Thursday, December 2, 2010

Thinking Ahead or Back

My Aunt Linda loves Garage and Estate sales. She loves jewelry (she's the one who started me out way back when I was much shorter than I am now!). Doesn't toss any piece just because it's broken, rather she hands it down to someone else in the family who would love it. She's always sent little trinkets to my girls, my niece and my cousins girls. Once she found out I was back to making jewelry Aunt Linda started sending me vintage pieces she'd been holding on to that needed repair.

One of those pieces was a gorgeous double strand crystal bracelet. Most of the Diamante beads had been crushed and as such was not wearable. There were a couple that were still in good condition and I thought they could be remade into earrings and a pendant, very appropriate for this time of year. I sat down to take it apart, looking closely at its construction. I looked at one of those crushed beads and picked up my round nosed pliers - it was already crushed so why not try to fix it, the worst I could do was end up with pieces I could wire into some other design. Oh my! They fell back into shape with very little effort! In just about an hour, using just my fingers, I had that bracelet completely repaired. It was so pretty, I was immediately transported back to my childhood. Sitting on my Mom's bed, staring into her "Treasure" box (that's what 5 year old me called Mom's jewelry box) Oh how I loved her crystal jewelry, they were the most precious, sparkly, beautiful things in the world! I couldn't possibly take this one apart to make a single pair of earrings now! It's too small for my wrist so it will wait for another project to come to mind, something worthy of it's beauty, something worthy of a "Treasure Box".

My Christmas swap items have been finished, mailed, and received by our wonderful Hostess :) I can feel the anticipation building as the countdown begins to receive swap items in return! I love our forum swaps, they are so completely fun!

My Art with Heart piece is nearing completion after a complete and total redesign LAST minute! No pressure there! It's completely out of my comfort zone, colors, style and size but I think it's turning out rather pretty. I absolutely adore the focal :)

My inspiration piece - the Peacock, is nearly finished as well. It's a rather large piece by my standards but I'm really really happy with the overall effect. This will be one of those pieces that won't hurt my feelings if it doesn't sell. I'll be quite happy to look at it for quite some time!

Found time to create a Christmas treasury for the Etsy team and I think it may be my favorite yet!
awww I just noticed the second pic got changed :( kind of changes the overall look and feel....

Revamped those chains and got those pretties listed. One more piece waiting for a revamped chain, a couple descriptions to write and pricing. I don't know why I always leave pricing to the last, it would be much easier if I priced as I went - one of these days I'll learn :D

My younger daughter loved the bracelet I made and the clasp :) so much so she wants a choker made for her upcoming dance. I'll save the pics of that for a later post.

Got that mortar mixed but it's been too wet and cold to do much rock work these last weeks - weather is supposed to be nice for another day or so, hoping I can get some done then - we're climbing up between the windows now!

'Til next time!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Google's Banned Words for SEO

Well, it seems Google has a list of terms and words they'll disallow for searching in Google Shopping. Most I don't mind at all, they're not terms I use and often find annoying when searching myself - alternating capital letters the @ symbol in place of an o. I don't really even mind the drug and explosives terms being banned. While I do understand the alcohol references, there are a number of colors that use the same terminology and that's going to make things a little difficult.

They're also banning text and twitter speak, the shortening of a word to a single letter or number. Here's where it gets a little tricky for me personally. The screen name I've used for close to a decade contains 4U2, That screen name has meaning to me, it fits me, it holds dear memories of my children. I'm well known by it, and now it's banned. While I don't use that screen name for my shops I do have several profiles where do I use it, and link back here and to my shops. Link backs, we've all been told, are crucial to building an on-line presence and now it can penalize me.

I suppose I could change my screen name, create a more unified brand for my shops, but that means I'll be starting over in creating my presence and the 1000's of posts will still be there, penalizing me in search rankings. I googled, I have over 11,000 posts in combined forums and message boards - but Google will only allow me to actually look at three pages. I've already been truncated.

On a brighter note, I've been quite productive this week taking pics, writing descriptions, pricing, and even managed to get several items listed in both shops. I have a couple projects nearly finished, several planned out for Art with Heart, the Christmas swap on the jewelry forum and of course gifts to friends and family.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are inching ever closer and I suddenly feel an urgent need to get MOVING! I'm hoping to make a piece a day, but I'm sure there will be days where I won't make it. I did ask for my Master Bath to be finished for Christmas and that means I have taping, texturing, tiling and grouting in my very near future. On top of rocking the basement!

Not much has happened on that front this last month. Alan has been busy working and the backhoe/sand transporter has not been available for grout mixing and I have discovered I don't have the upper body strength to tip a full mixer of grout. At least not at the height it is set to allow for dumping into the wheelbarrow. I just don't have enough leverage. But the trim is up around the windows, stained and varnished, the rocks are stacked up to the trim, and it sure is looking pretty!

Well, I have some pictures to take, an e-mail to send, a Peacock to get finished, a bracelet the needs a clasp, a couple necklaces that need chains revamped and several projects to get started and mortar to mix. So I had better get moving!

'Til next time!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

I really do think I should l have posts (at least topics to expand on) on stand by for this poor neglected blog. I really don't mean to neglect it, there are just only so many hours in a day and I find myself wishing for more hours on a regular basis.

Well, except for this last weekend, the thought of more hours in a day was a terrifying thought. That's how busy I was and how exhausted I was by it all! Thankfully it seems the fast forward pace I was running at is returning to normal play. Whew! I don't think I could keep up the pace for very much longer either.

The good news is, I finally got some of my garden planted up in pots and moved up here. They're waiting patiently to be tucked into their new home! I still have a lot of work ahead of me but it just warms my heart to look out my door and see my roses. I really didn't realize how much I missed puttering in the garden.

Pulled out my landscaping plans - really just an informal sketch - circles with numbers that remind me where I wanted to put what plant, and now I can get to work.

So now that you have an idea of what's been going on in my personal life and why I've been absent (sort of) I can update you on my jewelry goings on.

Beads n Blessings, Art With Heart Cycle 3 is under way! My kit arrived and I'm really excited to get started!

I joined a Color Challenge group and that is turning into so much fun. The group votes on a color scheme for the week and then creates something using those colors. It's a very diverse group of artists so their offerings are always fun to see, from web site graphics, to business cards, to custom aprons, to lamp worked beads, to jewelry, it's just a blast!

I've also joined a treasury team and have had the honor of being included in some very nice treasuries. I belong to other groups, but have never been chosen for theirs, so this is really quite exciting for me! It's even given me the pleasure of discovering some new shops I'd not seen before and also provided me with some inspiration.

Coupled with the Color group I will have a new piece to share with you in another blog post very soon I hope. And with Etsy's newly remodeled profile pages I hope to be able to use it to help tell the story of how I create the pieces I do. Should be interesting, and yup more work!!

Until next time!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Making progress

I have completed my first locket, thanks in large part to the inspiration Mary provided me (see my last post) I'm quite happy with it for it being a first and have a number of variations of it floating in my head :)

Art with Heart Beads n Blessings Cycle 3 is now taking pre-orders. This cycle's charity is Step Up for Cancer. I lost my Dad 23 years ago to Cancer, lost my Grandpa (Mom's Dad) a week after 9/11, lost my Aunt (Dad's Sister) in May. My younger cousin is battling her third round, I can't think of a better cause, I'm all in! I've made my order and have my design worked out, as much as I can without knowing what the surprise element will be! I am really looking forward to this cycle!

I've got a fairly decent routine going now. Rocks, box, or garden is my morning routine mantra. Stack some rocks, unpack or repack a box, or weed the garden. The rock work is really coming along now, my house is staring to look like a home, and the weeds .... are still overwhelming (it's a brand new rather large bed)- but give it some time.

I've also discovered another blog to follow, she's just moved to her own domain and I gotta say, I read all the way back to her very first posting and I am really impressed with this young lady's creativity, she's really quite an inspiration. On just one dollar a day, she is creating a new outfit to wear each and every day for an entire year. What she can do to a MuuMuu is just amazing. The girl has definitely got an eye for style and color. Check her out and see if you don't agree!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

When did I get so busy!!

I just noticed I haven't posted in weeks, yikes! My excuse? I have been really busy of late. Really I have!

I've been putting tons - literally tons - of rock on the left half of my basement wall. It's stating to look really good too! Working with all that rock does tend to swell my fingers up some though, and the super high heat we had left me with a nasty heat rash on my rib cage. This pic was taken several courses of rock ago - I'm just below the Lowe's logo now.

Having an outdoor wedding to attend I took a couple days off and made myself a very pretty Silver and Turquoise set.

Then..... where did the time go??? it was time to get my kids ready for back to school! We went back to school supply and clothes shopping. Since my middle child is driving, she and my son were able to get their schedules and pick up those last little things they needed.

I looked around the house and boy did it look neglected! I spent another week cleaning and rearranging furniture. Digging through boxes and unpacking and just doing my best to try to make my house look more like a home. It's looking more so all the time. Still a few more boxes to go through but I'm making headway.

Then on her way into school, the low fuel light came on in my daughter's car, so she pulled in to the gas station. Rather she tried to pull into the gas station, she was just pulling in when she got hit. I can not begin to tell you how truly thankful I am that bruises, cuts and minor burns are all my children received. I AM truly thankful he took the nose of her car and did not t-bone them. The insurance declared it her fault as she was crossing traffic - but it didn't take a whole lot of looking at the facts to realize it wasn't entirely her fault. This being accident number 6 for the other driver - one of those was a few months ago, in January, for falling asleep at the wheel and he's only 21, is just one of those facts, but the one that bothers me the most. The rest are details and just putting 2 and 2 together and then finally hearing from the girl in the car driving behind Paige confirming it all. I am happy to say we found Paige another car, she drove it to school yesterday, but there are still a few repairs to be made yet before she is truly back on the road.

All of this in just a couple weeks! Feels like months. I did manage to remake several pairs of earrings, get pictures taken and listed too. I still have several pieces in my shops that need new photos, several pieces that still need listing AND I'm working on a design for a locket. I've had this design floating around since January of 2009 fiddling with the how to's of it. Finally, thanks to Mary Tucker of Wired Elements I've finally decided how I want to do it. It's a technique I've known for many years and she gave me a wonderful slap the forehead moment when she shared with me how she did it! Her blog is the Angsty Artist, if you're so inclined.

I'll try not to let so much time pass between postings.....'til next time!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Offering or Selling?

I subscribe to a couple blogs, not too terribly surprising, most of us do. One of those blogs is Brass Tack Thinking and this post was in my e-mail this morning:
The writers share quite a few of my personal views on things - so of course I love this blog!! They write in a wonderful way that allows you to think on the subject and reflect. Sometimes offering a point of view that may be different from your own and inviting a discussion on how you perceive it. I have to say I'm in total agreement with the current post up for deliberation. I hate a hard sell in anything. I will refuse to buy even if I need what is being sold. Spam - not much better. As an independent artisan offering my jewelry for sale, it is up to me to market my wares. ah, but I hate spam and the hard sell! There are days when I cringe at the live feed on FB when it's the same person posting their wares over and over again, completely taking over the page so I can't see what is happening in the lives of the other folks on my list. Other days, every one of my artisan friends has decided "today is the day I share one or two of my pieces" I have to laugh and think I must have missed the memo that today is marketing day :) Then there are the friends who truly have embraced social media, they have thoughtful, funny, or thought provoking posts. They comment on others posts and share some beautiful work of friends and unknowns, so when they do post some of their own it just feels natural to see it, and I'm glad they shared. They truly offer what they have and I am grateful for that.

'Til next time!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

oh nooo another copyright post!!

Copyright - oh it's a story beat to death but a very real issue all artists face. The better your work the more likely you are to face it.

We all learn by imitating what we see.

We all learn by imitating that which we find to be to our liking.

I keep an inspiration folder, filled with jewelry pieces of designs I love, artists I admire, some with intricacies I hope to master myself and some in mediums I have no intention of ever mastering but the work just awes me. I find inspiration in the graceful lines, the clean designs, the color combinations used, layering of techniques and just the sheer mastery of technique.

I aspire to be as good, to surpass. While these pieces inspire me to constantly do better, to master my craft, the thought never occurred to me to outright copy them. It is in my nature to create my own, to have my personality stamped upon it.

It is because of this that I struggle with the idea of selling a creation I have made after using a tutorial to learn a technique from some one else. If I follow the directions I learn the technique and make their design. If I don't follow the directions I haven't learned the technique I was after. It normally takes a couple attempts to really get the technique down. I recently bought a tutorial from my friend Bobbi of My Wired Imagination. My oldest daughter fell in love with the design and so I made that ring for her birthday. It took a couple attempts to consistently produce not just the pattern but the correct size - but who needs five of the same ring? Not me!

So the rings have sat here for several months while I went back and forth as to whether I would allow myself to sell someone else's design. I looked at the descriptions of others work, those that I recognized as having come from tutorials, books and magazines, and some I recognized as copies of other artists work, some of those artists whose work is being copied are friends and acquaintances of mine. Surprisingly, not one of them, mentions the fact that it is someone else's design. My ring, my design, my this, my that. hmmm. Why? I suppose it's human nature to claim one's work as exclusive and you never see department store - manufactured jewelry - with an inspirational credit. Business is business right? Well, no, not really.

One of the best parts of buying hand made, hand crafted items, is the story behind it. The inspiration, the learning process, the person behind it, is what makes it unique - that story is what makes a hand crafted piece personal. Giving credit does not take away from the piece but instead adds value. I want my creations to have value, to have a story, a history. So if after hours of contemplating the beauty of one of Erin Patton's, Evra Och's or Iza Malczyk's pieces inspires me to create I'll say so. If I've made a piece using a tutorial I'll give credit to the designer. It will after all still have my personality stamped on it, hand crafted by me, and it will have a history, a story to tell.

'Til next time!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Busy, Busy, Busy

It's been a busy couple of weeks and very productive, even if at times it didn't feel that way. I told you I had started using my iCal to better manage my time. Except for the oversight to send that e-mail reminder to exercise, it's been working out very well.

I've gotten a great deal of my supplies inventoried and costs broke down to simplify pricing. I'm networking more efficiently. Taken photos and actually got a new item listed, though I still have quite a few to go. I even found a pair of earrings I thought I had listed but hadn't, while cleaning some of the silver jewelry I've made. I've finished applying the texture in the laundry room, got the first coat of primer on, all but the wall behind the freezer - it's stocked full and much too heavy to move. My daughter has been busy priming her walls, she's outgrown the plaid and mural, has chosen new colors and is ready to get going on the new look. The front of the house is coming along and I should be able to start laying rock soon. We've got calls in to insurance companies for quotes just in case our current insurance decides too little too late on getting the rock and balconies up.

Best of all, all my Beads n Blessings prizes arrived safe and sound! The Tronex cutters are amazing! I can't thank my friend Jodi of Jewels by Jules, enough for recommending them to me! She has a new book coming out this winter - So be sure to swing by her site to take a peek! I am so excited for her! The only problem with all my pretties arriving is I have so many ideas I can't seem to settle on one to get started on anything! Might be time to get back to work on some of the unfinished projects, at least until I can narrow down the new ideas! Top of that list is a pair of earrings for my friend Ne, I've had the wire cut for some time now and they really need to be finished before her birthday!

My iCal is telling me it's time to get some work done on the house! So I'll leave you with these links.....

'Til next time!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

MagPie Approved?

Penelope is my younger daughter's kitten. She is ALL kitten, curious about any thing and every thing. A true MagPie wanting to claim anything sparkly, shiny and pretty for her own. She loves to sit and watch while I make jewelry, swatting at the wire as I weave, and trying over and over again to steal the finished piece of jewelry. It isn't MagPie Approved unless Penelope has tried to steal it at least twice!!

Penelope and her sister Lola came to live with us almost exactly one year ago. Tiny little things barely six weeks old, still with blue eyes, scared and motherless, dumped near our house along with a brother and another sister.

We knew we couldn't keep them all, I already had Bastet an 8 year old male and had just adopted Kairi, a six month old Siamese that had belonged to my oldest daughters room mate. But we couldn't find them homes if they were terrified of people either, so we set out to befriend them.

Over the course of the next several weeks we brought them kitten food softened with milk and kept fresh water readily available. We spent many hours sitting out on the back steps watching the kittens chase grasshoppers and stalk each others tails. First to come around was Cookie, oh she was sweet, happy to sit next to you and be loved on, with an instant purr. She became the favorite, the one we were going to keep. Then Ginger, the male, came around. Penelope was starting to come around but Lola was still quite wary of us.

Just as it seemed we were making headway and might find them homes, Ginger disappeared. We looked everywhere, no sign of him anywhere. The kittens had moved into the Hickory Tree outside my daughters window, only coming down when we brought food or were sitting on the steps. We knew something was wrong, but felt they were safe living in the tree. Then Cookie disappeared. We were devastated and decided it was time to bring them in, ready or not, it wasn't safe for them outside.

So began the life of Penelope and Lola. They've been indoor kitties ever since. They are still wary of strangers but quite happy to be inside. The one time Penelope found herself outside (after a little help from the dog!!) she couldn't get back inside fast enough! She sits at the doors and cries the most mournful meows you've ever heard until we come back in when we go out to feed the horses, or work on the balconies as we have been doing this last week. And Lola? Well, she quietly watches over us from the stairway windows, and as distrustful as she was at first, she has the biggest purr when snuggled in your lap.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Up, Down, Turnaround....

Oh up, down, turnaround, puts me in the mood.
Oh up, down, touch the ground, in the mood for food.

Gotta love the Pooh Bear!

My goodness, what a week it’s been! Ups and downs and just plain busy!

I won the Beads n Blessings Artistic category!! Yay! UPS returned my prize package, boo!
Seems they couldn’t find my house - there are only four houses on the street, mine is the last one and they found me just fine to deliver the kit, go figure. Thankfully the Gift Certificate was delivered electronically. On the advice of my friends I used it to buy something I really wanted but haven’t bought until now. Are you ready? I bought a pair of Tronex Razor Flush Cutters! I really needed a pair of flush cutters and these are on par with the best, I am so excited! I kicked in some of my money and also bought a gorgeous strand of Russian Serephinite. I can’t wait for them to get here!!

I started using my iCal to remind me of the various things I need or want to get accomplished in a day, and to tell me it’s time to stop doing one and move on to another. That’s working out very well! I seem to be getting so much more accomplished in a day - does not seem to make any difference in the I don’t feel like doing that right now thing though lol

After saying I was going to get back in the habit of exercising for the last year, I finally did it!! Added my exercise schedule in the iCal, and boy had I forgotten the energy boost you get from a good work out! Of course since I’ve gotten out of shape, that boost is followed by an intense desire for nap time! Luckily for me I’ve started inventory on my beads and such and can use that quiet time to enter the strands into my spreadsheet and still feel productive. I missed yesterdays work out because I forgot to set up the alarm. But that’s ok, the first couple weeks are all about establishing a routine and it’s expected to not be perfect - nothing really is anyway, right? Right!

Our other business is booming right now, we’re backed up and the work keeps coming in. We’ve had an early heat wave - heat index has been in the triple digits. For my European friends that about 35c if I remember the conversion right. 0 is freezing and every degree Celsius is approximately 3 degrees Fahrenheit. On one of the hottest days my husband had work lined up for the trackhoe and dump truck. Both are air conditioned and it should have been a fairly easy day - the air conditioner went out on the trackhoe in the first hour and on the dump truck in the next. That poor man looked so beat when he finally came in for a late lunch. I felt so bad for him, but he turned right around and picked up the parts he needed to make repairs and got right to them, in the heat of the afternoon! But he’s got a/c again!

This weeks piece I’ve been working on is a gold filled filigree cross. It’s really coming along beautifully and I’m quite happy with it. Just one more piece of filigree to add to the back, so it’s as pretty as the front and it’s all done. Finally got a decent pic of Sabina’s matching earrings yay but I haven’t gotten started on that matching cuff yet. I know, bad girl!! But I’ve been working on the cross - *biggest best smile*

We’ve been building our house for the past seven years. We’ve been living in it for over a year now. Makes it interesting to find things sometimes as there’s still quite a bit boxed up. We’ve just received notice from our insurance that they’ll no longer be covering us since the exterior still needs work. We have two months to get the front balconies and rock work done. That’s the bad news, the good news is that’s the incentive to FINALLY get it done! Yay! On that note, I finished texturizing the last wall in the laundry room! It is now ready to be primed and painted in the next few days. Told you I’ve been busy!!

'Til next time!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

That Extra Mile

Our bread and butter business is construction, more specifically heavy equipment. We clear land to ready it for building, dig holes for pools, build small roads and driveways, etc.

We recently did some work for John Daly. When we received the check it was highly personalized with a photo of him on a golf course in full swing. That's not what this post is about, but it is what started this line of thought.

Customer service - going above and beyond what is expected.

Now I've seen personalized checks before, but this was above and beyond stock photos and a quote. This was a highly customized and personalized check specifically made for him. That is customer service, not just doing the job, but doing it above and beyond.

When I was growing up, my parents had a Salon, my Dad was a barber and my Mom a stylist.
There was never a charge for washing your hair before cutting or styling, that was a part of their customer service. When I had my own Salon, I did the same. Other Salons charged extra, not me. One of the best parts of having your hair done is someone else washing your hair for you. It just feels good to get that little massage. Why wouldn't you want your customers to feel good while in your chair? They're already there, why not give a little something extra - Good Customer Service.

Most supplies arrive in a plastic bag, if it's a larger company and they believe in customer service, you get a hand written Thank you and some tissue paper. But that little bit of extra time it takes to hand write a Thank you note is above and beyond.

I have a friend whose Mom sells supplies on Etsy, I've purchased from her a couple times. The first time was purely out of support for my friend and her Mom. The second? She believes in good customer service! Going above and beyond, she had put a little something extra in with my order. She didn't stop there either, it all came wrapped up in a nice little organza bag. I will shop with her again!

I can't imagine why any one wouldn't want to give you their best customer service. Giving a little extra feels as good to the giver as it does the receiver.

Until next time! Dana

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

and...... More Pics!

Not sure why it only allowed two pics, so I'll make a second posting.

I just noticed each posting has one pic I took and one my daughter took. We bought her an SLR for Christmas as she is quite the shutter bug and has chosen photo journalism as her major in college. When I was choosing which pics to send in as my entry it struck me the differences in clarity and color between the two cameras. All I had to do to, with Paige's pics, was crop. Mine needed a slight light balance adjustment. To be fair to my old 5mp camera. I had full sun on the days I shot and she had an overcast day when she shot. But it does bring home the point that a good camera can make a world of difference.

My Beads n Blessings Contest Necklace has Been Posted!

So now I can share it with you!!

If you peeked at the website I posted you saw the components I had to use to make a piece of jewelry. Here are the pics of my finished piece :o)

From my stash I added some Vintaj filigree, Vintaj chain, Miyuki rocailles, a few filigree bead caps, and more rocailles I had purchased from friends destash shops on Etsy and Artfire.

I really am pleased with the results :o)

If you'd like to vote for me, please follow the link to the Beads and Blessings website, I am number three! umm well now I'm number 4 lol

Friday, June 4, 2010

It's Better HandMade - Color Me Friday - Red!

With my photos, bio and inspirational blurb turned in for the Beads n Blessings contest, I had time to check in on the color of the week for It's Better Handmade- and Red it is! The first piece I thought of - hasn't been listed yet- oops! Better get busy on those photos and descriptions!! So I submitted one of my other favorite pieces.

Knowing my love of filigree and iron work, my dear friend Mollie of Rough Magic Creations issued a challenge to me.
She showed me this photo by Cat Ludwig Studio of Etsy
and challenged me to make a piece of filigree from it. After many hours of design and redesign in the sketchbook, this pendant is the result of that challenge. The wire wrapped filigree pendant measures just one inch in diameter, with four 4mm Garnets in the center. Hanging from my hand crafted chain, with a hand forged clasp, the total length is 17 inches long.

One of the things I have noticed (I may have forgot to submit one of my pieces last week, Diana found one she liked and submitted it) is I really need to crop my photos a little tighter for those thumbnail shots. While the picture looks good as a whole, the jewelry disappears when it gets squished down to the itty bitty size. ack! I think I actually like the cropped photo better too. You can see the original in my listing here:

I think I have some work to do in my studio - and editing of listings! Then while I'm there editing maybe I can actually get around to listing some of my newer pieces.

Til next time! Dana

Sunday, May 30, 2010

My Beads n Blessings Contest Necklace is Done!

It's done! It's done! My necklace is done! I have a couple little tweaks to do - I noticed a loose bead that needs snugging up and am contemplating adding one or two more crystals either to the focal or to the clasp, and I think I'm going to make a pair of matching earrings. But it's done and I'm so excited because it is so very pretty and sparkly and I'm really hoping I can catch the sparkle on camera! Penelope, the little Magpie, has tried to steal it and Paige wants to take the pics :o) So I know I've got a good one here!

This is the contest I entered

To the beads in the kit I added from my stash some Vintaj brass chain and filigree, some coordinating seeds and xillion cut Swarovski crystals in Gold Shadow.

I'm still waiting to hear back on whether it's ok to post pics, so you get the post before I've even had a chance to take them, but I will post as soon as I get the ok!

Thursday, May 27, 2010


I've been telling myself if I just had the time, I could update the blog. If I could just find the time I could write about this or that. If I could just find the time........

As is my usual custom I visit the forum at about, check in on facebook, and pop in at jewelry lessons while I drink my morning coffee. Check my e-mail and the stats on my little shops on etsy and artfire. I can have several windows open at once or just pop back and forth as the mood strikes.

It dawned on me, as I was playing my fourth game of Jungle Jewels, I DO have the time! In the amount of time I spent playing a game four times in a row, I could have updated the blog!

It's all about priorities!

Oh it's easy to find time to play a simple game that "only" takes a couple minutes. It's easy to play that game several times in a row. It's easy to waste a lot of time doing the fun things. But "find" the time to do something that you "should" do, well, if only I had more time in the day!!

So now the big question.... why is the blog something I "should" do and not something fun??

oooh good question! Is it because "they" all say I should write a blog if I want my jewelry to be seen and sell online? Is it because, I feel uncomfortable talking about myself - to myself :? Or is it because I think I write too business-like, dry, and not at all like I talk?

Maybe, a little bit of all three. I've always been a little bit of a rebel, doing things my way. My Mom used to say the quickest way to get me to do something, was to tell me I couldn't. The slowest, tell me I should. And there they are, telling me I should! So it goes on a to do list. To do's are never prioritized, It's just a list of things you should or need to do that get crossed off and forgotten about once done.

We've all been told growing up, it isn't polite to talk about yourself, and if you talk to yourself, well, that just makes you a little suspect of being a little off :D I think that's why the whole self - affirmation hasn't really taken off - I mean you're talking about yourself, to yourself!! That just goes against everything we've been taught growing up!! hmmm now I'm a rebel who is a good girl at heart - so maybe they can balance it out! See, I'm talking about myself now, basically to myself, because as I'm writing this it hasn't been published for you to read.

That leaves my writing. Ha! I've got it! If I'm talking to myself, I'm NOT writing a letter, I'm thinking out loud - or is that typing out loud? Either way, it solves the whole business like and too dry thing doesn't it!

Now the blog can be a fun thing! No longer on the to do list to be done and forgotten. Let's get on with the time wasting!! ok maybe not time wasting - another fun way to spend my time online :)

Next post - I've entered my first contest! Before I can post pics though, I need to find out if it's ok to do that before judging begins. Oh and I should finish it! I'll be working on the clasp today so I can see how much longer it needs to be to finish. I'm pretty happy with it so far and I can't wait to show it to you!

Til next time!


Tuesday, April 6, 2010

the to do list:

Create a blog - been on the to do list for quite some time now. Though I don't suppose I can cross it off the list just yet........ there are still all the little things to take care of.

A profile - if you're reading this, you might want to know just who I am :)
following friends blogs so I can find them again!

Figuring out how to keep my text from changing sizes in the middle of the post lol Ah yes! welcome to the world of blogging! Bear with me as I get it all figured out...... and begin my random musings on this and that.

I hope you'll stick around or check back in on me - I may need the help or a nudge anyway!