Thursday, October 30, 2014

FOURTH time the charm...

It popped into my head over the weekend.  Then it kinda got lost among the beads.  But a friend messaged me with questions about opening a shop of her own - and there it was again.  ETSY.  Should I?  Or Shouldn't I?  I've tried on three separate occasions to sell items through Etsy - listed mostly beads.  Sold a few.  Listed some jewelry. SOLD NONE.  And therein lies the rub.  Will it be different this time?  Etsy has changed things.  Rules.  Regulations.  Shop pages. and more.

But what the heck.  They're not going anywhere sitting in their boxes on a shelf either.  So......

With November 1 coming on Saturday - there's no time like the present.  THE SHOP IS OPEN!

There's nothing in it right now - just a few teaser pics on the 'about' page, and info on the profile page.  So head over and make it a favorite - shescool on Etsy -   and then check back soon.  Not sure what all will appear right away - still have 2 private shows and then the big 3 day comin' up.  But since they've made it so easy to put the shop in vacation mode (probably for that very reason), I can 'take a break' as they call it, and still have the inventory when needed.
Now I just have to find time for photos.  And come up with keywords.  Man, I hate keywords...

And in other bead news...  :)    If you subscribe to Beadwork magazine - watch your mailbox in DECEMBER for the issue that features ME as a challenge participant!  So exciting.

I'm also considering entering Bead Dreams.  Yup.  One of the biggest and brightest.  And - I was keeping this one a secret - but I've spilled it to a few people, so if you read the blog you get to hear too - I've also submitted to Battle of the BeadSmith for next year.  So I could have some BIG HUGE giant projects - WITH DEADLINES - coming up.

Big beady goodness -- here, there, and everywhere!

Peaceful beading,

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Tuesday intentions

I've had every intention of writing this blog today.  While waiting for the words - I've updated the background (leafy) and updated the Creative Spark Issue photo.  The new fall issue is up and ready, and even though I don't have a piece appearing in it this time - several of the design team members have knocked themselves out with awesome fall designs.  So go HERE and enjoy....

I've had every intention of starting to get my house ready for the big three day show coming up next month.  Alas - the beads, the books, the puzzles, the ZenTangle AND a new season of Sons of Anarchy on Netflix! all have a stronger appeal.  I KNOW it must get done, but as usual - will probably wait until the week before.

I keep justifying it in my mind by looking at my beautiful Bella - and all her hair.  I'll just have to clean again next week, right?  And the week after that - and the week after that....  well, you get the idea.  I blame the dog for the house not getting cleaned....  :)

I DID intend to bead - and actually completed a piece that's had several different beginnings over the course of the last few weeks.  Ever heard of the frog stitch?  As in "RIP IT. RIP IT."  Much beading and unbeading before this piece was through:   "The Golden Season" Necklace.  I think it was worth the effort, don't you?

The beautiful focal leaf is a handmade ceramic piece made by a friend and fellow beader;  she beads for fun - but her passion is ceramics.  This is just one small piece of her art.  I hope I did it - and her -- proud.

There are other things that I intend to do this week too - but hey - it's ONLY Tuesday....

Peaceful beading,

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Tangled up

Oh boy.  As if my beads didn't keep me busy 24/7.   I've been officially introduced to Zen Tangle.

I have recently become acquainted with the "other Sheryl" in the area - Sheryl Lamarand.  She's a beader, a Wire Knitz enthusiast, and a certified ZenTangle instructor.  She's also a lover of my Enlightened Denim bracelets - and already owns several!  Turns out we have many things in common besides beads - right down to our golden retrievers!

We took a trip to the Great Lakes Bead Guild monthly meeting in Detroit on Tuesday,  She was the featured speaker - introducing everyone to ZenTangle.  I think I wasn't the only person hooked.  It's a very 'zen' way to relax and let creativity flow. I plan to use some of the strokes and patterns in creating my detailed embroidery pieces - and may even venture into tangling on the denim.... later. Still playing with it - I USED to work crossword puzzles and the like during my TV/down time. NOW I tangle!

And since I can't come up with a good segue into my update on last weekend - here it is!

Birthday was quiet.  Hubby had to work a day shift, which left our plans in limbo.  We opted for a simple quiet dinner at a local steak house that offers free steak on your birthday (how can you resist?) and then home afterward - after all - getting up at 5:15 the next morning was not the kind of 'day after' birthday morning everyone really wants!  BUT -  rise I did.  The annual Holidays in Haslett show day had arrived.  And wow!  What a day!  WHEW!    I LOVE my new location - although a bit smaller - So I had to choose my merchandise wisely.

  I was on the main concourse - people, people everywhere!  It was definitely one of my best shows this year - and to think I almost didn't do it!  I am still debating on whether or not to participate NEXT year - after all - it will be ON my birthday - but I'm thinking maybe that will HELP the sales even more!

Next up - my Shiawassee Art Gallery Holiday Market inventory.  It's ready - only sold 2 of the pieces I had planned to take there; just need to write it up, and take it up.  The fun thing about the location of THAT gallery is that it's half way between here and Frankenmuth - the home of my favorite bead store in all the land - Bead Haven!  So mom and I (and maybe even my mother in law) will be making a day of it, and doing some shopping too.  FUN!

Looking forward to not one but TWO completely free weekends in a row before I have to knuckle down - stop the beading and the Tangling long enough to clean for the NEXT big event - the Holt Holiday Sampler show!  HERE!  IN ONE MONTH!  WHEEE!
Peaceful beading,

Friday, October 17, 2014

I can't drive 55

Today's the day.  The big FIVE FIVE.  55.  Fifty five. 

I am now officially old enough to get SENIOR CITIZEN discounts in several retail and fast food establishments around town,
and could legally live in a senior community should I desire.


I thought 50 was going to be hard.  50 washed away in the Gulf of Mexico (went to Florida for the big 5-0) with nary a whisper.
But this one's hittin' me.
Maybe because I'm feeling my age more often than not.  I'm letting my hair get grayer between coloring sessions.

My heart says let's go out and shake it tonight!

My body says let's just go have dinner and come home and SLEEP.

I'm spending my day mostly solo today - a little beading, a little reading.  And then
there WILL be dinner.  

And maybe a little shaking.  

After my NAP.

Peaceful Beading,

(All images courtesy of Google Images)

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Multi beading

Are you a multi tasker?   I've always been one of those people that could do - or tried to do - more than one thing at a time.  

But as I get older (I'll be 55 NEXT Friday! GASP!), I find it harder to accomplish.  I start out doing one thing, and stop to get started on the second thing, and pretty soon - the second thing has consumed my time. 

Take yesterday for instance.  Looking for some 3mm firepolish beads turned into a sorting session that had me forgetting what I was looking for - but the drawers are now clean and organized!

 I used to be able to have more than one bead project going at once; work on one for awhile, put it down, rest a bit, brew more coffee, let the dogs in/out, and off to bead on the second.   

People have sometimes asked me if I draw out or write down my project plans as they pour out of my head faster than I can bead them - and I always answered NO.

 Lately I've had to change that answer.   If I don't at least write down the concept, or even pull out a few beads in the right size, style or color - I may never recall that little spark again.
I'm trying to wrap up the projects that have pouring out of my head lately - and hope to only have ONE thing to concentrate on for the winter months.  Unless there's a custom request or two - or three....  ;)

I don't want to reveal my big "winter project" quite yet - I don't want to jinx it.   If it pans out - it will definitely need to consume ALL of my beady time.  No multi tasking allowed.

Peaceful beading,

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Fall Fun

It's in the air.  The smells.  The colors.  It's really here.  FALL.  It  IS my favorite time of year, since it's also my birthday time of year.  I have NOT stopped celebrating that day yet  -  but I may soon. They're creepin' up there into higher numbers than I should care to admit.

Anyway - hoping for a bit more fall color than we actually found - my mom and I set out on a mini adventure to the Shiawassee Art Center in Owosso yesterday to check my current inventory -

(One of about a dozen selections currently on display)

Pay my yearly dues, pay my fee for the upcoming special holiday market, and enjoy the beautiful gallery.  Always so many beautiful pieces on display.  I wish I lived a tad closer so that I could enjoy it more often, and participate in more events.    It really is lovely...

The only part of the gallery experience I didn't get a photo of myself is the Curwood Castle, which is located on the grounds directly behind the gallery;
I found this one in a Flickr photo share file, courtesy of Brandon Bartoszek:

Built in 1922 and completed in 1923, the castle was the dream of author James Oliver Curwood, who used one of the turrets as a writing studio.  Click here if you want to read more.  

It was a nice day, and good to chat with mom again during the drive.  We took the 'long way' home, but not before a detour to our favorite antique mall  
 (and my former shop space) - The Little Red Schoolhouse.  

(Photo courtesy of Ann Hackler, owner, LRSH.  From Facebook page)

 Mom was looking for a vintage type tablecloth, and I saw something interesting in a Facebook post earlier in the day.  What an excuse to explore!   The store really has never looked better and brighter.  Several new dealers - lots of new items!    MY find was a success - this matches all of my displays perfectly - no paint or changes required!

SEE!  It's gonna look FABULOUS!

Mom even found her tablecloth, and we had a nice chat with Ann, Pat, and Jan.

A little more fall color would have made the day even better, but it was still a pretty nice one.

Thanks, MOM!

Now off to make a final decision on that special market inventory for the gallery, and to TRY to pare down the inventory for my smaller space at next week's Holidays in Haslett show.  Wish me luck!  So hard to leave pieces behind.  They all scream TAKE ME!  TAKE ME!   LOL.

Peaceful beading,

Sunday, October 5, 2014

October Activities and a Hoedown too

Now see.  Yesterday was so busy, I didn't get to blog.  Probably wouldn't have for the 31 days either - so just as well that I decided to go 'free lance'.  :)

Yesterday was a FULL day.  Farmers Market.  HAIR appointment.  And a big, giant family hoedown aka wedding reception for my niece and her new husband Luke.  What IS the fascination these days with the younger crowd and not wanting a 'wedding'?  This is the second family member (going on a 3rd who plans to do the same) that has run off to VEGAS to get hitched!  Then a few weeks later, they have a big, giant party to celebrate.  Probably much cheaper in the long run.  According to Elizabeth (the lovely bride) - much less stress.   So here are a few photos from last night - 
a lovely time was had by all!

The wedding 'shindig' of Luke & Liz (Mayes) Langkamp  Oct. 4, 2014

Mom and pop. And my hubby.  :)

Nephew Andrew and his girlfriend Jordan.

The lovely couple - Liz & Luke.

My wonderfully vivacious and awesome sister in law that I rarely get to see - HOLLY!

Mom and Pop taking a spin.  For the FIRST TIME EVER.  (They don't dance)

My brother Steve and his girl Nancy.  (I've never seen him dance before either.  Thanks, NANCY!)

Not a half bad photo - of either of us!  LOL.

  Didn't get to catch up with as many as I'd hoped - and I don't think I even TALKED to Luke!
We probably won't all get to see each other again until Christmas.  Which isn't really all that far away.  But at least it will JUST be our family, without drunken friends and other folks in the mix.  So I can catch up then.

It was a fun night.  I had hoped to have a bit of video of the dancing - but my phone CRASHED!  I've gotten it going again - but it was a scary moment.  Can't live without my electronic devices!

Today will be a day to rest.  Hubby off to the hunt (deer/bow season opened this week), and I have beads and a book.

Another busy week in store though - where DOES the time go?  Eye doctors appointments, and a trip to one of my favorite places with Mom - Shiawassee Art Center.  It should be a bit nicer mid-week, and I hope to get a few photos from there this time - the leaves, the river, the castle (yes, CASTLE).  It will be a blog for a later date....

And oh - I know I made a big deal earlier in blogland about taking October off.  Ha.
I couldn't make myself do it.  So Holidays in Haslett here I come!  I downsized, which should put me out in the common area where my peeps have their spaces, and it's the day AFTER my birthday, so I plan to have a bit of fun with that as well.

Peaceful beading.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

NO 31 Days for ME

Well it wasn't as easy as I thought it would be after all.  The techno babble link stuff and having to edit and re-edit and relink 30 times and UGH.

I'm out. 2 days in and the tech stuff is truly not as easy as everyone claimed.  I just want to blog. So I will still blog - but not as a part of the 31 dayers - and probably not everyday. 

There. No stress for me.   I had scheduled day 3 before I realized how complicated it was going to be for everyone to even get to day TWO.  But I decided to just go ahead and publish it.  So what do you know.  THREE blogs from me in ONE day!  YAY!

No worries though.   I'll still blog for my followers.  And friends.  AND ME


Peaceful beading.

31 Days - Day 3 - Art or Bust

On day one, I sort of touched on the subject of ART, and how I’m struggling with so many and in so many instances to be categorized NOT as a CRAFTER – but as a full fledged, off the top of my head, not like anything else ever seen- ARTIST.  That needs, wants, DEMANDS to be respected – and PAID as such.

 My work – my art – is my JOY.  MY PASSION.   I don’t have another job.  THIS is what I DO.  Art fairs, and yes, still craft shows (can’t get organizers to call it anything else in this area) are a way of life from May (or earlier) to November every year.   Some outdoor, requiring tent, tables and travel.  Some indoor, requiring long hours of watching people stroll by; most of them excited at the uniqueness of my pieces. Thankfully many were happy buyers this summer – and it was one of my best money making years yet.

Working with those little tiny seed beads, the cathartic flow and blend of the colors and the stitches. It's very calming.  Very soothing.  It has become a part of me.  Being away from the studio table for more than a few hours leaves me longing for the color, the shape, the FEEL of those little things with holes.    I also find it a natural, almost intuitive design flow to create with ideas from nature.  Just one walk through the woods, my garden, or just sitting in the chair on the deck can fill my head with the sights and even sounds needed to complete the art I've come to love.
My latest successful endeavor – one that has taken flight and gone further than I ever imagined – is what I have named and copyrighted -  “Enlightened Denim”.  Why Enlightened Denim you may wonder?  Well, first of all because it is old worn out parts of denim blue jeans; RENEWED.  MADE BETTER.  It’s become enlightened if you will.  And because the very first piece that I made includes a lotus blossom link and a Buddha head charm. I called it “Enlightened”.   It was my very first, and the one that inspired the whole line.   I still wear this piece on a very regular basis.

Unfortunately, sadly, there are still those visitors, those show goers, those PEOPLE that don’t understand the WORK, the time, the extra beads, metals, clasps, thread, etc. that goes into creating a one of a kind showpiece.  And they ARE show pieces.  I may be unsure of myself in many factors of my life – but my beading, MY ART I am adamantly sure of, and will fight for.    It hurts my heart first, and gets my dander up second when they question the cost of my pieces created with what they consider ‘junk’.    It’s rude.  It’s unnecessary.  It’s just plain uncalled for. In most cases I do try to explain the WHY, although I shouldn't have to. I’m not sure why people think it’s ok to be insulting in these cases.  It’s not like they’re even anonymous like those on Facebook and other social media.   I don’t even know where to begin with the insult train wreck caused by social media, not just regarding my art, or others art - but in ALL situations.  Everyone has OBVIOUSLY forgotten one of the Golden Rules I learned and TRY to live by:

If you can’t say anything nice, DON’T say it at ALL.

Surround yourselves with beauty, girlfriends, go spread love - and I’ll see ya’ll tomorrow!

Peaceful beading,

Day 2 of the awesome 31 day blog

Wow.  Who knew that the world was so rich with writers?  Not just bloggers.  Because some of the posts that have been written - even on the first day, will blow you away.  And I gotta tell ya - I apologize right now to anyone that I don't read.  Because seriously?  Reading all the blogs, under all the categories, every day, for 31 days?   744 hours isn't gonna cut it.  So I need to form an organized, daily plan to get through those that I've already found to be intriguing (truth or dare?  Hmm.  Go look in the Too Awesome category if you want to read for yourself.. they are number 1.)

I will also be checking out on a regular basis  #31 Wild Hair - simply because I've been there.  And #148 - The Musical Theatre Life.  I'll probably be passing that link on to my musical theatre friends. I'll also be checking this out :  #45 - the Yooper life, because (and only Michiganders will get this one) - I'm a troll.  Being under that Yooper's bridge gives us our state in common, and something to relate.  I can't wait.

I  just scrolled through all those that were added last evening - there are now 148 'buttons' JUST in the TOO AWESOME category.  After the FIRST day.  See what I mean?   Not enough hours, especially for an artist that needs to create for a living.  My summer show season just ended - but I still have an October show and the big 3 day holiday home show in November.  Along with the Facebook album of items for sale (shameless plug, so sue me) - create I must.  That may be a good topic for another day too.  Creating is in my blood.  And in my soul.  There are occasional days when I don't get to sit in the studio.  Those days are felt down deep.  And I can't wait to get there afterward....

I think that will do it for Day 2.  If you aren't a "31 Dayer" as we're calling ourselves, you may want to check out the site.  Click the link over on the left (I linked it to the main website rather than my topics list - simply because, for the most part - I am winging it.) and be prepared to be amazed.

Last but not least, because we're entering my favorite month of the year, not just because it's my birthday month (another reason I chose to do this) - but because of the smells of autumn, pumpkin everything, and the spooky, dark 'holiday' that is Halloween.  Just finished this piece last week - I don't think it will stay with me long:  This is "Blink".

If you want price and piece info - go to my Cool Moon Creations & Beads Facebook page and click on the Cool Moon jewelry album.

Peaceful beading,

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

31 Days of Blogging

I'm doing something new and completely different here, girls.  

I have joined "31 days of blogging" challenge that requires us to blog about a subject EVERY DAY
for the 31 days of October.  There were several subjects to pick from, 


personal endeavors.  I could have picked that one, but then you see nothing but beads, beads, beads, beads everyday.  ;)   (as if you don't anyway, snicker, snicker).

There was also inspiration and faith.  I liked that one too - I have so many wonderful inspirational quotes and sayings.  But for 31 days?  Snore.
I thought about picking the organization one, or maybe the fashion and beauty.  Then I would STILL be talking about beads, beads, beads, beads each time, but it would be more organized.  
And beautiful.  

I ultimately picked the one that I have a sense will be the most popular - because it is all encompassing  -  we can reach for stars, and give you the moon, or just talk about our dog:


So here goes.  On my first day of awesomeness, I may already make you want to


I MUST.   

So here goes.  A rather introductory little post, so that you don't have to visit the 'about' section.
I am a wife.  But not a mother. I am a dog lover.  I am an artist.  I am spiritual.  But not so much religious.  I am a lover, a Libra.  And definitely not a fighter.  Unless it's about my art.

My art, my passion and my life revolves around the passion of beads and bead embroidery.  MORE than just a craft.  Something I still struggle to explain and get people close and far to accept and understand.  I have had award winning pieces. (see Mariposa over there on the left).
I have had pieces and projects appear in magazines.  I am just NOW, after being at this little 'show' for over 20 YEARS - gaining notoriety and respect.  But not necessarily love.
Still hard to explain the whole handmade/buy local/don't want to be a starving artist THING
to the area that I live in.  

Which I think I'll leave to blog about for another day.
So for now, I think I'll leave it here.

On to day 2.
And as I've ended all the rest of my everyday, little babble-y blogs since 2008 -
Peaceful beading.