Monday, October 28, 2013

Tesori Trovati Reveal!

This has been the most interesting nothing goes as planned creation and post I have ever had the pleasure of.


I'm sure I've told you of winning the bead from Erin of Tesori Trovati. We were to have a reveal hop in September. Erin made a wonderful (I'm sure) bead and sent it my way. It just never seemed to actually find me. Tracking has it being mis-sent across the river and then returned to Little Rocks sort facility supposedly to be sent here but then it just stops there in Little Rock, no more info and no bead.

So Erin, doll that she is, makes another one. Of course now I've missed the reveal so it was extra sweet of her in my opinion. This one arrived safe and sound, and was definitely worth the wait!

Erin, Paige and I had decided we would plan a reveal for the end of October. The last Saturday of the month, which was this last weekend. I had it in my head we had one more weekend. I did take pics this weekend so it was ready to go but instead of my being ahead of schedule I was behind. sigh I offer my apologies my head is usually better attached!


"You are a child of God, with credentials like that you can do anything." I would give my daughter the moon and stars if I could. I would move heaven and earth for her. I strung them on a chain for her instead.

Paige and I had played with ideas and had started working on some resin charms as I had originally intended to run a chunky chain through the bead as a start to a charm bracelet. But as this was a collaborative effort with my daughter things changed as we worked on it. While I love some embellishment, she prefers much cleaner lines.
Then the resin didn't want to set. It was a very humid and rainy day, so we warmed it to help set the Ice Resin. The larger charms with thinner layers eventually set up. The smaller with a thicker layer, still has not completely set two weeks later. It's slightly tacky and grabs anything that touches it. Lesson learned, this is not the resin I used in my youth. I made a few more charms with extremely thin layers and they have set up wonderfully. They will be used for the beginnings of a charm bracelet and if the smaller charm ever sets up, it will too.


To keep the bead from wobbling I punched a couple small discs and dapped them for a slight dome of their own. As luck would have it the arc is a perfect match to the bead caps I used. I love the added bonus of the two tone look it gives to the caps. I used a long eye pin I had on hand but I think with the length of the necklace I'll cut a short piece of wire and replace the simple loops with wrapped. This length invites playing with the beads and I prefer they be secure. Paige agrees!

So there you have it! A late posting of a late bead, with an on the fly redesign and it fits the kiddos personality to a T! This is my gift to her. She's been wearing the moon pendant since I gave it to her and is waiting for the new loops on her cosmos.

Thanks so much for taking a peek!
We'll see you next time!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Donation to Beautiful Lengths

This beautiful shot of the back of my head is a purposeful shot of my hair.


My Dad was a barber like his Dad before him. His brother was a barber and one of my aunts followed suit as well. When my Aunt passed a couple years back I donated close to 12 inches in her memory. I chose to donate to Pantene's ongoing drive "Beautiful Lengths".

Locks of Love may be better known but they do nothing to dispel the rumor they donate their wigs to children with cancer. They donate to children, yes. They donate to children with Alopecia Areata - permanent hair loss. If that loss happens to be caused by a cancer treatment then that child is eligible but that is the closest they get. Locks only makes a handful of wigs per year, they sell the bulk of the ponytails they receive. All the info is there on the website, you just have to dig around for it. Don't get me wrong. The very few children they help get custom fit wigs until they are adults and that is no small thing for those on the receiving end. It just isn't what everyone thinks it is.

Beautiful Lengths on the other hand donates wigs for chemotherapy patients. THAT was my intention for my hair the last time I cut it, and why I chose Beautiful Lengths to donate my hair to. My Aunt was deeply saddened at losing her own hair when she had chemo and wore a wig herself to hide it.

My Grandma won't face hair loss as she won't be facing chemo with her battle. Still I felt it time to make another donation. While my German/Russian and Scottish heritage comes from my Dads side of the family, my Native heritage comes from my Moms side. But rather than cutting my hair in mourning I would like to make it a celebration of life. To make someone else's life a little better is a glorious way I think and in keeping with that I'd like to include you.


That's where the ruler comes in. As you can see I have next to my braid an 18 inch ruler. Minimum donation is 8 inches, so no matter what is ultimately decided that much IS coming off and being donated. How much more than that is up to you. I will donate up to 16 inches. Keep in mind 16 inches of braid is closer to 18 inches of hair and more than double the asked for donation. So how much will I donate? Head on over to my FaceBook page and vote on the poll!

Thanks for stoppin' by!
I know you're wondering.... scribbles on the kiddos hand are glazing recipes. She's an Art Major and had just gotten home from her ceramics course. :)

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

October is… Pink

This has been a rough week. It's October and that makes it Breast Cancer Awareness month. My Mom's birthday was last week, she is a survivor. Go mom! Today (the 15th as I write this) would have been my Dad's birthday, he died of lung cancer when I was in my early twenties. Sometime this week my Grandma comes home to hospice care. At 90 she has been diagnosed with breast and colon cancer. The surgery went well, but the recovery has proven to be too much for her body. First the incision blew, then the pain meds gave her hallucinations and a devastating fall breaking her hip. More meds, more hospitalization and her heart just can't take any more, she's developed congestive heart problems. They are sending her home to die in her own bed. This was a very large part of my tumultuous August, the initial diagnosis and surgery. I had truly hoped the recovery would be much smoother than it ultimately was and am heartbroken to say the least.

Back in August or sometime in September, I'm not really sure at this point. Heather Powers issued a design challenge on Art Bead Scene She had posted a photo of a painting Tres Personajes by Rufino Tamayo Its reds and purples, greys and golds were very striking and as I loved the jewel tones I thought to design a little something to play along. But with everything going on at the time all I could see was Day of the Dead. So I sketched but my heart wasn't in it.

Last week I had a little downtime and as Day of the Dead is approaching I pulled out my sketch and played a little. I first embossed a piece of copper and gave it a dark patina. Then I dapped an oval to support my sugar skull and pulled out the clay. I hadn't sculpted anything in ages and it was a very nice change of pace. I sculpted the skull in layers of black and grey and added a crown of flowers. I had originally planned on using the vibrant colors of the painting but opted instead at this point to go with the traditional colors of Marigolds. I remembered the wonderful leaf charms Jennifer sent during bead soup and knew they'd be perfect to balance her crown, I even tucked in a couple vintage leaves I received in an order from a sweet little shop on Etsy.


The chain took an evolutionary turn as I wasn't entirely happy with the size or style that I had been working on and decided instead to rivet larger links. The links slight arcs reminded me of ribs and they just seemed to fall into place perfectly, the original chain I had worked up balanced it well and I finished it off with one of my hand crafted clasps.


Once it was finished and I thought of the celebratory nature of it all it seemed it might be the perfect cathartic release. A celebration and remembrance of the lives of my family by love and by blood. The people who were and are closest to me and are most responsible for who I am today.

I found the challenge if you're interested in seeing the results - gorgeous colors!

Thanks for stopping by!
We'll see you next time!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Etsy's Town Hall Meeting

I forgot to sign up. By the time I got confirmation it was over. The forums though, as you can imagine, were extremely busy. Normally I try to steer far away from the forums during any announcements of change, the sky is falling posts are like locusts getting everyone worked up about and against something they'd all been screaming they wanted for ages. Boggles the mind.

This is another one of those things but on a much bigger scale - a case of be careful what you wish for! I was pretty concerned myself at first until I realized this actually gives them more control to get rid of the resellers. How many Chinese factories do you think Etsy will ok? They're notorious for terrible labor practices and no sweat shops will be allowed. Obviously manufactured items have to be disclosed to Etsy or the shop gets closed.

Everyone gets caught up in the how will I compete. The thing is, we aren't competing. It might make it harder to be seen, but it's always been hard to be seen. We've always had to drive our own traffic, that doesn't change. More importantly, our customers can see the difference in manufactured and hand made too.

What allowing outside help does FOR us is if you need help for a large order or the Christmas season it's ok to hire someone or more. If you've worked your behind off to get that wholesale order with Macy's -I have a friend who did, she was super excited until she realized her first order was more stock than she had and the deadline was looming - this allows you to be sure you can meet your order deadlines. Ensuring your success. It also means for those of us who have been approached for crowdsourcing a short run, we can say yes if that's what we want to do.

Success means different things to all of us. As we grow the definition can change too. Etsy is trying to make sure they can continue meeting our needs as that happens.

Change can be scary and this is a big change. But we will survive it, just as we always have. My sales have increased with each change, even during the recession, so I remain hopeful with this one as well.

yellow and blue swallowtail

On to happier things! My Pieces for Bead n Button are finished, boxed up and ready to ship off for photography! I can't wait to see what they look like professionally shot!

Paige and I worked on our project a little bit, still waiting on Erin's bead to arrive but we're pretty happy with what we have so far. Amazing how what you see in your head changes when you bring another artistic soul into the mix. Completely different from what I had envisioned but much more in keeping with Paige's style. Since this project is more about her that works!

I'm smiling big toothy grins more often these days, as I hope you are too.
Thanks for stopping by!
See ya next time!