Wednesday, December 23, 2009


So, yeah, seems I'm *still* not totally back in beading mode, but in my defense, so much has been happening around us lately. Not complaining, just coming to that realization now. Mimi was sick for a whole week, so she stayed home. Hubby's been extremely busy at work, so I've been in single parent mode for a bit too. Though now he's home [well, technically, he's currently at the river's edge, hopefully snagging the ever elusive 'big one'...] for a few weeks for the holidays. I'm hoping we can all catch up on family time, and that Mom might, just might get a chance to be by herself for a few of those days so she can catch up on her Self? ... Would be nice...

I think I should start with one of my favorite things: Family breakfast. I've been wanting to share this with my readers, just a wee bit of insight to me, and my family life. I do this every Sunday, and it's just for Us. It gives us a chance to sit back, relax, enjoy each others' company, and catch up on our week. Here's a sample of one of my best spreads: two eggs, over easy, sprinkled with pepper, sea salt, and thyme. French toast, made with a cranberry focaccia, oven roasted herbed potato patties, and bacon. GOTTA have the bacon. And no, the turkey one won't cut it, though I have tried sneaking it in every so often, you know, for 'health' reasons. ;) Of course, we only eat this way once a week, 'cause if I ate like this every day, then it would become easier to jump over me than to walk around me... I likes me food!

Do you have a designated 'Family Day'?

Last week, I was the very surprised recipient of this wonderful gift, sent to me by Nancy, who though we've met through here, on Blogger, became closer through facebook. And though things were sorta coasting along for me here, I think Nancy sensed that I wasn't completely %100 myself. I still am not, but I'm working on it. I was totally floored by the selection of shiny things she sent me, and couldn't believe that someone whom I'd only known for a short while would take the time to do something so thoughtful and kind for me. To put together a lovely care package, just to put a smile on my face. Oh I smiled. And I cried. But just a little bit. Here's what I received:

Pretty pink crystals, fantastic pearls (you know me and my pearls!), gorgeous looooong purple briolette crystals [which are destined to become copper-wrapped earrings], and this super funky stone donut that I'm just dying to make something with.
She threw in this card of neat fibers that I'm still fondling, and thought I've had quite a few ideas for their use, I'm still waiting for that "A-ha!" idea to hit me.

Oh, I've also been bit with the 'renovation' bug. Or perhaps I should call it the recycling bug. I spied with my little eye this beautiful old sideboard at Goodwill about 6 weeks ago. I had an idea to put it in our entryway, which I thought would help with all the front door clutter. I waited and waited for the price to go down, but it just wouldn't. Until one day, I went up to the manager and asked if she'd make me a better price. As you can see, it's found a new home. At %50 the original asking price. The piece was in excellent condition, save for a few scratches and marks on the surface veneer. However, I was planning on refinishing it to a beautiful flat black, to match all of the other items that had recently received the same treatment. Here's a before.

I worked on that baby for a week straight!
Lots of work, but oh so worth it! I sanded and buffed the finish away (dirty work that is!), removed the doors, drawers and hardware, then got to work with the paint.
Lucky for me I have a drive-through garage, so I was able to leave both ends open while I worked. Must be wary of those fumes...

And here is the end result:

I have to be honest. I'm giving myself quite the pat on the back for this project. The mirror was actually salvaged from a dumpster at our old appartment. The frame was white, and it's a super thick beveled mirror (they cost a FORTUNE these days!). It had been sitting in a closet for about two years, with the specific intent to refinish it, I simply didn't know what color I would go with. I had a pile of frames kicking around as well, all white. They got the black treatment too, and now frame our family ancestry. It's very heartwarming to my D.H. and myself to see our grandparents and parents hanging out on our wall.
[That yellow/tan chair was also a roadside rescue. Someone was throwing it out. I visualize it recovered in a gorgeous black on white damask toile fabric, but that's another project, for another time... LOL!]

From a different angle.
Though I did keep the original hardware on the sideboard, I have been eyeballing some new ones from Lee Valley - one of my favorite, favorite stores to shop at for original eccentricities.
GREAT place to find storage solutions as someone who needs to house lots of tiny little bits too!

Bringing the 'new' sideboard in meant that I needed to reorganize a few other pieces of furniture. Little Highness, lucky little girl that she is, has her very own craft cabinet, and though I'd love to keep it in her room, she simply lacks the space. Armed with my trusty measuring tape and a copious amount of "hmmmmmmmm, I wonder...", I found out that it fit near perfectly in the tiny nook at the end of our front 'hallway', with exactly one inch to spare on each side! Right, here's where I'll get all 'New Agey' on you, and start talking Feng Shui. ;) I figured this was the perfect spot for it, since that corner wasn't getting any use, aside from whenever we hit the loo - 2nd door on the right... - This new location now forces us to keep the bathroom door closed in order to see the lovely Balinese cabinet, AND now the Chi is functional, as opposed to being stagnant. Bonus, when L.H. grows out of it, I can reclaim it as our linen cabinet. Maybe...

Now, as for the rest of what's been goin' on. Well, we've discovered one of the joys of home ownership involved getting used to having new little room mates... Freeloading ones. A few months ago, we all started hearing little scurrying sounds in our ceiling area. Of course, we all gave the cat a side-eye glance, wondering since he constantly chases them outdoors (and subsequently tries to sneak them back in...), can't he simply catch the indoor ones? Well, indoor mice are crafty. CRAFTY I tell you!!! And I suspect have the stomach capacity of a cow! Look at this 10 lbs bag of basmati rice, which had JUST been purchased. So here's Jewels, preparing dinner for her family, when she decides "hmmmmm, basmati rice sure would be nice with these steamed veggies and the pan fried chicken breast..." Jewels reaches for the rice, and though she expects to feel the heft of 10 lbs of rice, lifts the pouch without any resistance whatsoever... "hmmmmm, didn't I just buy this bag of rice?" Walk with me, while you hear the sound of uncooked grains of rice bouncing off the floor... "What the!? Oh! There's a hole in the bottom corner of the bag!"


Yes, well, the remainder of the rice went to the garbage bin, and out came the vacuum so I could clean up the ricey mess... But not without some serious grumbling, and a few choice French words thrown in for good measure... ;) If the little freeloading buggers thought I was going to take this laying down, they've got another thing coming. I hear they don't like the smell of fabric softener sheets. I'll have to photographically document myself slipping those above the ceiling tiles... That's if Milo doesn't get off his duff and get them...

Speaking of Milo, he's been a very good boy otherwise. The whole week that Mimi was home sick, this is how I found them:

Look at my big boy, belly up in the air. You'd almost think they get along from this photo, but in reality, they're actually closer to acting like true brother and sister. Constantly chasing each other, and lots of "Mooooooom! Milo's chasing me!" And I swear, every time that cat lies down to sleep, L.H. just HAS to pick him up and disturb his slumber...

Oh, and here are the two lovely flowers I sent to my last contest winner. I like to host the occasional contest on my facebook pages when I introduce a new product in either of my shops. This one was for my new organza blooms, and though the winner wanted them for his new baby girl, the bloom in question would've pretty much dwarfed her already tiny head. So I decided to make a small version of the original one, for a Mother Daughter set.

Cute, non?

Well, I'm afraid that's it for today. I do have TONS more stuff I need to catch up on, and tons more to share, but I'll leave it at this for this morning, and hope to have a chance to update this blog a bit more in the next coming weeks, since it is supposed to be a holiday for all.

Supposed too...

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Pearls ARE a Girl's Best Friend

Never mind diamonds. No, don't get me wrong, I like my diamonds, but pearls, Oh, pearls! They just have this certain "Je ne sais quoi" that makes my heart just pitter patter like a centipede's tap-dancing feet!
Two years ago, for our 10th anniversary, my darling husband asked me "What would you like for a gift honey?" I said "PEARLS!" Not entirely understanding my request, D.H. went out and looked for a jewelry item made of pearls for me. But after a whole week of searching, he finally admitted he just couldn't find anything that jumped out at him. Anything that he thought would 'suit' me. This is when I set him straight: "No honey, I don't want you to go out and purchase a pearl item for me, what I want are pearls, of my very own, to make my own jewelry with..." THIS D.H. could agree on. And so I searched high and low for the best pearl suppliers I could find, and afford, and I did find one with which I could agree on the pricing and quality of their items. Frankly, I fell in love with this site that sold nothing but Tahitian pearls, but, well, I just couldn't see D.H. buying me a boat load of black Tahitian pearls at $200 a piece... ;) So, I went with the Freshwater variety.
And I was NOT disappointed! Shall I tell you just how many pearls I did get from that single order? Well, it was 11 kilos!

Here I am, fondling some of my newly arrived pearl stash!
Gosh, I have that glazed over look, don't I ;)

And the ones I really found to be a personal splurge were these:

Natural 9mm round purple freshwater pearls.

And here's what I made with them:
A three-strand hand-knotted necklace with a silver box clasp.
I think I'll call them my "Desperate Housewife" strands... LOL!!!

But I did get quite a variety of other pearls, these natural pearls made my heart dance too. Having always had that "I wonder what this would look like" syndrome, I just HAD to try making a lariat with them. Of course, the unfinished rope sat there for a while, since I had NO clue what I could use to finish it. (Lariat ends are the BANE of this beader's existence... I always start with the rope, and always struggle with the ends. Well, unless I've purchased embellishments as an end in mind... ) 14 hand-strung 16" strands and two large Swarovski rondelles later, and this is what I came up with:

The rope is 45.5 " long (I thought it was longer, but then again, I have been measuring a whole lot of my ropes lately for listing in my shop... Oh well...)
I'm so used to making my 60" long ropes... ;)
The seed beads rope take longer to work up, but these pearl ones take longer to string.
Given the miliform nature of freshwater pearls, the holes all sit at different angles, so you can't really load them up in a spinner and string'em up... They literally had to be strung individually...
And yes, I HAVE been called crazy before, so you won't offend me if you call me out... ;)

I also like it worn tied at the wrist like an opulent handcuff...

Well, I've been debating with myself for a while now, wondering whether or not Etsy would be the right venue to list these in. I also have pearl rope done up with khaki freshwater pearls and smoky topaz Swarovski's on the ends. They'd be in the higher end price mark at $650 a piece... I'm tempted... Do you think they would sell? One thing's for sure, they'd certainly garner many "hearts".

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

I've been a bad, bad girl...

I've been careless with a delicate man... Oh, wait, that's a Fiona Apple song! What I mean was, I've been careless with this blog! Well, not careless, really, just so darn busy with all the other avenues in my life that I simply haven't had time to write here, let alone read anyone else's blogs!

Well, with the cold months here already, I've been quite pleased to simply sit back, relax with a hot cup of tea (or coffee...) and a hook, and have been playing with my yarn stash. Oh, and what fun I've had! In the last three weeks, I've busily made at least a dozen cowls, (two of which have matching cuffs, see below...), half a dozen 'cup coats', and have even put some time aside to teach myself how to make organza flowers!

All this of course, was done in the midst of the little one getting dental surgery, then suffering through (and passing on...) two consecutive cold/flu viruses, keeping house, AND looking after a sick hubby who's business is soboominghecan'ttakeanytimeoff...

Anyway... At least I've had the time to photograph some of these creations, and this post is all about that: PHOTOS!
Deep Purple neckwarmer with matching cuffs.
The buttons were all salvaged from a second-hand store purchase.

Organza flowers with antique glass button centers.
These are SO much fun to make, and easy too! But still, a little time consuming, if you don't have a 'system' in place...

The cream one is one of my favorites. I also quite like the buttons I used, very understated, they almost look like carved crystal balls.

I went for a little jaunt downtown yesterday, and since we have a lovely little caffé there, called Balzac's, I thought I'd take along a few of my new cup cozies, and go ahead with a mini photo shoot while I had myself a little treat of medium roast and carrot cake. It was sooo worth it, even if I did start feeling very, very under the weather about 1 hour into my little excursion.

Another cup cozy, this one matches the neck warmer two photos down. I'm from a long line of crafty "Waste not, want not" Women, and if I like one thing in one color combination, I'll usually try to work with that same combination 'til there's no more yarn to play with.

Fiery Fall neckwarmer

Poetess neck warmer

Green Goodness neck warmer.
Might I add that I'm absolutely digging the versatility of these pieces? I love how you can wear the neck warmers in different fashions, as well as over the ears, as shown.

Well, I think that's about it for today. Hopefully I can get back to doing this blogging thing more regularly, but, I won't keep my hopes up about that, since I'm trying to line myself up with a few shows and sales. Oooh, and I did find a lady downtown yesterday who was VERY interested in carrying my beaded amulets in her New Age shop, and I'm quite excited about that prospect, and think my little amulets would do really well there as 'Medicine' bags.

"Magenta", the last bag I listed on Etsy, and which promptly sold!
Perhaps I should make more? ;)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Treasury: Beads are a Girl's Best Friend!

Another treasury I've created today. Click on the photo to check out the gorgeous pieces on display. Just a small selection of the many talented bead artists on Etsy.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009


I finally snagged myself a Treasury, and I thought I'd share it with you all!

I called it "Shades Of Fire" and it showcases a few of my favorite items at the moment.
I'm particularly partial to those large flower hair adornments; not sure if I could pull it off, personally, but I certainly wouldn't be averse to trying them! :)

*Which is probably why I've been playing with copious amounts of organza and tulle these last few days... Stay tuned!*

Monday, October 05, 2009

Thermos Cozy!

My Darling Hubby is an avid outdoorsman, and likes to be prepared every time he goes out. After breaking his old thermos, he broke down and bought himself a new one. This time, when he came home, he asked his clever wifey if she could create some type of 'cozy' for it, so that it wouldn't get damaged on one of his excursions.

Well, not one to back down from such a challenge, his clever wifey sought out the perfect yarn for the task, and got to work! Armed with my trusty 5mm bamboo hook, and a copious amount of excitement (I kid you not!), I patiently worked on this project all of Saturday morning. Not having a pattern for such a cozy, I had to do, and re-do, quite a few times, just to get it right. Me and the 'Frog Stitch'? Yeah, we're tight!
So, here it is! The Thermos Cozy! :) I made two little 'ear-flaps' on the cap, that act as button holes. I sewed some nice, rustic looking wooden buttons to the body of the cozy, which allows for "easy-on, easy-off" of said cap.

So? Whaddya think?

I am happy to report that D.H. loved it so much (verbatim: "This is freaking AWESOME!"), that I now have every weekend spoken for, until I have made cozies for his fishing reels as well... (He's got 5 big "spinning reels" that need protecting...) In coordinating colors, no less... ;)

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Spiced Chai

Spiced Chai, originally uploaded by JewelsLB.

Just finished crocheting this cute bag, after completing its prototype yesterday (It's my own pattern dont'cha know, and I'm SO proud of that! LOL!). Of course, my little highness gets to keep most of my protos, except if they're not age appropriate ;)

My Darling Hubby got me this wool as a Yule present last year, and I hadn't even taken it out of the bag until yesterday. I'm really liking the look of the large coconut shell button, and chose a deep wine red thread to complement the red lacquer of the flowers. It's a fantastic little bag to hold my keys, my iphone, and a few cards. I like it so much, I've decided NOT to put it in the sell pile! ;)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Etsy Treasury: When Yellow Leaves

A lovely lady by the name of Jane, of Glorious Hats, has added my "Stone" bangles to her beautiful treasury. Take a peek:

You can also see it by clicking here. Thank you Jane! :)

Mimi's New Shoulder Bag

Mimi's new shoulder bag, originally uploaded by JewelsLB.

I'm still playing with my beads, but when the cooler weather comes in, I always pull out my yarn to play with. Of course, the beads get a tad jealous, especially if buttons are involved, but they understand... I think. I know the Swarovski's gave me the cold shoulder this morning, it only lasted a short while. The pearls? Well, they're like a happy oblivious puppy: They just ran up to me and licked my face 'til I gave them a stern "enough!" ;)

Here's a little shoulder bag I started working on Monday night. This bag is completely freeform, no pattern was followed. The body and strap are all extended single crochet, and the drop is just a series of stitches in varied lengths, which I customized to fit the large button Mimi picked. Lucky Little Highness that she is: she gets all my prototypes! ;)

Definitely going to be making more of these, but now I'm thinking I'd like to add some of my nice art buttons for the closure. I'm thinking Raku, metal and wood (oh my!) ;)


Thursday, September 17, 2009

Almost Fall!

Four more days and it's Fall! Already? Time is just flying by right now. I honestly thought I'd have more me time once school started, turns out I was slightly off on those calculations. We've had a few organized school excursions already, which required some parental assistance for the teacher, and I've been running back and forth from Niagara Falls to St. Catharines and back again, for doctor's and dentist's appointments for our Little Highness. Nothing TOO serious, she just needs some dental work done, but she's a nervous patient, and still young, so her dentist has chosen to perform her procedures under full anesthesia in the hospital. That last part doesn't sit well with me, and that probably has to do with the fact that I sincerely don't trust hospitals. I know it's not a 'bad' place, but I can honestly say that I don't have many positive experiences when hospitals are concerned. At any rate, what I thought would be Me time, turned into "Running all over town, catching up with myself and everybody else" time. ;)

I have been keeping busy during 'off' hours though. Wait, do I even HAVE off hours??? No, guess I don't... LOL!

I recently organized a necklace swap on my facebook "Canadian Beadworkers" group (which is turning into more of an international group, LOL!), and I thought I'd share the piece I made for my partner with you. I chose to make a lariat for Nancy, and though she did mention liking darker colors, I did use artistic license and mixed some lights in there too. I created a bead soup with 6's in silver lined purples in light, medium and dark tones, and another mixture of iridescent 'ambers' in the same tones. I liked the outcome enough that I believe I might make another lariat with the same soup. I will make sure that the ends differ from these ones however, since I don't really like to duplicate my pieces too much. Well, unless they're part of a collection/series, of course...

For the ends, I used two large glass crystals, in a smoky topaz color, and extended the fringes about two inches down, embellishing them with an array of glass beads, keeping in the same colors and tones that were in the rope. The only thing I played with were different finishes. The rope itself was shiny enough, so I went with plain transparent beads, and frosted finish beads that I hoped would stand out.
I'm quite pleased with the result, and I'm happy to report that Nancy LOVED it! :)

I was also commissioned by a friend to make a very special piece for her sister, who also happens to be a close friend of mine. Of course, it was my absolute pleasure to be given complete carte blanche to create this particular piece, having intimate knowledge of my friend's likes. This is a new design for me. Not too overly complicated to make, even though I did have some minor difficulties with the clasp attachment. Very fiddly! LOL!

Four beautiful strands of netted beads in metallic iridescent green, and silver-lined beads of the deepest most delicious 'fir' green I've ever seen!
I used a sterling silver four-prong slide clasp, which I thought really lent itself well to the design of the strands. It kept them nicely spaced, and gave the piece a well 'organized' look. (Cause, you know, I'm all about organization... ) ;)

I thought it fell quite nicely on the bodice, and was weighty enough to feel, but not so light that it felt too delicate to wear.

Well, now that I've caught myself up with the last few details of back to school, work, housework, moving (Items that were lovingly packed by my Mom, and promptly lovingly moved 7 hours South to me, by my Dad), renovating (my Studio! Yes! It's finally getting the well-deserved attention it's been vying for!), and, what? Oh, yeah, more housework... ;) I'm hoping that the next few weeks will see me doing a lot more in the beady creation department, and less in the laundry department. Oh who am I kidding? I've got an avid fisherman and an 8 year old Princess in the house... Laundry services is sure to be added to my resume, should I ever need to look for a job! :P

Hope all is well with you, my dear readers!

Blessed Be!

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Interview With An Etsyan: BizzieLizzie

Back in July (has it been that long already????), I had the pleasure of participating in an online "Blog Giveaway" contest at BizzieLizzie's blog, and 'Lo and behold: I won! Not only did I win a fabulous "refillable" handmade lavender sachet, I also decided to participate in Charlotte's Pay It Forward, and was so pleased when I received my parcel, as right along with my precious lavender sachet, was this super cute little coin purse! My sachet now resides under my pillow, as there's nothing I like better than falling asleep with the smell of lavender in my nose. So calming. The coin purse is, well, in my purse! My Little Highness was right by me when I opened my parcel, and her exact words were : "OH! Is THAT one for ME?" I told her I'd be very happy to share it with her, but that I would like the opportunity to 'play' with it a little bit first. Truth be told, it's absolutely perfect to hold my Iphone!

My new sleeping aid, filled with lavender!

My new change/iphone purse! Perfect for small lose items you don't want to lose in your purse!

I was so impressed with Charlotte's workmanship, her attention to detail is impeccable, right down to her personalized label. Since I'd been to her Etsy shop before, I thought I'd share a few of my favorites with you, drool with me will you?

This gorgeous "Ebony & Ivory Slouch Hobo" damask bag is just DYING to come live with me. Hubby doesn't understand my constant fascination with handbags, but then again, I don't get HIS fascination with fishing rods either, so... I'd say we're even, wouldn't you? A perfect day bag, I can tell it would hold all of my essentials for a full day *dare I go there* SHOPPING excursion!?

The next bag I chose to show you is her "Rays & Dots" market tote. I fell in love with the colors in the fabric, and can so totally see myself doodling around town on my vintage Shwinn bike with this bag, ever so casually slung across my shoulder, sitting on my hip. (I'll HAVE to sling it on, since my basket will be full of fresh market goodies!)

Another bag that caught my eye was the 'Minimalist Branches with Leaves" hobo bag. NO markets for this one, though now that I think about it... ;) No, this one I'd take on one of my many reading excursions. It looks like it would be the perfect size to hold a good book, some sundry snacks, and a bottle of water. With my blanket in my basket, I'll bike to the nearest park, and rest for a few hours, as I read, and watch the clouds lazily float by. I suppose this sounds like a rather Summery activity, but this I like to do once school has started, and I find myself having a few hours of Me time. (A rare, and very precious commodity, it seems...)

Oh, but I'm not completely selfish! I did spy a few goodies I thought my Little Highness might like for herself! She's just MAD for elephants, and frankly, anything *cute*, and this little "Elephant Love" zippered bag would be perfect to hold the precious tiny treasures she likes to lug around whenever we go out. (can't leave the house without that Littlest Pet Shop now can we?)

I was so pleased with my new Bizzie Lizzie creations, I just had to try my hand at an Etsy interview, and so this is it! Charlotte was kind enough to answer a few questions for me, and though they might not be the 'run of the mill' type of questions, these are the ones I'm curious about whenever other 'creators' are involved.

Charlotte had been busy after coming back from a trip, and I believe she was still wiping her brow from a hard day's work when her reply came back to me. ;), and though I was going to go to the trouble of editing everything, I rethought that, and chose to give you the unabridged version, these are Charlotte's personal words, and give you a peek into her process. Hope you like it!

"Hey Jewels!

Phew! Laundry is DONE! What a chore! I'm getting slowly back in the routine! LOL

Okay - here are some answers for you:
1. What inspires your work?

I am so inspired by colors. Fabrics speak to me! Nature for sure! I love our colorful world!

2. With a busy family life (I don't know if you do, but also if you have a job outside of the home...), how do you budget your time in order to keep productivity up?

It was tough. I worked part time - 9-2 up until last December. THEN, I took the plunge and quit the day job! Working for myself is the hardest and most fulfilling job I've had. I work long hours to make it work. Many more hours than any career I've ever been a part of! It's hard for me to "turn" it off! When I'm really busy - it's nothing for me to get up at 3:30 in the morning and work through the entire day without stopping! Well, I do stop to eat and drink! =0) AND, I have a 10 year old - so I have to stop for her as well.

3. What made you decide to develop your hobby as a business?

I've always sewn stuff. It wasn't until I became a mother that I wanted to stay home with her, so at that point - I started sewing for others and it wasn't free anymore! =0) Lizzie just turned 10 in April. My sewing has been a supplement and source of income off and on for about that long!

4. Do you listen to music/watch T.V. while working, or do you need complete quietude and solitude?

No TV watching. There's no TV in my sewing room, but I do like to listen to the old movies in the background while I am sewing. Definitely music most days. There are some days though- solitude is the only way I get it all done! On those days - even the phone calls can wait!

5. What tips can you share with Etsy newcomers that could help them get noticed?

My first push is to LOVE and I mean REALLY LOVE what you do! It's got to drive you to make it work. You've got to promote yourself and get noticed. Take the best pictures and then when you think they're the best - take them over again. I am always changing up my pictures. That is my weakness - I HATE the picture taking part and feel like there is always room for improvement in that arena! Again - LOVE what you are doing. Do not be discouraged by others. Find out what works - just for you!

6. Do you require any special steps to get the creative muse going? Or is she just a 'spur of the moment' kinda gal?

I am the "spur of the moment" kinda gal. I am that way with my creating and my personal life. I LOVE what a new day brings and uncharted territory! Drives my husband NUTS! BUT, we discover lots of new things my way! My desire to create - comes from within! If I have to force myself to do it - I step away from it for a bit. It never turns out right - when I try and force it!"

I recognized a lot of myself in Charlotte's answers. Mainly LOVING what you do. If you love what you do, with a boundless passion, then it will never feel like work!

And this, my dear readers, was my first foray in "Interview With And Etsyan". I hope I did well, and that this was just the first of many, many more to come. I welcome anyone who would love an article of their own to contact me. I'll try and keep this as a regular feature of this blog.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Keeping Busy

Lavender from my garden.
Take a deep breath, it smells Heavenly!

Well, it's been a really busy summer here. Not getting to do much outdoorsy stuff, what with all the rain we've been getting, but I've been keeping myself busy. With my renewed fervor to get my business running successfully, I've been engrossed with nothing but learning how to achieve this goal. Reading any and all Storque articles, reaching out to experienced sellers, and letting others mentor me in areas that need improving. Let's face it, there's always room for improvement, right? I even splurged and got myself a few good books. One called "Make a Profit with your Passion", and "The Craft of Planning Your Art Business", both are accessible through here, which is the Artist How to site. (some really good stuff there for people interested in taking their hobbies to the next level. Re, the money making level. :)

Anyway, last week was pretty busy. I decided, in my infinite wisdom, to host two Posh Parties in my home. I always get requests for invitations to these parties, but always get the inevitable "Oh dear, I can't make it that night". So I thought I'd cut to the chase, and host a party on two different nights, in the hopes that I'd be able to please a few more people that way, but it wound up biting me in the butt: Only one buyer showed up on the second one. Ah well, live, learn, and pass it on, I always way. I at least got to spend some time in the good company of friends, and family. :)

Wall earring display

A few pieces displayed on the dining room table.

Some of the rings I taught myself how to do.
It was tricky to learn a new tension technique, but after a few dozen, I think I've got it down pat. I didn't have a tutorial for them, just photographs to study.

Here are a few closups:

Here my Mimi and Selena playing with a Nintendo DS. Don't ask me what they're doing, I don't play those games, and I just thought they looked SO funny waving around in front of that game, LOL!
A shot of a custom ordered pendant and earring set requested by my friend Lise. I am happy to report that she liked it very, very much! :D

I even set up a display for my Dad's wood turned pieces. He's coming down this weekend, and will be bringing me even more of his pieces. These two will be really REALLY difficult to part with:
*I love how some of his new pieces are accented with bark. These two vessels were made from the same piece of Manitoba Maple*

Oh, and since we've had a few cold evenings, I started playing with yarn again, and tried my hand at cup cozies. Again, no pattern, just playing around. The buttons are just for show, but I thought they were a cute touch! I like these a heck of a lot better than the throwaway cardboard ones you get at the coffee shop. AND, my friend had a great idea: To make a slew of them in a multitude of colors, so that when you have a party, your guests will know which cup is theirs! :)

P.S.: Don't forget to read my PIF post, and play the Pay It Forward game. Honestly, I'm surprised that more people aren't willing to play. It's such a wonderful thing to do, and I would like nothing more than to make something just for YOU! :)