Friday, August 25, 2006

Happiness is....

I'm not quite sure which part of this news is more important. The personal or the professional, and seeing as Julie the person is a professional, and Jewels the professional is a person, I suppose I'll just have to repeat this post on both my blogs. I just have to share it with you all.

I am beyond excited at this point, seeing a long awaited venture finally come to a head. Let me take you back to December of last year. December 26th, 2005, to be exact. My father and I went on an outing to the Canadian Museum of Civilization with my daughter for some much needed excitement for the little one. There is the Children's museum within the museum, and with so much to do there, Meems always has a great time. Upon our exit, I noticed the large boutique, went in, and was duly dissappointed at the amount of, well, touristy crap I found there. Little resin replicas of igloos, moose, inukshuk... Yeah, the typical stuff that seems to identify "Canadians" as a 'norm'... NOT! Let me set this clear here: I've only ridden a dog-sled to school ONCE in my life, and that was just to give our dogs some much needed exercise. Oh, and I might have lived in a log home as a child, but we never lived in an igloo. But, I digress....

We did find another, smaller boutique a little further, where they carried much more artistic, original looking items. This, I thought, might actually be a good place to sell my wares... So I approached the clerk, and she sent me back to the other boutique to speak with the manager there, Michelle. Well, Michelle was so enthralled with my pieces, that she went ga-ga, and proceeded to call two of her employees over to look at my work. She kept looking at one piece in particular, my "Lock & Key" amulet, but decided that the "Very Berry" would really grab the buyer's eye, and so chose that particular piece as a sample. Well, 3 phone calls and 8 months later, Very Berry was still in Mme. Boulianne's hands, and I was getting anxious for a response. At this point, anything would have been better than just sitting on the fence like that.

So, yesterday, I bit the bullet. I cold called Mme. Boulianne, and said: "Good morning! This is Julie Harper, the lady who made the little red beaded purse..." ... She said: " Oh, yes, actually, funny you should be calling, I just happen to have your purse on my desk AS WE SPEAK!" (Insert Jewels' internal giggle) Me: " Oh really? Wow, that IS a coincidence... Well, I'm calling you today, because I just happen to be in town for the day, and was going to come to the museum to view the "Beads of Life" exhibit (which, incidently, I photographed like a nut, and am going to do a writeup on for the B.I.C.), and although I know you're probably extremely busy, I was wondering if you'd perhaps like to meet while I'm there?" Her: "
Well, I'm not supposed to make any appointments, seeing as tomorrow is my last day before my vacation, but sure. What time are you expecting to be here? Oh, and would you happen to have a catalogue or some pieces with you that I could perhaps look at?" Me: "Why of course I do! (what I WANT to say is HELLS YEAH!) I'm thinking of going around 1:00, would that be good for you?" Her:"Yes! 1:00 will be fine!"

Well, Jewels hangs up, hurriedly gets the kiddo dressed, applies a thin layer of makeup, makes sure her bag contains each and every single piece of beadwork she's got in it, camera, snack, walllet, and OFF WE GO! We hop on the bus, and reach our destination with 10 minutes to spare. I get to the information desk, and when they call, Mme. Boulianne isn't at her desk... (Oh no, could she have left already? Is she just on her lunch break?....Oh man, I can't miss this, I CAN'T MISS THIS!!!!) Well, the clerk asks me if I just want to visit the museum, and so I explain to him that I'm actually here to meet this person, but seeing as I might have to wait, perhaps I'd better go to the children's museum to keep the little one busy. Well, what a nice guy, he just reached over the counter and stamped our hands, so we got to visit the museum for FREE!

After an hour of much playing, running, sculpting, drawing, oh, and one scary teary smallish crying-lost-child-nerve-wracked-mommy episode, I decided it was time to try again. So, we went back to the front desk, had the clerk call back, and the clerk said to me "She'll be right down"... OMG!OMG!OMG!OMG! she's coming!!! EEEEeeeeeeeeeeee!!!! (all this is happenning in my head BTW....). I get down at Mimi's eye level, and try to expain to her that mommy is about to have a VERY important meeting, and that I would really appreciate it if she behaved like a good, polite, and very patient little girl for mommy, so as mommy can have this meeting which is VERY important... "Yes mommy! I'll be a good girl, I'll listen, and I'll behave"... "That's very good kiddo. If you do, I'll take you back to the museum, and we'll play to your little heart's content" ... "Okay mommy, I'll be a good girl! I promise!" (sigh...)

Mme. Boulianne comes up, we meet, shake hands, and make our way to the little cafe around the bend... We re-introduce ourselves, take a seat, and get to chatting. I pull some pieces out to show her, and approximately 4 minutes into our meeting, my darling daughter turns into A HELLISH LITTLE MONSTER ON WHEELS!!!! I kid you not, she came right between the two of us, and had a complete top-of-her-lungs complaining foot-stomping hissy fit! I was MORTIFIED! Completely and absolutely embarassed, I tried to calm her down with reminders of going back to the museum to play and have fun, but she kept this up for a good 2 minutes (seems like hours tho...). I kept my cool. I had to, I wanted to impress this lady. Well, we continued talking, looking at pieces (LOL! she kept going back to the "Lock & Key" amulette), all the while Meems was still misbehaving.

Well, Mme. Boulianne LOVED my work. Absolutely loved it! But was concerned about my being able to supply her with enough pieces. She also mentionned that the way they usually worked was by offering a 'line' or 'collection'. So we settled on 3 styles of amulette bags (and she WANT THE L&K ONE! LOLOL!!!!), My "Lentils" crocheted bracelets, and 2 styles of earrings, and Mme. Boulianne has ordered a complete LINE of my work and expects it by October 25th!!!!
YESSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!! Yours truly will has the extreme privilege of having her work carried in the Canadian Museum of Civilization, and I couldn't be happier! I worked hard for this, and I waited a really long time, and it's finally here. Today, Jewels feels like she's MADE IT! I'm smiling, I'm dancing, I'm laughing, and I even did a bit of tearing up last night when the reality of the whole situation finally sank in. I am Happy! Truly, and completely happy... K. looks like I've really got some work to do now, but honestly, I wanted this so bad, that I'll be smiling the whole way through.

Cheers, Peace, and Love to you all!


Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Ooh la la!!!!

I finally got the chance to do a little shopping today, I went to a book/magazine store called "Reflexion", where I usually purchase a few copies of one of my favourite French beading magazines, "Perles & Creations", but they were all out. Bummer!

So, I started walking around, and Tadaaa! I found this wonderfull little book called "Mille et Une idees de bijoux et perles". (click on the photo for a link on more info - but it's in French) It almost looks like a little tome, LOL! It's jam packed with "A Thousand And One" ideas on how to make your very own beaded jewellery, and for $24.95 (Can.), it's well worth it! Not only is this book handy for learning a few new techniques (I'm positive that a few have elluded me yet... :D), but it will also be a helpful tool for when I start teaching at the French College in January (I really need to 'bone up' on the french 'bead lingo', LOL!!!)

Now if you'll excuse me, I've got a total of 621 pages to go through.... ;)

Tuesday, August 15, 2006


Brick Stitch. It's so clean and streamlined. I like the diagonal rows formed by these square 4mm beads. Black and white are 'In' this Fall, so I've read, and I think this set will make a wonderful addition to anyone's wardrobe. Word to the wise, these sqares somtimes have sharp edges, so Fireline is called for here. Culling your beads is quite important as well, as sometimes, the beads get tumbled a bit too much and lose an edge or a corner, and make the beads sit awkardly against each other.

I'm quite surprised at the movement in these earrings. I was worried they might feel heavy, but they're not at all. I have an idea for making some with a diamond shaped 'head' as well. That's the beauty of brick, the placement of the bead holes is such that it makes it easier to add a fringe.

A Study in White

Well, I've tried 'freeform' beading before, and for some reason, couldn't quite wrap my brain around it. The very first time I attempted Freeform Peyote, I got a splitting headache, I kid you not. I've yet to finish that project, but yesterday, I endeavoured a brand new one. I was sitting here, at my mother's dining room table, and wanted to make something 'different', and hey, different it is.
The funny thing about this piece, is that it doesn't sit 'straight' when I lay it flat. Actually, it doesn't lay flat at all, it sort of curls... To all of you out there who've done freeform before, is that supposed to happen?

This piece was constructed with size 11/0, 8/0, and 6/0 beads in a mixture of 'whites', with some freshwater pearls, glass rondelles, and some pressed glass 'shells' mixted in. I'm liking the sterling silver toggle, I find it suits the piece.



Well, I got the okay, and I must tell you: I absolutely LOVE this photo. Isn't she gorgeous??? I can tell from the twinkle in Jenny's eyes that her smile is absolutely genuine! I love it! Love it! Love it! LOL! You can't really see them in this photo, but Jen is actually showing off a pair of Amethyst "X's & O's" earrings I also slipped in her 'surprise' bag. I think they look great on her! Yay!!!!


Monday, August 14, 2006

Package for Jin.

A few weeks ago, my friend Jennifer and I decided that it might be interesting to embark on a 'business' venture together. Jen has this awesome bakery Uniquely Yours in Manitowok, WI. So we settled on a few items, but I slipped a little something in there, just for Jen. She finally got the package today, after waiting for a little over a week. So, I'm going to show you the packages, but I'm still waiting for the okay from Jen to show you a photo of her wearing her 'surprise' ;)

The "Lot"

Jin's Surprise


Mostly earrings in this one, but a few Memory Wire sets as well.


Sunday, August 13, 2006

Grape Vine.

I can't remember where, or which bead artist I saw doing these first, but I knew I wanted to make one instantly! (I'll have to post her name when I find it) Well, while on vacation at my dad's place last week, I got a chance to sit, relax, and do a little beading, and this is the bracelet I came up with. Now, this is my own rendition, seeing as i didn't have any patterns to go on, just an image in my mind's eye. I quite like it. I think there's room for improvement, but this one's mine.

Perhaps one of the most fun parts of making this piece, were to see my cousins' faces while I was making it. Three piles of beads: size 8/0 for the core, 11/0 for the vine tendrils and grape stems, and Tiny Tims for the grapes, accompanied by some pressed glass grape leaves. Having them hover over me as I was working, ooing and aaaing, and their wonderment at the 'amount of work you put into that...' But seeing their faces when they saw the finished piece was priceless. They saw the beads in piles, and couldn't even fathom what I'd make with them. They were amazed that I was able to make grape clusters with drop shaped beads. Frankly, so was I... ;)

Sorry it's been so long, I'm on a month-long vacation, and enjoying every single moment of 'getting away from it all' up in Northern Qu├ębec. Nice!