Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Ring toss–or should I say hat

FIRST - just want to let all of you faithful readers and sometime commenters know that when you DO comment, the comment goes to my business email, which I will answer-so that you know I know you sent it.  (say that 3 times fast). This is also how I am keeping the countless spam posts away.   BUT - I’m afraid for the immediate future, your posts won’t show up on the blog.  I hate to do it that way – and I will try and figure out a way to change it BEFORE the challenge reveal so that everyone’s comments can be posted.  Oh, Google, how you frustrate me.

Wonka Top Hat gwenbeads35
NOW - if you’re a Facebook fan – you may have seen the vague post about ‘throwing my hat in the ring’.  Here’s the spoiler for that one – I’m thinking of entering the FMG Seed Bead Jewelry contest.  I have a cab piece all laid out, and have the seed beads and accents all ready to order – just gotta manifest that cash.  I will have plenty of time to work on it before the deadline – which isn’t until the end of May.  I realized as I was filling out the order from FM, that the cab pieces I have laid out ALSO came from them awhile back – so it truly will be a FMG jewelry piece.  BUT – haven’t ordered the beads yet – and still have to find out the details of my meeting at the High School tomorrow.  So my plan for the hat could change….

(I just noticed that the photo – supplied by Google Images – came from GwenBeads blog  – pretty cool!  Thanks, GwenBeads!)

Hope your warm and cozy with beads – where ever you are.

Peaceful beading,

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

THIS is why I do this

happy dance

HA!  And at the same time that I’m writing my previous post, one of those opportunities I spoke of contacted me, and something just may have worked out!  Talk about classic mercury retrograde:  they attempted to contact me, as well as other inquirers, a month ago and didn’t hear back from ANY OF US!  So now, during mercury retrograde – I contact them again – and we finally schedule a meeting.  Email glitch.  Such a perfect example.
So wish me luck.  I’m not telling anyone else (except my mother!) what it’s all about until it’s said and done.  But if it happens as I hope – it will keep me busy, busy, busy – and make me $$, $$, $$!

Peaceful beading,


Remind me why I do this

My apologies right now if this post is a bummer – but just like with a journal, which is pretty much how I look at this blog – it ain’t all hearts and flowers.

hearts flowers 

I’m at that point in my artistic/designing career where I’m wondering…what’s it all for?  I found out today that the big 2 day April event I’ve been working toward, creating for, making things with the clientele in mind – has been cancelled.  Not going to happen.  Nada.  Zilch.  Crap.

So I ask myself  -  now what?  I made a couple of inquiries to galleries today, and a follow up for an opportunity that I sent proposals for weeks ago.  Still no word from them – and I cringe at the thought.  More no’s?  I don’t handle rejection very well, so trust me when I tell you that the inquiries, and proposals and submissions that I’ve made this year have been HUGE steps for me.  But just as I feared, and as I’ve experienced in the past – no. no. nope. no. and NOT.  It’s hard to be upbeat and happy with those types of answers.  I know I just posted about beading for ME – and I’m trying very, very, VERY hard to stay true to that thought.  But at the same time, it really would be nice to have a bit of success and even recognition for my work.  If it’s one thing I AM confident about it’s that I DO GOOD BEADWORK.  I’ve been very grateful to my Thursday girls lately, who’ve taken pity on me and purchased many pieces (at great discount and no profit – but when ya need the cash….).  I am just running out of ideas.  And I am truthfully and unfortunately at a disadvantage for any summer time outdoor shows coming up – I don’t have a tent, and my car is not reliable for long distances.  I am not trying to make excuses – I am just stating facts.  It’s why I continue to participate in the local art market in the neighboring township – it’s close enough that my car won’t protest, and it’s covered without need of a tent.  It’s not a huge profit – but it’s something.  I wish they’d advertise more.  I keep hoping for more opportunities from it.  I wish.  I hope.  I dream.  AND I DO.  It’s just gotta pay off one of these days.  Doesn’t it?
Hopeful and peaceful beading,

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Hoppin’ along

These blog hops are so much fun!

I WISH I could share my soup pieces with you now!  I’m a part of the second reveal, which is a whole month away!


So it’s still a secret.  I WILL say that I’ve completed TWO pieces so far.  Not going to say what type – earrings?  Could be.  A bracelet?  Hmmm. Maybe.  TWO bracelets?  A necklace?  You are just going to have to wait. Wait. WAIT.  I will also add that I’m not done!  I still have several soup ingredients yet to cook with!  Wheee!
And speaking of cooking….I’ve also been on the hunt for some new recipes lately.  I do like to cook, and of course, EAT – and I do enjoy my husbands praise when I create something yummy for us too.  Lately though – the recipes have been dull, bland and downright duds.  I don’t know why I thought some of those recipes sounded good when I clipped them – but lets just say my recipe file is getting a little lighter with each attempt.  In fact – this week – it’s back to tried and true comfort foods that I KNOW how to make – spaghetti, meatloaf, tacos, tortilla soup, steak – all with venison, of course.  So if you’ve got a good recipe that doesn’t feed an army (we are an army of two), something that doesn’t take umpteen ingredients (trying to save at the check out), and is yummy to the tummy – share please.  Doesn’t have to be venison based – I can vary the recipe to include it if I need to.  But just looking for quick casserole, bake-able, EDIBLE meals.  Smile 
So that’s it for today.  Cookin’ up beads and food.  YUMMY!
Peaceful beading,

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Stormy “C”’s

Challenge.  (In more ways than one.)  Coupons. Cabs. and COLD.  Not necessarily in that order.  It’s cold outside.  And white.  And blah.  Like my mood.  I apologize for not blogging for almost an entire WEEK – in my defense – I blame Google.  They’ve changed things now so that I can’t just keep my Blogger account AND my separate business Email accounts logged in and open every day all day – so it’s a bit more complicated to upload to the blog on a whim anymore.  And that’s pretty much how I was rolling….feel like blogging?   Up it went.  Load a photo?  Here you go.  Share and forward by email some info about upcoming shows to a friend – you’re welcome.  Phfffft.
So much for easy peasy.  So anyway – here I am – I guess I better make it worth your while!  After I blogged about my cool stash from Pat Haight of The Wigglebutt blog for our Bead Soup Blog Challenge – SHE SENT ME MORE!  These were ‘just becauses’ – things she was going to send, changed her mind, then changed her mind again….


I ABSOLUTELY LOVE the owls – and those are planned for at least two of my challenge pieces (yup – there are multiple).  The dragonfly is also going into one of them.  Not sure about the others yet.  I’m thinking my friend with the beeswax and honey business is gonna FREAK when she sees the bee one.  So that one may have Malinda’s name all over it. 
I am actually quite grateful to Lori and her Bead Soup Blog Challenge right now.  Since every other thing that I had in the works for the winter months has fizzled out on me – I have nothing to bead for.  No shops to sell in (other than the gallery-my time is up end of March-but they don’t want new items).  No March show as planned.  MAYBE not even an April show as planned – we haven’t heard from the organizer.  No custom requests of late, and no time to gather friends for a sale (their schedules are hairy-not mine). I’ve had one huge sale from ETSY this month.  Yip. EE.  All in all – I’m afraid if I didn’t have this challenge to fall back on, to look forward to, to give me a reason to be at the bead table – well – not sure I would find the energy to continue the bead thing.  As it is I’m spending a LOT of my down time contemplating the common sense in continuing to try to sell what I consider to be art gallery quality work in a community that is more suited to flea markets.  It ain’t workin’.
But I’m trying to stay positive – and stay true to my heart’s desire:



Someone asked me not long ago why I continued to bead, given the current state of the economy in the area – and that was the honest answer I gave her.  That I was beginning to question the sanity of.  Then this showed up on Facebook recently – and I realized that it’s what KEEPS ME SANE.  Even if nobody cares.
Now about those other C’s:  Cabs, of course – being used quite heavily in my current challenge piece.  It will definitely be arty.  And fun.  And hopefully wanted by someone.  If not – I will wear it with pride, as I do many of my pieces from time to time – for sale or not.
The final C – COUPONS.  In an attempt to TRY to save money on groceries, my husband has me checking local store circulars, sale ads, and online store sites for SAVINGS.   It changes the way I create my list, and the TIME it takes me to do it.  But again – since I’ve nothing but the challenge to bead for at the moment – it seems I have nothing BUT time. 
I hope YOU have time for some peaceful beading,

Thursday, February 14, 2013

The soup is here! The soup is here!

Lookie what I got all the way from my partner Pat Haight in Alaska today! 
SOOOOO much semi precious yumminess.  And the handmade toggle is exquisite!  My head started filling with ideas the minute I unwrapped them all!  Gonna be more than one thing, for sure!  HANDMADE 'faux bone’ clay, the toggle, enameled filigree, and tons and tons and TONS of earthly delights!
Let’s get this party started!
Peaceful beading, and Happy Valentine’s Day!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Spam is not just a meat like substance

It’s a pain in the patootey is what it is.  There’s been lots of talk, and a huge long thread on Facebook’s Bead Soup CafĂ© about turning off our comment “Captcha” – the series of numbers and letters that identify the commenter as a real person.  These numbers are hard to read, making commenting on blogs, especially during the Bead Soup Blog Party – an impossiblity for some.  I broke down and turned mine off last fall.  WOW.  Not sure how the spammers out there find out who does and who doesn’t have that safety feature- but I just DELETED over 1,000 anonymous drug ads from my blog comments.  Unreal.  And who pays attention to those, anyway?  Anybody?  Someone (if it’s an actual person and not a computer) –must get paid by the post.   I know Lori plans to expand on this subject on her blog soon – so I won’t bore you any longer. Just make sure that if you turn OFF your Captcha – you turn ON your moderation.  Unfortunately – that means all those emails are gonna go to your inbox.  ~sigh~

And now on to the important part of the blog – the new piece reveal!  I’ve been working on this piece – that was tentatively named “Easter Morning” just since yesterday.  I could probably consider myself a ‘speedy beady’ – but Dot Lewallen holds that distinction.  But when I am home, with nothing on my calendar (another ~sigh~) – I mostly bead.  And today I needed the calming, cathartic rhythm of beading – so I beaded a lot.  Word of another heart attack for my dad – and not being able to be in Florida with him, or my Mom – left me feeling a bit anxious, worried, fretful – and downright stressed.  So the only good way I know to keep my mind off my troubles – and calm the hell down – is with BEADS.  So here is the finished product – final name – OSTARA (another word for the Spring Equinox)

Ostara.jpgNote the use of that Pantone color of the year – Emerald green!  In the form of Bloodstone, some dyed agate, and lots of seed beads.  Rose quartz, Kyanite, Swarovski crystal, czech glass – a hodge podge of beads that came together perfectly.  I’ve had those two hole Rose Quartz beads since RingsNThings was here over a year ago.  You just never know when the perfect project is gonna come along – that’s why I have such a huge INVENTORY of beads.  THAT’s the nice way of explaining my HOARD!  LOL!
Peaceful SPAM FREE beading,

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Have you camouflaged your cab today?


Easter Morning 1.jpg

I have. 

This one is tentatively named “Easter Morning”.  Don’t ask me why - that’s just what the voice in my head said – so I’m going with it.  For now.  The photo above is what I started on just this afternoon. 

Easter Morning2.jpg

Then a few hours later – this is where it is.  Notice that the beautiful Bloodstone cab above now has a ‘stripe’ of beads across one side.  It blends in with the stripe on the agate piece below – but wasn’t in my original plan, believe me.  THIS is what one must resort to after one DROPS the piece face DOWN on the wooden desk top.  CRACK.  CRY.  SWEAR.  And then debate on wasting an afternoon’s worth of creative energy – or go with it; camouflage.

I camouflaged.

This is going to be a full necklace piece, with a double strand rose quartz and kyanite strap, and probably a handmade toggle of either peyote or RAW.  A statement piece.   So I want it to look as perfect as I can.  Crack?  What crack?
Open-mouthed smile

Peaceful beading,

Sunday, February 10, 2013




THIS is what just arrived in ALASKA!  And my partner, Pat Haight of The Wigglebutt Blog says mine is on it’s way to ME!  SO excited!  From checking out her blog and Facebook info – I can see she’s a polymer clay worker – and she says she MADE me some of the components!  Polymer clay is something I don’t work with much – so if I’m right – this is gonna be one awesome soup!
If you don’t know what Lori Anderson’s Bead Soup Blog Challenge is all about, I urge you to hit the link and find out!

My mojo does indeed seem to have returned from it’s little vacation, so I’ve got a list of ‘to-do’s’ for the show season, as well as a few more ‘just because’s’ ready to go.  Photos soon of the two brooch pieces I’m working on.  The bright orange donut piece “BRIGHT” is finished, and I’m putting the finishing edging on ‘Green Glade’ today.  I’m thinking of doing a pin in each color of the spectrum – but we’ll have to see how that plays out once my soup ingredients arrive!  My first show of the season is scheduled for right around the same time as my reveal.  So hustle! hustle! BEAD! BEAD! BEAD!

Whether you’ve got sun or snow right now, I just hope you’ve got beads too!
Peaceful beading,

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Mojo? Is that you?

I THINK it’s slowly returning.  It was on vacation for a bit – but having to sit down and choose bead soup for the Bead Soup Blog Challenge may have called it back earlier than expected.  After I chose my soup – for my partner Pat Haight of The Wigglebutt Blog, I decided to look through all the UFO trays and boxes – if for nothing else – just to run my hands through the beads.  But then one of them spoke up – and said BEAD ME.  So this is what has taken a few days to transpire:


“Bright”.  It’s a brooch.  That isn’t finished.  It took forever to get that button to sit squarely and tightly in the donut hole, and I’m still struggling with the even number of fringes along the bottom. Then I realized I should have SEWN the pinback to the backing BEFORE I glued the donut in place. Ack. But all in all – I think it’s a keeper.  Putting on the backing – and choosing the edging stitch – is where I’m once again stuck.  I’m hoping an afternoon of bookstore browsing and a Panera Bread dinner will leave me refreshed and ready to decide.  And then hopefully, maybe – wishful thinkingly – that mojo will have returned for good – because by then – my soup will have arrived from Pat!  All the way from Alaska! Awesome sauce indeed!
Peaceful beading,


Monday, February 4, 2013

Waiting on the Awesome Sauce

I’m afraid my week isn’t starting out on the best of notes.  Nothing bad or catastrophic has happened really – but then, NOTHING has happened.  I seem to have lost my muse, my mojo, my creative mind.  I seem to have lost myinspirationIt used to be that when a box or package of beads arrived with the mail, as they did today, I could not WAIT to sit down and start creating with the things I bought.  Usually it contained that one last component that I needed to finally start a project – as indeed, today’s did.  But I can’t seem to find the muse, or the mojo – or they WAY to get it started.  I sorted through the bag, put things in piles, but couldn’t quite find any perspective.
I rather felt like this:

sad dog

All sad, and fuzzy.  Felt like I needed some love.  And I haven’t really felt like I was being a debby downer, or at least I didn’t think I did.  Today I managed to get the dishes taken care of, the lunch casserole made, and the recycling stuffed in the bin.  Progress.  But just not of the beady kind.  I think I’m still feeling sorry for myself about the fact that the art gallery turned down my answer to their call for artists.  How dare they?  And what am I to do with all the heart themed pieces that I WAS inspired to make?  Etsy?  Not the way that’s been going. (see prior post)  And it’s been snowing, and gray, and cold for about 4 days in a row.  So maybe it’s just the February blahs.  The news from the groundhog, at least, was a bit brightening.  Just 4 more weeks instead of 6.  Oh please say it’s true…because I really need it to be warm and blue….

warm & blue

So I guess until my mojo comes back, because I swear it went off someplace sunny and warm without me,  I just need to remember:

heart wants
I just may be over thinking and stressing out about not having anything to bead.  There is probably a reason that my mind is resting – and waiting for the muse to return.    And when it does it will be:

awesome sauce

Peaceful beading,

Friday, February 1, 2013

Etsy Schmetsy

Fair warning – if you are an Etsy fan – you may want to stop here.  I am in the mood to vent about something (besides the traffic and stress I dealt with out in the real world this morning), so I picked Etsy instead.

Key-Success  (courtesy of Google Images)
There MUST be a secret code.  There MUST be a hidden key.  I KNOW there are cliques, and groups, and ‘circles’.  But what I really am wondering is HOW DO YOU SELL on Etsy?  Because, once again, I am about to give up.  So few hits.  So few likes or hearts.  And very, very, VERY few sales.  I just have never figured out the magic quotient, spell, word, or WAY to get people to visit, view, like, favorite, and ultimately BUY my beads and jewelry.  And (inserting boastful arrogance here) I KNOW that what I have for sale is not crap.  I have good quality, semi precious beads that I know aren’t over priced.  And sure, maybe a few of my bead embroidered, seed bead laden, unique, one of a kind pieces ARE a bit pricey.  Not any more than some of the others with Etsy shops.  That sell them.  Consistently.  I want to know their secret.  I can probably already guess one of the reasons.  I haven’t devoted my life 24/7 to Etsy.  I don’t sit in front of it day after day, hour after hour, and list, and list, and list.  But I know others who don’t do that either – and they have consistent sales.  I offered a SALE in my shop. That I announced in a gajillion places.  NO sales.  Not even at 20% off.  I even made some changes to make purchasing with credit cards easier.  I started relisting more often to keep my name in the ‘queue"’.  Still nothing.
So I am just a bit dismayed and disappointed that what I thought was going to be a great way to continue to sell beads and jewelry after the shop closed – has turned into such a dud for me.  I suppose I could shell out the money to ‘promote’.  But I’ve asked around.  No one I have spoken with ever had luck with that, and I simply don’t have the money to spare.  Because I have no sales on Etsy.  Do you sense a pattern here?
Now one thing I DO want to say – especially if you are still here reading – is that I AM NOT trying to guilt any one of my readers or followers into buying.  That’s not what this blog/vent is all about.  But I have a feeling I’m not alone in realizing that Etsy is probably not the best venue for trying to sell beads.  Or beaded jewelry.  Because unfortunately for me, so is everyone else.  And their brother.
I’m sure this blog post isn’t going to win me any favors, or new followers, and sadly, it may even alienate a few that I do have.  But as my friends and family are coming to discover – I am much LOUDER and prouder in my sense of self these days.  I say stuff.  That I probably shouldn’t.  That needs to be said.
Just sayin’.
So now that I’m done venting, and home, and warm, and about to dig into a yummy venison enchilada – I’m good, and then I’ll be ready to bead – apparently for no one but myself.  And that’s good too.
Peaceful beading,
(And if you’re still here – thanks for stickin’ it out til the end! YOU ROCK!)