Sunday, February 22, 2015

Creating a spark

I just posted the link to the winter issue of ZNetShows  Creative Spark emag.  It's NOW located over on the right hand side - look for the beautiful cover photo of the piece by fellow ZNet designer Amy Severino.  I didn't participate as a designer this time, but it is still a BEAUTIFUL issue that does indeed create a spark.  ENJOY!   I DO plan to participate in the next issue's challenge - ZNet is so generous with their offerings for designers - and have a great inventory of fun sea glass and other beads for everyone to purchase as well.  I hope you'll head over and check them out... (just click the link above).

As I probably mentioned in a previous post or two (ha-ha) I've reached that point in my beading 'career' that I am all about entering contests.  My first was Fire Mountain Gems Seed Bead Contest in 2013 - for which I was chosen a finalist.  As a FIRST TIME entrant, it blew me away that I was one of the honorees.   They just emailed me again this week and requested that enter for 2015!  As I had already planned to enter Bead Dreams (not going so well) and possibly Battle of the Beadsmith (not sure I can be that fast on my design feet), I decided to go for it.  So in the works at this time, along with gallery inventory, show year inventory, class preparation, and monthly play date prep - is my FMG entry too.  If I'm gonna do this bead thing, I may as well do it BIG!  LOL!  If you haven't already seen my 2013 entry (again - ha-ha) it's over there on the right hand side too.

Hope you're having a fun filled winter, all warm and cozy with brews of whatever you choose, blankets and cozy socks to keep you warm, and of course - BEADS.

Peaceful beading,

And P.S.  let me know what you think of my NEW BLOG LOOK.  I only intended to change the text font, and well - got a little crazy.  But I kinda like it.

Thursday, February 19, 2015


SO COLD here in Michigan.  Minus 8 this morning, with the wind chill much, much MUCH colder than that.  Dangerously cold.  But on a GOOD note - it's not snowing, and the sun is shining.  Since it's only 10 steps from the back door to the garage door - I'm taking the 'plunge' and heading out this morning.  I've been missing my Thursday girls - and my Biggby runs.  I need a fix of BOTH today - no matter how cold!
I'll soon be posting a new link to the winter issue of Creative Spark.  I decided NOT to participate in the designing for this issue, although I did contribute some of the other content.  The magazine is absolutely beautiful (I got to see an advance copy today) - and the sea glass and beads the girls had to work with are absolutely gorgeous.  I missed out!  It's still worth a look at the issue - and I WILL participate in the next one, for sure.   Watch for the link in the next few days....

I'm also setting up and getting ready for my "First Thursday" night in a few weeks.  I will  have a few of my pieces showcased and for sale, along with tables for play and learning.  If you're local, try and join us!

And since it's been so cold, and enjoying my garden and yard from the deck is out of the question,
My "Happy Place"

my muse and I have been hard at work in the bead studio:

This piece is done using WireKnitZ wire mesh fabric.  I've met some new friends in the last year that have introduced me to this interesting and unique item.  Many of the designs made with it are bead free, but I of course - MUST add beads.  This was my FIRST use of the WireKnitZ as the focus of a piece (usually I just add a hint here and there as accent).  I'm pretty pleased with it!

And this one, of course - inspired by my love of  the PBS series 'Downton Abbey'.  Gonna miss that show when it goes after next season.  MUCH inspiration in the clothing and jewelry of the era.

There is an actual complete set for "The Gilded Age" at this point - a bracelet and earrings that mirror the strap design.  There was also a prior pair of earrings to match using antique goldtone buttons - which got snapped up off Facebook within minutes of posting the photo!  I LOVE IT!

There are other thoughts and ideas brewing... along with the coffee that's keeping me WARM.

Warm thoughts and peaceful beading,

Friday, February 13, 2015

Just a quickie

Minds out of the gutter, girls.   This is actually a quick TEST of some changes recently made by my email provider that involved my Google account - which affects THIS blog.

So not a lot of new news.  I've sent out my Facebook event invites to the monthly FIRST Thursday Bead and Play days, as well as my spring open house.  You'll find info about both of those on the Class and Event page.  Soon to be added to that page when I know all the i's are dotted and t's are crossed - I've submitted TWO classes to Holt Community Education again for spring.  Spiral Rope. And Embellished Spiral Rope.  BOTH easy, beginner and FUN beading intro classes.

Other than that - same old.  Same old.  Cold. Cold. Cold.  So I bead, and I bead and occasionally read.

As I sign off - here's something that will WARM you AND wish you a Happy Valentine's Day!

Peaceful beading,

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

The scales of indecision

A Libra.  That's me.

A lover.  NOT a fighter - unless it's for a person or CAUSE that I emphatically believe in.  Then you really don't want to tip the scale in the wrong direction.  Venus ruled.  Air driven.  Beauty loving. Justice in ALL things.  Just about every Sun sign based Astrological column out there is usually pretty spot on when it comes to me as a Libra.
On the other hand - those scales want nothing more than to be balanced.  Keep it centered.  Which makes decision making and side picking very frustrating sometimes!   I always try to see the best in ALL situations, so giving advice is sometimes really hard for me.  It also makes it hard for me to be SURE  that I'm really doing the right thing for MYSELF.

I'm talking here about the Etsy site.

It's up.  It's running.  I think it's got some really cool stuff in it.  Some denim.  Some not.  Some of my most detailed and beautiful bead embroidery pieces, in my personal opinion (which Libra's are oh so willing to give!).

So why am I so 'on the fence', wishy washy, and down right undecided about what to do with it?
I  like to blame being a Libra.  I could also blame another Astrological phenomenon at the moment - Mercury Retrograde (a seemingly backward motion of our planet that rules communication - making it and items associated with it - seem wonky about 3 or 4 times a year).  AND the moon is full.  So I'm determined to wait it out and see what happens when the planets are better aligned.  BUT - seriously.
HOW do I get better traffic to that site?  I've tried daily listing.  I draw the line at hourly listing - so maybe I'm not going to be 'trending' as often as those that seem to make a full time job of it - and have the inventory to do so.  I'm just not that hard core. I know that part of the 'problem' is that I am one of  well over a million bead jewelry makers.   I am also greatly hesitant to PAY to promote the site - although I do concur that there really isn't any good FREE advertising anymore.  Bottom line - you get what you pay for.   I also don't have the budget to pay to advertise - whether it be Etsy or Facebook or even a good website.  MOST of the dollars I bring in from my jewelry (and last year was the BEST year EVER!) goes right back into it again - either in the form of more beads and things to make jewelry, or show fees for the season of shows for 6 months of the year - if not more.  SOME of what I make goes for gas for the Jeep, food for the hubs and the dogs - LIVING money.  There really isn't any to spare to spend on advertising.  That's why I had HOPED that having a page here on the blog would suffice.  Honestly - my BEST sales tool at the moment is still just posting regularly on my Facebook page.  My local peeps are my best customers - and face to face money and jewelry exchanges are my favorite!  So until FB tells me I can't - it will continue to be my favorite sales tool.

So that begs the wishy washy what do I do now question:  What to truly do with the Etsy site?   Do I bag it again and just rely on Facebook - Is occasional listing of an awesome piece or two or three gonna do the trick?;  just let it ride, list every once in awhile - talk about it, spread the URL around as much as possible, and hope that eventually - someday - it will get some regular love.  And by love I mean MORE than favoriting.  THAT is one Etsy 'tool' I could live without.  People can favorite a piece everyday into next week - but they are probably NEVER going to buy it.  I wish I could turn that feature off, frankly.  I don't care if you favorite it.  I just want to know when you BUY it.  My phone notifications HAVE been turned off - because for some reason - favoriting items on Etsy is something people like to do in the middle of the night!

For  now - because of my true faith in astrological signs, aspects and prediction - I'm going to let it ride.    Hey, what do you know - a decision!   LOL.

Sorry about all the "foreign" language today - I just love to speak Astrolog-ese when I have the chance!  And thank you so much for hanging in there and reading it through to the end - this blog is also a journal for ME - and helps me talk out and work out the processes and ideas in my head.  You guys just get to be the lucky recipients of the babble!

And on a final note - if you aren't a fan of my Cool Moon Creations and Beads Facebook page - I hope you'll head over and like me.  I post new pieces there and on my personal page (I'll friend you if we have other people and likes in common), on a fairly regular basis.  Like this one.  She was sold at Christmas, but wasn't quite right for her new owner - so she returned to the fold - and is available again through Facebook:   "Beautiful" Enlightened Denim Cuff Bracelet.  $50.00.

Message me at or through Facebook if you're interested.
Paypal and Square accepted.

Peaceful beading,