better - and fuller and fuller I suspect!  All in all, a nice day.  We both needed the day out and away from our normal lives - and in her case, KIDS.
So now I have to start gearing up for the Haslett Holiday show that is coming up next weekend.  Displays. Check.  Tablecloths. Check.  Everyday jewelry items.  Check. Check. Check.  BUT - I think I want to gear a large portion of my table to HOLIDAY stuff- of both Halloween and Christmas.  And that - I've got not so much.  I want to create non-jewelry type items, too, as in ornaments, so I will be creating snowflakes of all shapes and sizes - probably beginning tonight!

Hope everyone is having a wonderful fall.  It has been colorful but cold here in Michigan - with an "Indian Summer" no where in site.  In fact, the last two years on my birthday (coming up next week! EEK!) it's been in the 70's.  This year - we'll be lucky to hit 60.  I think we used up all our warm this summer!  LOL!
Peaceful, wonderful beading,

Monday, October 8, 2012

How to feel miserable....

My thanks to Facebook friend Hope Smitherman for posting this.  I started to post a rant about it on my Facebook page, but decided I could better break down my insight here.  
I'm not quite sure how I feel about most of these - and frankly, not being quite sure of the original source-I think they're probably talking about art in general, not necessarily beading.  But I'll tell ya - #9 has had me stewing and mulling since I read Hope's post.  I am a lover of seed bead weaving, and bead embroidery. And anyone who has visited this blog on more than one occasion has probably seen photos of my work.  I KNOW that it's good, and I KNOW that it is priced accordingly.   BUT - it's not something that is easy for me to sell on a consistent basis.    SO - doing what customers/clients/galleries, patrons, etc. ASK FOR - is going to show me the money.
Which brings me to #6.  I get where the writer is coming from - I THINK.  But in my case, if I don't let money dictate what I do, I could eventually be homeless and begging on a street corner.  My guess is that this person has a day job that brings home the bacon.  In my case - my beads are my bacon.  I do have a husband that is a good provider, and pays the household bills - but if I just did this for fun, didn't ever expect $$ in return - I'm just not sure it could keep me happy.  I would rarely be able to afford new beads and findings.  PLUS -  I am also of the thought that being paid for what I do - whether it's 6 bucks at a time, or 60, helps give ME, my work, and what I DO, VALUE.  So for me, it's all about the combination; all about doing BOTH - I create the detailed, woven pieces that I love, and manage to sell a few (two in one day this week! hooray!), but also supplement that with simple, but still unique items that customers ask for, and seem to want to buy.   And I still have two shoe boxes full of jewelry that I made, things that made ME happy, that no one else has wanted.  That makes me wonder as well - what DOES the customer/client/gallery owner/patron/investor want in a piece a jewelry?  I hope I find the magic formula someday soon, and until then I guess - I PLAY.
Peaceful, playful beading,

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Mr. Bee A. Buzz

Pretty happy with the result.  And just doing a pendant and not the whole necklace-makes it faster, and more affordable for the customer.  I've done many like these - with an assortment of ribbons and chain for them to choose from if they wish - with mixed results so far.  Maybe I need to make a big deal out of the display for the next show.  Hm. 
Anyway- I hope Malinda likes it. 
Beautiful day outside today - not sure there'll be much beading happening til the sun goes down.
Out on the deck I go with book in hand.
Peaceful, beautiful beading,

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Bead Date!

I've actually had TWO beading play dates this week.  How fun is that?  Monday was spent with my friend Sharon, who enjoys working with seed beads as much as I do.  Didn't think to take the camera that day, so sorry, no photo ops.  We spent a nice afternoon getting closer to finishing projects that we've both been working on most of the summer. 
TODAY I had a play date with my very enthusiastic beading friend, Sally.  I met Sally at a craft show about 5 years ago, while I still had the store.  I sort of became her mentor, and as a bonus during the course of our time together discovered that she lives less than a mile away from me!  Here she was coming all the way over to my shop - when we were within walking distance of each other!  Too funny.  So now she comes down to shop from my boxes of inventory every once in a while, and I go to her house to play.  Today - we played.  Getting ready for the holiday show here at my house in November - at which she is a vendor.  Talking over our respective jewelry inventories, and making sure we're not duplicating.    Sally is still more a stringer (she's too hyper to sit and seed bead for long), and also does pearl knotting. 

A nice warm color combination, but still hadn't decided whether or not to add the leaves when I left.

We also did a little tweaking of these two pieces -- we kinda went pearl crazy with Sally's stuff today!

And of course - Sally.  My hostess with the mostest today.  Beads, tea, cheese, and triscuits.  Cheers!

She also gifted me with these beautiful babies:
Can't wait to find a way to use them that will really blow her away!
And even though we spent a lot of time considering her pieces, and talking about how to bead them, I actually got A LOT done today.  I FINISHED the Rachel Nelson Smith "Chiclets" piece I started during class back in July - ONLY because I made it a single strand instead of a triple.  lol. 
AND - Malinda's Mr.  Bee A. Buzz is ALMOST complete.  Just needs the bail.  I will wait until he is all done to show him to you in all his honey colored glory....
Another totally free day tomorrow, and probably a few hours of beading freedom on Friday afternoon.  Good week. 
Peaceful beading,

Monday, October 1, 2012

Creatively organized chaos

I've blogged in the past about my little beading space - my studio as it were.  A little carved out corner of our under used dining room (the table is my office - who knew you were supposed to EAT at it!), I spend quite a bit of time in that corner of my world.  But usually when I decide to blog about it, I have just cleaned it, organized it, rearranged it so it's pretty.  Well - today - I decided, after being prompted by a question in Facebook's Bead Soup Cafe, to show you the not so pretty side of my space.  The more day to day, creative chaos side.  The side of me I don't always like people to see.  The MESSY one.   It's hard to stay completely organized and be creative - my focus is on what I'm making, not on putting everything back in it's place.  And sometimes - it sort of gets away from me!

Right now it seems especially disorganized, since I'm in the middle of two custom orders, and have some big holiday shows coming up, as well as freshening both retail spaces where I sell my things.  See the sticky notes of pink and blue everywhere?  To do lists and reminders.  That sometimes get lost in the shuffle....oh well.  All in all - I'm still pretty happy back here in this little corner.  Those trays on the top left in photo one are still chuck full of project ideas and the beads to get the job done.  If I ever get to them.  It seems like there's always something - either a repair, or a custom piece, or a new idea, or a newer project that screams louder than the rest to be done.  Someday I MIGHT get to a few of them.  I'm still trying to decide whether to start at the bottom or the top!
So there you have it.  Creatively organized chaos.  :0)
Off for bead play date number ONE this week.  I have TWO planned, as well as a girls DAY out with a fellow October birthday friend, and a girls NIGHT out with friends from my crazy rock n roll bar days....FUN!
Peaceful beading,